Word’s getting out that performance evaluations can do significant damage in the workplace. From “Get Rid of the Performance Review” in the Wall Street Journal: “[An evaluation] destroys morale, kills teamwork and hurts the bottom line. And that’s just for starters.”
What to do?
Listen to Courtney Love, natch. We just can’t contain our unending adoration of her.
In an interview last year supporting Hole’s album Nobody’s Daughter, rather than evaluating her performance, she deconstructs it.
There’s a subtle, yet significant difference between the two approaches. An analysis describes something from different angles, without necessarily drawing conclusions. In contrast, an evaluation judges it. What do we learn from being judged? Not so much.
Yet from an analytical breakdown, we derive plenty. Love analyzes her recent work experience in typically forthright form. The gems:
[In Austin, Texas] I engaged the audience more, I gave them more. I don’t know if I can do that all the time. Because I give too much when I give. And I don’t know that people are appreciating what they’re seeing, and even if they are, I don’t know if that’s enough for me. So I’m very conflicted about my job.
You note her open ambivalence about her livelihood? Nearly all of us feel ambivalent about some aspects of our employment. In thinking critically about her relationship to her work, it feels like she’s learning about her self as she speaks.
The internal conflict continues:
I like being with my band, I like playing, I like having fun. Then part of me wants to just go make pies.
Could you imagine sharing with your boss such uncertainty about your job? In airing her innermost feelings, the rock star effectively demonstrates grounding in her profession.
A performance analysis often isn’t complete without referring to one’s colleagues. On her sometimes co-writer and producer Linda Perry, she says:
She’s patient, honorable, she’s kind, she’s incredibly talented, she’s skilled at her job, she loves me, I love her, she’s enduring, and she never runs out of ideas.
We almost blush; to feel such tenderness toward a co-worker is enviable. Last thing, she speaks about making a comeback:
I went away, now I’ve come back. So? And? But you know it’s when I’ve come back, it’s because my community likes me. And because I was never a big ass. I wasn’t a really big ass to people. I was just pretty much a big ass to myself.
The “Boys on the Radio” singer takes responsibility for her actions, and understands the way she treats others is a function of how she treats her self.
Without the use of qualifiers like “excellent,” “fair” or “poor,” we witness the wisdom that can come out of an analysis of performance, rather than an evaluation of it.
You see the difference?
Moreover, in contrast with a third-party report, the self-report can be full of insight. Because you know your work better than anyone.
Watch the free-flowing candor–and hair extensions–yourself:
The end of the year is approaching. Will you be analyzing your performance?