One day an older man sat down on a park bench where a young boy was about to make a cell phone call. The man sat quietly as a conversation unfolded. The dialogue went like this: “Hello, sir, I’d like you to hire me to cut your lawn.” The person on the other end of the line said, “No, I already have some who does it.” The young boy said, “I’ll cut your lawn for half of what you are paying.” The person responded: “I’m very satisfied with the service I am getting.” With a little sigh in his voice, but also the beginnings of a grin, the boy tried one more time, “Sir, I’ll even sweep your drive and sidewalk at no charge.” The man said, “No, thank you.” The boy said goodbye and ended the call. The man sitting next to the boy spoke up: “You tried extremely hard to get that job. I am impressed. I’d like to offer you a job.” The boy said, “No thanks.” The man was confused and said, “But you were just trying to get a job.” The young boy said, “Oh, I wasn’t looking for a job. I was just checking on my performance. I already work for the person I was talking to. They didn’t recognize my voice.”
So, a story with a moral. What is the lesson(s) you take away?
Here’s a couple of considerations for you.
If new in your position, seek feedback. Ask, “how am I doing?”.
90-day, 6 month, and annual performance reviews should be information for the people to who you do not report. The contents of an appraisal should be commonly exchanged information between bosses and subordinates. Help make that a norm.
When changing job roles, make calendar appts with your new boss once per month (or your time period). It might be uncomfortable for both of you the first couple of times…get over it. “How am I doing” meetings are good for matching up vocabularies and definitions, and “What does GOOD look like?”.
Personally, I hate surprises when it comes to performance reviews. Shame on you and shame on your boss for allowing “Surprises” to make for a “difficult conversation”.
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