Every year business managers go through the process of giving employees annual performance reviews. Or at least that is the way it is supposed to work. The requirement is simple. Document an individual’s performance against a list of preset objectives that have been agreed to and are measurable. In a reasonable situation the employee should not be surprised at the result. If he or she is then it is a clear sign that the manager is not doing his or her job effectively. Reality is often quite different.
I have faced a lot of different reactions to performance reviews. There are three critical observations. First, as obvious as the meaning of certain words are; I have discovered that different otherwise reasonable people can interpret them quite differently. Second, as regular and consistent my feedback might seem to me, it is important to connect the dots. Let people know exactly where they stand. Third, remember that all words are heard and responded to in the context of the listener’s life, not yours. Different people react to integrity in different ways. “Murderers hate honest people; moral folks encourage them.” (Proverbs 29.10)
The question one is always left with is “what’s next”? Even if the review is positive there is always room for an even stronger performance. For the poor performance the next steps are critical for all involved! There must be a path or the review is merely the precursor to an exit interview. The words n heed to be heard in the context of the path ahead.
Imagine if God gave you or me an interim review! Could we deal with the truth? Would we understand the words? With the honest facts, even the ones I am willing to admit to, I know I would have a hard time seeing the path forward.
Regardless of our reaction, in spite of our inability to accept the truth, and with full knowledge of whom and what we are, God offers us something amazing. God relentlessly offers you and me mercy, love, compassion, acceptance, and I way to full living.