So I had my appraisal last night, which, to my surprise was actually a rather enjoyable experience. I’m not a masochist or anything – I don’t get off by being beaten with sticks; but there’s something about the wounds of a friend which are tremendously helpful in development and improvement. Here are a few reasons why I think they matter:
1. You ain’t peaked yet – at least I hope not. I hope we’ve all got more to learn, and new ways to develop. To do that we need some constructive criticism, feedback, and input.
2. You’ll have blindspots – things which you weren’t aware were weaknesses. If you’re going to improve as a leader you need to be aware of them and seek help addressing them.
3. It gives you space to discuss your own frustrations or hopes and dreams. Sometimes in the busyness of it all you struggle to find space to step back and evaluate what’s going on. And sometimes we’re too proud to acknowledge we’re struggling and ask for help.
4. It’s good for others to encourage you in what you’re good at. Of course we don’t do it for that, but nevertheless it’s nice when others recognise hard work and God’s gifts.
5. It strengthens relational bonds between you and your team. A strong relationship is strengthened by honesty not weakened by it. It’s good to be straight with each other – if they don’t tell you who will?
So phone your employee or employer and get it in the diary. Do it now!