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Author Topic: Humilty in performance reviews  (Read 543 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sauron
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« on: September 19, 2011, 03:22:56 PM »

In about a month, it will be time for the semiannual performance reviews at my office. The way they are done at my firm may be a bit uncommon. Here, almost everything is done in writing. As an employee to be reviewed, I am given a survey to fill in with questions such as "what were your major accomplishments this period?" I find it hard to answer questions such as these without feeling as if I am being prideful, but the survey is essentially set up that it requires me to talk about how great I am.

What would be the best way to deal with such a situation? I imagine to answer the survey as written. I don't think it would be helpful to write something like "I pay no heed to the scorn or praise of others!", because that would just annoy management and it could also seem prideful in itself. I have always answered the survey in the past to say how great I am so I can keep my job, but something about it bugs me.

Any thoughts?
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bogdan
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 03:35:57 PM »

I completely understand. I have I gotten raked over the coals by team leaders and executives for this before, myself. I came to realize that "excessive" humility can come off as prideful "false humility" to others—even though it isn't actually rooted in pride in your own heart. People simply don't understand.

I cope by just being honest. If I'm really good at making widgets, I say so, if the situation calls for it. Being honest on a company review is not really bragging. The company has to evaluate people, so it is necessary to ask everyone how they're doing.

While it is Christian to view ourselves as the least of all, look at it as glorifying God with your talents. Do everything to His glory, whether it's making widgets, filling out forms, or whatever you do for a living. When people praise your work, silently pray, "Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee." Just be honest and glorify God in your work.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 03:38:12 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 03:49:48 PM »

Are there any places at the end for comments where you can address your desire for critical feedback so that you can improve your work skills and communication?  In the workplace most of your evaluators will see this desire as coming from someone who is a good worker, easy to manage and who they can in turn be honest with...

I would not recommend that you be overly humble.  Truly evaluate your projects where possible and back up your accomplishments with facts and figures, this is what your evaluators will appreciate so that they in turn can write a fair review of your work.  Eg.  I reduced Turnover from 25 percent to under 20 percent in the last year by taking the following actions:  1. Initiating skip level meetings with each team on a monthly basis.  2. Gathering feedback from the teams and making the following changes - a. Fairer ways of bidding for shift changes.  b. Ensuring all teams had regular meetings.  c. Meeting monthly with all lower performing associates.  I could go on but you get the idea....

You need to be telling your boss what you did, and helping to show why you are good.  It's only bragging If you write a bunch of fluffy prose with no facts to back up your claims to doing a good job.

Personally I think  this is a cheesy way of getting you to do some of their work for them!  However it does ensure that nothing that is important to you gets forgotten.  On the other hand, know what goals your boss has, and makes sure you rank your items in order of importance to the business ad the business goals, cs in the end you need to show your value to the company so they appreciate you!

Hope this is not too basic and helps....I could go on and on about performance appraisals...I LOVE business!

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TheodoraElizabeth3
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 04:20:54 PM »

If you are not honest about what you are good at, you are at a disadvantage in today's business culture and you put yourself at risk
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tuesdayschild
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 04:31:29 PM »

I am given a survey to fill in with questions such as "what were your major accomplishments this period?"

You should answer this as if you were updating your resume.
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sainthieu
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 05:29:54 PM »

A performance review is not the place to be humble, but a place to tell the truth. A performance review---or professional resume---is one area of your life where you should be absolutely candid about your abilities. Make the most of this rare opportunity.

This is business---not church. Objectively, your employer needs, periodically, to be reminded of your value to the organization. You are an honorable person doing the job to the best of your ability--they're not paying you for nothing--so remind them in a dispassionate and fact-based way. Note the jobs you've finished, the progress toward a goal that you've made, the knowledge you've acquired, the educational opportunities you've taken, the number and names of the customers or clients you've solved problems for, the professional relationships you've created or advanced, the ways in which you have contributed to profitability, lowered loss or otherwise helped to improve the organization and its reputation, the number of clients you've added to the roster, the times when you've assumed leadership, etc. Use dollar amounts, specific names, percentages---facts.

Be your job ever so humble, you can still provide your employer with useful facts. It is valuable for any employer, for example, to be reminded that you always show up on time, or volunteer for odd shifts. It's priceless to you if you can give examples of when you stayed an extra 5 minutes, made a deadline or addressed a problem the boss hadn't yet noticed. These simple qualities, oddly enough, are hard to find in an employee and will put you in a class by yourself. If you are telling the truth, it is not a boast or sinful pride.

Most people are so inculcated with the idea that they shouldn't toot their own horns that they don't even recognize the value of their work and are unable to articulate it when asked to. (Unfortunately, they are more than offset by the few who do a mediocre job, yet possess great self-esteem and own a bullhorn.) Being too humble is just as bad as being too boastful---neither is accurate. I say this as an ex-executive who has had experience hiring and firing.

In preparation for your review, write down a list of every task you've undertaken since your last review, down to the smallest detail. It will remind you of your worth and give you some ideas in preparing your response.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 05:44:50 PM by sainthieu » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 09:37:38 AM »

Thank you very much for all of the replies.

I have been at my current employer for some years, so this is not the first time I have been through this process. However, it is the first review period since I got back to seriously observing my faith. Although, the process of having to toot my own horn never sat well with me. I will continue to tootle.  Grin

What inspired this thread was a very nice complimentary note from one of our summer clerks yesterday. For those unfamiliar with law practice in America, it is customary for law students to work at law firms during the summer. The process is essentially a three-month job interview, and if it goes well, the student gets an offer so they have a nice job waiting for them when they graduate. While I am not on my firm's summer associate program committee, I try my best to work with and encourage the summer clerks. Yesterday, I received a note in the mail from one of the clerks, which was very complimentary to me. I found it very flattering and thought of attaching a copy of it to my self evaluation form, but then I felt ashamed because I thought it was prideful. Now I think I can safely attach it as support for a request to be an official part of the summer associate program next year.

(this guy is a class act, by the way. At the end of the summer, he was extended an offer, but declined it because he decided that our practice wasn't for him and he wanted to work in the public sector. I told him at the time that I respected his integrity.)

Again, thank you!
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FatherGiryus
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 10:38:46 AM »

Humility is about honesty.  Be honest, and you are being humble.

If you really want to 'check' yourself, ask a couple of your coworkers to answer those questions about you and note what they say.  You might not have caught onto what your real contributions are.  Then again, you might also learn about ways you need to improve.

Just a suggestion.
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sainthieu
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 10:56:13 AM »

That note is a real and true thing; put it on your evaluation. Christianity is about being humble, not worthless.

Timothy 5:18 
"The laborer is worthy of his wages."
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 10:58:33 AM by sainthieu » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 11:04:56 AM »

That note is a real and true thing; put it on your evaluation. Christianity is about being humble, not worthless.

Timothy 5:18 
"The laborer is worthy of his wages."

You've obviously not taken to heart the beliefs of many of the Desert Fathers.
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 11:14:13 AM »

I always told the truth in a factual way on any performance reviews. I (perhaps pridefully! Wink) did not see this as bragging, but just a statement of fact. I did accomplish x, y, or z.
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sainthieu
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 11:23:16 AM »

You've obviously not taken to heart the beliefs of many of the Desert Fathers.

You would be vastly mistaken to believe that.
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2011, 02:02:15 PM »

Sauron,

If you don't feel comfortable attaching the note to your evaluation, you can reference it in your discussion of future opportunities where you feel you can add value to the organization.  You can be humble in your request, and honest as you have facts that you can substantiate.

Either way, you should send a copy of the note to your Direct boss and humbly ask for it to be placed in your file.

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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2011, 02:21:53 PM »

In about a month, it will be time for the semiannual performance reviews at my office. The way they are done at my firm may be a bit uncommon. Here, almost everything is done in writing. As an employee to be reviewed, I am given a survey to fill in with questions such as "what were your major accomplishments this period?" I find it hard to answer questions such as these without feeling as if I am being prideful, but the survey is essentially set up that it requires me to talk about how great I am.

What would be the best way to deal with such a situation? I imagine to answer the survey as written. I don't think it would be helpful to write something like "I pay no heed to the scorn or praise of others!", because that would just annoy management and it could also seem prideful in itself. I have always answered the survey in the past to say how great I am so I can keep my job, but something about it bugs me.

Any thoughts?

This is not the time to be humble and downplay any of your accomplishments. Just put down your job description (both what is required of the position and anything extra you might do on a regular basis) and any major accomplishments. If you want to be "humble", then don't exaggerate anything to the point of lieing about what you do or have done. Just be honest.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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