Bosses generally hate doing performance evaluations. Besides the natural social awkwardness of balancing clarity and tact, they're often afraid of being clumsy and getting a bad reaction from the employee. Or they play it safe and inflate the rating while softpedaling any deficiencies, after which there is a full twelve-month period in which to kick oneself for being a wimp. But it can be an excellent opportunity to do something genuinely constructive.
I was reminded of this when I came across Lisa's blog. She met with her boss for her 6-month review and, "For the first time in 6 months, I feel like a motivated person again."
A miracle? Hah. Not even rocket science. To wit: (1) He asked good questions, (2) she answered honestly, (3) he listened to what she said, and (4) he responded with an action.
It doesn't get much better than that. I'm verklempt.