At university I had a lecture who supervised one of my placements and believed students were a good judge of their own performance. I was tipped off in advance by a student in the year above so at the end of my placement I was not surprised to be asked what grade I thought I should receive. I had prepared my answer and my rational in advance. I confidently stated my performance warranted a “B “ as whilst I didn’t feel I had been exceptionally outstanding I had consistently performed above average and provided some examples of the things I had done. I was duly awarded a “B”. I must admit If I had not been warned in advance about the confidence this assessor placed in self assessment I probably would have given my self a “C” . I discovered later on, comparing grades with other students, that this is exactly what most of them awarded themselves.
Did I have an unfair advantage or was it just a case of being well prepared with evidence that would have warranted an above average grade irrespective of my assessors belief in the accuracy of the students assessment of themselves?
There are parallels here with annual appraisals. Most people end up with an appraisals that they have performance to the required standard, a small minority are told they have not performed to the required standard, which should not come as a surprise to them, and a few will be deemed to have exceed expectations and performed over and above the standard expected, which again is probably not a surprise to them or their colleagues.
But not everyone has insight into their own abilities and performance and not all managers are good at giving regular feed over the course of 12 months. So there are surprises, disappointments and disputes. The other thing, which my university lecturer did not recognise, was that some people down play their performance. They rate themselves lower than their boss or colleagues do. I have encounter this many times as a manager and as a regular member of recruitment panels. The world often seems divided to those who are over confident in their own abilities and skills and claim credit for the work of others and those who under sell their abilities and achievements and as a result mis out on promotions they should get.
When it comes to annual appraisals or job interviews some people are better at gaming the system. One thing I know about myself is that I am not the best judge of my work in certain areas. For example I have no idea how well this article will be received. I have in the past written prices for this site that I have been very pleased with only to receive a merger 50 or 60 hits where as other pieces which I coincided of less relevance or interest have received five or six thousand hits!
I wait to see.
Blair Mcpherson former Director ,author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk