Re: Editing comments too harsh?

Subject: Re: Editing comments too harsh?
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1996 10:54:08 PDT

Vanessa Wilburn (vlwilburn -at- cpu -dot- com) writes:
> <delurk>
> In my recent performance review, my manager said there have been complaints
> about my editing comments being too harsh. Part of my job requires proof
> reading engineers' writing (I am the only tech writer in the company). I
> thought that I was being sensitive. Has anyone encountered this problem?
> What do you do to *not* tread too heavily on engineer egos?

As a more or less irrelevant aside, I took a seminar in giving performance
reviews once. The cardinal rule is that no criticism in a performance
review should EVER be a surprise. Surprise praise is okay, but keeping
a subordinate in ignorance of problems until a formal review period
is cruel and ineffective. Cruel, because formal reviews give added
weight to criticism, and ineffective, because the resentment it engenders
gets in the way of fixing the problem.

This is a common management mistake, but one that's surprisingly harmful.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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