Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Muted Frustration

Started off the last post somewhat relaxed even though I got dragged through an unexpected closing this Chinese New Year but ended off enraged when I finished the CNY resolutions. I have to do one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, sometime this week, and boy am I not looking forward to it. I have to give someone an appraisal of their past performance. Have been told "you hafta do it" and "don't be trying to do it by email, you" and "there comes a time in every one's life when they have to give someone a negative appraisal". The Husband has been prepping me for this for almost a year now. I have been evading this thing for just about as long. How do you look someone in the eye and say "I do not wish to continue working with you." I've spoken with people who've done this and they say rather nonchalantly that it's hard, but if you have to do it...

I just know when the time comes I'll look the person in the eye and remember that this person is someone's mother, someone's wife, someone's daughter and also a provider to her family. And my judgement will be clouded. My words will be measured and self-censored. Basically, I might actually blurt out "Hey, thanks very much for all of your help this past year ... erm. yeah. Thanks again. Ok! This discussion is over! Bye!" Heergggh

16 Comments:

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you could be like a ball-less moron I know who made someone else deliver the bad news.

Though I don't suppose there are that many "someone else" around who are suckers like the one I know.

I think having a clear conscience helps. Especially when the sackee's sin list is so long that even he or she can't deny it.

~ xena

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous dilettanteP said...

Smootie,

Perhaps the best way to do it to ask the person what he/she thinks of heis/her past performance. They have to be honest with him/ herself and youtself when being in such a confrontational one to one situation.

Then tell them if you think it might be a fair self-assessment and why do you think so.

In your head, you need to have a strategy. Is this person 100% not worth keeping or can you be converted at the 11th hour and keep this person but under your terms i.e probabtion? You need to be clear in your mind what is your desired outcome.

Also, you need to know that this person will also be fast postulating the news that you are trying to break so be prepared to react to possible scenarios.

You must not betray any sense of weakness (esp. if you are bent on sacking the person) and stay firm and professional. Always give them the "why" and in your mind, you'll need to BELIEVE it was fair judgement.

I suppose you probably know that since you are a lawyer and will know how to react in such situations and think on your feet.

Thought you might appreciate my two cents' worth from someone who has been sacked, given a person the sack indirectly, caused someone to be sacked (also indirectly) and working in a people's business.

I reckon professionalism is key here.

 
At 2:40 PM, Anonymous dilettantep said...

oh forgot to add, if your assessment was fair, the person in question will have little choice (because he or she would feel defeated internally)but to bow out as gracefully as one can get out of an unpleasant situation.

As a boss, you stay professional about it (no bitching to other colleagues and staff which u would know) and if this person is still worth giving an ok reference, you could kindly offer to do so.

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger Little Miss Drinkalot said...

I sacked an elf once via SMS. I mean, she didn't turn up for work so I couldn't tell her in person.

 
At 3:27 AM, Blogger palmist said...

hmm was there no warning before? It would sound cruel if the person was not given a chance to correct themselves. If you have delayed the decision for 1 year I guess you would have communicated your expectations and given her ample time to change.

I wonder if it helps to let her know it is not an easy decision for you.

 
At 4:21 AM, Anonymous midnight shakes the memory said...

wow. you're so nice ^^;; i've never thought about it from the other side before. somehow when you're the one standing before the desk you never think that the boss might be feeling bad about chewing you out :) (not that i've been chewed out.. very often.. ^^;; :)

palmist made a good point though - would be fair to give the person a little warning and a chance to change.

one of my colleagues is an absolute argh to work with but she always has an excuse and the boss never says anything. lets her get away with amazing amount of stuff. i mean, her attendance is like 3 days out of a week or something, and of the 3 days she's liable to skive and not be at her desk half that time. (meaning hiding somewhere blabbing to her pals on her cellphone) But a lot of people at my workplace get away with crap like that. Sadly, I never can.. :( :)

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger valkyrie said...

start with "it's not me, it's you... " :D

seriously, you gotta do what you gotta do. i can go on about keeping an objective and professional tone of voice, sounding kind (but not too kind to the point of sounding sorry for her... or him :p) etc etc.. but ultimately, if she wasn't pulling her weight, she needs to go.

be firm! good luck. :)

 
At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your friend is kept in the dark. the other one suffering.

 
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