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Is It Appropriate To Talk With Others To Get Some Insights Into What I Might Expect?

Before I sit down to conduct an appraisal discussion with an individual, is it appropriate to talk with others to get some insights into what I might expect?


Once you have prepared the individual’s performance appraisal and are getting ready for the discussion, there are several sources of information and assistance that can help you do a fully professional job:

  • Your reviewer
  • Previous supervisors
  • Colleagues/customers/coworkers

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Your Reviewer. Your reviewer, usually your direct supervisor, is the individual who reads the performance appraisals you write before you present them to the individuals in your work group. In addition to reviewing what you have written, your reviewer can also be of help in preparing for the discussion. If there are areas where you anticipate disagreement, talk them over with your reviewer in advance and get suggestions on how to approach sensitive issues

A role-playing practice session just before you conduct a difficult review can be of great help in preparing you to do a challenging job. In conducting the practice session, make sure that you assume the role of the difficult employee and that the reviewer takes your role—the deliverer of the performance appraisal. In this way, you’ll be able to see how someone else deals with the kinds of responses you may encounter in the actual appraisal discussion.

Previous Supervisors. Discussing your plans for a performance re- view with the individual’s previous supervisor can be helpful, particularly if the individual worked for that person for a significant period of time. Discuss the key points you plan to make during the review and see if the previous supervisor encountered the same performance factors when the individual worked for her. Talk about the previous supervisor’s experience in delivering performance reviews in case there are any insights or sensitivities you may not be aware of.

Colleagues/Customers/Coworkers. While it’s not appropriate to re- view your plans for a performance appraisal with anyone other than the individual and your reviewer, be sensitive to the information you get from other people with whom the person you’re reviewing regularly interacts.