Ravi scheduled a two hour meeting with me for my review, which didn’t make me feel any better! I was totally unprepared about what to say. At the appointed time, he took me in his ‘buggy’ to the club and we sat over a cup of coffee. He pepped me up saying, “Looking sharp, Nathan,” which meant that I had dressed well. This made me feel at ease, and I was starting to feel better. This was going to be easy, hopefully.
Ravi started off by asking me, “How was the year, gone by? Do you believe we have lived up to your expectations? What does your conscience tell you?,” etc. The two hours that were to be my evaluation, actually turned out to be one of the most engaging conversations I have ever had. He kept egging me on with appreciative nods. I told him about my fear of evaluation and my nervousness, and everything I had done over the past year. I admitted my failures, mentioned my small wins, owned my goof-ups and discussed my plans. I spoke like one who didn’t fear evaluation.
At the end of the two hours, I felt a huge burden off my shoulders. I asked my boss what I could do better, and he told me in simple words, “You have done well! Do what you are doing; stay honest and you will go way up ahead. And, by the way, focus on your strengths. Don’t worry about what you are not good at. And, do small things exceedingly well.
From this experience, I came out stronger and enriched, with the knowledge that one needs to put in a lot into the job and not overly focus on evaluations. For years, I strive to conduct meaningful review sessions where I focus on what has been achieved, evaluate performance, not the person, not scare them off, but evaluate to give them developmental feedback, shore up their confidence and be in their moment of evocation of their professional and personal growth ... just as Ravindran G did years ago.