Fortune Cookie Wisdom for Self-Assessments

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Today I’m spending a bit of time to learn about how our annual review and self/co-worker assessments are different from last year.

Ever since I’ve graduated from college and worked full-time, the end of the year has meant that I need to set aside some time to fill out forms as part of a formal review process. The idea being that I assess myself, my manager assesses me, and my peers provide feedback. This all gets stirred together by my manager and then results in a rating of some sort and possibly an annual raise.

The biggest change is that we now have klunky web-based system. But every cloud a sliver lining, and this one comes in the form of humor.

Our on-line tool offers a “writing assistant” that suggests language for expressing how good (or poorly) a job you think you’re doing. Here I present some of what it suggested to me for your collective amusement. They’re like like little positive/negative/neutral fortune cookie sized bits of feedback which can be increased or decresed in severity.

Jeremy can synthesize a set of opportunities and goals into a common vision that he communicates to others. He simplifies complex issues so that others can understand and get behind what needs to be done.

Hmm. I do tend to simplify things, but “common vision” isn’t quite right. Let me click the “more positive” link and see what happens…

Jeremy has a good understanding of our vision and values and communicates them to others. He can tailor the message so that its meaning is embraced by different groups, and he uses his excitement and passion to get others moving in the same direction.

Well that one used the word “embraced” so it must be better.

Let me choose “expemplifies values” from the “exceeds” column now.

Jeremy represents the organization with the utmost professionalism. He can always be relied upon to adhere to and promote organizational policies and standards in dealing with customers and others both in and outside the organization. He is always supportive of management decisions and encourages others to follow his example.

I wouldn’t say that I’m “always supportive of management decisions”, would you? :-)

It seems like these things get longer when I ask for the more positive ones. So let’s try something on the negative side. *click* *click* “acts contrary to values”

While Jeremy seems to understand organizational values he could be more consistent about applying them on a day-to-day basis. I would like him to think about this as he plans his work and as he deals with others, especially those outside the organization.

Ouch! It really makes me feel like I ought to be trying harder when I read that!

Okay, moving on to the “Getting stuff done” metric:

Jeremy is a conscientious worker who can usually be relied upon to handle unforeseen obstacles. He is able to analyze new problems and develop action plans to deal with them.

I don’t believe I’ve ever used the phrase “action plan” before when writing about myself. Let’s see what else I can get this tool to invent…

Jeremy is often unclear when defining roles and responsibilities with his team, and as a result team members have been confused about what is expected. Jeremy should regularly meet with his employees to discuss their responsibilities and resolve any misunderstandings.

You know, someone needs to collect all of these and make a board game for office workers. That’d be fun. I could play with the “writing assitant” all day but wouldn’t want to “get caught up in low-priority tasks”, as the tool said to me a few moments ago.

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Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.

Fortune Cookie Wisdom for Self-Assessments
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