Sunday, May 1, 2016

Slice of Work #5 – Appraisals: Year-Ends and New Beginnings

It was one of those dreaded meetings. The very thought of getting to discuss appraisals with his new reporting manager was daunting. It had been not been the best of years, and Vasu knew it. But did not want to acknowledge it. The previous year was a great one for him. It was a long walk to the manager's cabin.

VG his manager shook hands with him and asked him to “take the chair.” It sounded ominous already. VG was gentle and invited him to speak about the high points of the year and what played to his strengths. VG kept nodding his head and was encouraging, And playing back his strengths to him. Not a trace of the dreaded word “but…”

VG summarized his accomplishments and asked him as to what he thought were things that could have been done better and asked, “How can I be of support to you? Vasu was in full flow now and held back nothing. He blurted out his failings. And VG said 'it is okay to have a setback and important to look ahead'.” And then the questions about what he wanted to do in his career and what he was good at. This was getting better!

VG, a well-respected man and had a sterling career of over 25 years. He broke into a monologue. Said that there would be some great years and some not so good ones. Difficult for anyone to have an outstanding year, year on year he said. Some ups and some downs were part of the journey.

It was most important to focus on becoming a better professional. And the years that were the down years, were the ones that taught him the most. Focus on the upward trajectory of personal growth. And as for compensation, it would follow you like your shadow, he added smilingly.
Made sense. Vasu felt much better and accepted that he had had a ‘modest’ year. And VG was not even focused on that. Vasu was looking at his mirror, but this mirror told him what he was capable of as well. His focus was clear, he would play to his strengths. He would be a better professional. The best. The ‘chair’ was only a seat after all. He walked out with a hope, an agenda and a smile spreading on his face.

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