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Power Plays and Players Feedback Performance Evaluations Public Reprimands Inconsiderate Actions

My manager gave me my performance review in an airport lounge, in front of everybody, and I felt like a complete fool. When I told him later that I did not like being evaluated in front of an audience, his reaction was that they are all strangers, so what difference does it make. I am still very upset. What do you think?

By definition, a performance evaluation is a private session; and, by definition, a manager who gives one in an airport lounge in front of everyone should be grounded. The evaluation is a time to discuss past performance, share expectations, and jointly establish some goals. It does not work in front of a live audience.

Your manager displayed a lack of insight, understanding, and empathy, along with his own insecurities and need for power. He brushed off the others in the airport, but he was actually playing for them. This was his opportunity to show all of them that he is the boss, and he was not going to let that opportunity slip by.

You already expressed your dissatisfaction to him about this activity, but he ignored you. If he ever tries to pull you into another one of these sessions, whether at an airport, ballpark, or circus, you should refuse. Tell him that you are interested in what he has to say, but only if it is in private. Just because he wants to play emcee does not mean that you have to play contestant.

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