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Performance Evaluations Assertiveness Feedback Travel

On a recent business trip, I sat next to my manager on the flight. He used the opportunity to give me my performance evaluation. Although the evaluation was generally positive, I was disturbed by having it done this way. I told him that I would prefer to have future evaluations in a more conventional setting, and he agreed but said I am overreacting, especially since the evaluation was positive.

Airplanes are great for many things, but a performance evaluation is not one of them. The fact that your review was basically positive has nothing to do this. An evaluation should be a private discussion where you and your manager freely and openly discuss your performance and express ideas, opinions, and suggestions. In many companies, this is also the time to discuss a raise. None of this belongs in a public venue, whether on the ground or in the air. Having an audience in close proximity eliminates any chance of a real dialogue.

The seating configuration on an airplane only compounds the problem. When a manager and employee go through an evaluation session, they should face each other so that each can capture all of the nuances of the communication process. By sitting side by side, especially in a relatively noisy setting, many of the verbal and nonverbal messages are lost.

It appears that someone needs to evaluate your managerís performance, especially when it comes to handling performance evaluations. After all, performance evaluations should be well-grounded in every sense of the word.

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