RE: Positive feedback from supervisors

Subject: RE: Positive feedback from supervisors
From: MAGGIE SECARA <SECARAM -at- mainsaver -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 10:20:12 -0700

Anonymous wrote:
> I am negotiating a move between departments. I've been surprised to
> hear--from people I never suspected--that I am a valuable employee, my
> work is respected, and people want me to work for them. I was most
> surprised to
> hear that my manager says I'm a valued employee.
> Last month, I received mediocre performance evaluations from my
> co-workers, supervisors, and manager.
<snip to clear the 20 line limit--I hope>

> General feedback is important; but for some reason, general feedback
> focuses on negatives rather than positives. Many of us are editors, and we
> might
> find it easier to criticize than to compliment. If you want to make sure
> your employees understand you appreciate them, give compliments that are
> as specific as your critiques.
I agree completely. Reviews shouldn't just be about your weak spots. No
one's perfect, and we all know that. However, let me tell you an admonitory
tale to go with your situation.

Just recently, I listened to a colleague in a manager's meeting go on and on
about one of her staff . She wanted to get rid of this guy, she'd had it up
to here, he had attitude problems, he didn't work and play well with others.
My group is quite different from hers, and after a rather exausting meeting,
I said well ok, I'll take him, see if he fits better on my side of the
playground. (This is an on-line writing gig, not my regular job.)

Next day in the email re: the transfer we all see that manager saying
"Mike" was such a hard worker (with several details) and we've really
enjoyed working with him. Well my jaw hit the floor, I can tell you. And
the man so complimented of course thought perhaps he shouldn't change
groups, since they really did appreciate him after all.

I think in the rush to be polite, it's possible to say more than one means,
to the point where you're actually lying. In this case, the guy really did
work hard, but the manager did NOT enjoy working with him and was NOT sorry
to see him go. Contrariwise, when I've had someone leave who I was glad to
see go, I have thanked them for their work and wished them well in their new
ventures. There's really no need to say more, "just to be nice", but some
people can't seem to stop themselves. In fact, it made everything much
worse and in the end, upper management decided it was all too much trouble
and let "Mike" go.

In other words, I'd be wary of the lovely things people say about you when
you're on your way out.


Maggie Secara
secaram -at- mainsaver -dot- com

A Compendium of Common Knowledge (1558-1603)
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