People Believe What They See: Write Objectively / Don’t Accept the Blame

Chapter 5 Pg’s 134 Lead With Love By Gerry Czarnecki

Another way to deal with your associates’ natural tendency to rationalize their own performance is to use the written word. The written word offers a strong dose of reality. Seldom does anybody fail to get the message from written documentation. That is true for positive evaluations as well as negative ones. This impact, however, is not the only advantage. What you write out is much more likely to communicate the essence of your message because writing helps you to sort through key concepts you want to communicate. In addition, you are much more likely to be careful about what you say if you put it into the written form. As a further benefit, writing may help you to clarify your ideas or perhaps to even change them.

 Many of us do not enjoy writing and may be convinced that writing evaluations is a waste of time. Typically, organizations require a written performance appraisal. #e document we are discussing may satisfy the organization’s expectations, but it is not for the organization. It is for you. It is your guide to helping your associate improve. You will be a better leader if you have the ability to give better evaluations.

 Giving an associate constructive feedback is only half the responsibility. The evaluation process has one more critical step. You must also commit yourself to influencing the associate’s behavior. Of course, you cannot make the changes in behavior and performance; only the associate can do that. Your communications to associates must place the responsibility for the behavior and the performance squarely on their shoulders.

All too often, your associates will look to you to either explain their difficulties or to solve their challenges. At times you may be the cause of the difficulty, but in the vast majority of cases, this retort is simply an expression of frustration. The associate knows the problem exists and puts the problem right back on you anyway. Obviously you must consider carefully any assertion that the problem is your fault, but in most instances, you must not accept the burden. Individuals are, in the Final analysis, responsible for their own behavior.

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