Saturday, March 8, 2014

Where Do You Invest Your Energy ?

A common occurence in most workplaces is a Performance Review process.  The boss or supervisor or manager or owner puts together a review of an individual employee's performance.  The expectations of the individual performer's job duties are often restated and clarified in this process and the author of the review (boss et. al.) provides details about their assessment of the individual's performance during a specificed period of time (month, quarter, annual, etc.)

I have had countless reviews in my work career.  I have these reviews currently (at least semi-annually) but have also been through a similar experience in all of my other jobs, including my high school fast food working experience.

I have found one thing to be true about them regardless of my role, my "boss", my company, or even my performance: if approached appropriately by the receiver of the review, they provide insight and clarity on where to invest future efforts and energy in that situation, role, etc.  Sadly, the opposite is also equally true: if approached in the wrong way, the receiver of the review can find any number of things to grumble about and can use the review to further degrade their own performance and justify their actions in their own mind.

I prefer to enter each review I receive with the goal of achieving greater understanding of my boss' expectations of me and clarity around whether certain efforts I have made were actually worth the energy I invested in them.  This approach leads me to make adjustments in my own efforts (eliminating energy spent in areas that do not add value to my overall rating) and gain a greater understanding of how my role impacts larger business goals or results (and then I invest more energy in areas that carry greater weight in my evaluation).  This allows me to take an otherwise demotivating evaluation and with a few simple adjustments on my part, turn the experience into a very positive one.

It is liberating to find areas where you can stop "wasting your time" related to your performance.  If certain efforts do not really provide value (whether that is a grand truth or just the perspective of your "boss" is irrelevant) then why continue doing them?  A more productive use of time is to pay attention to what is important and invest your energy in those areas.  If you've ever felt that your efforts went unnoticed or unappreciated, it could just as easily be your own misinterpretation of what has real value from your current role or current boss' perspective.

Nothing is more disappointing than wasted energy and effort.  So make it count by making sure your energy isn't being invested in less valued areas.  You'll be glad you did!

Song Of the Day:
It's a throwback to the 80's with one of my favorite techno hits by Information Society.  As soon as you hear that start of "What's On Your Mind" you will immediately remember the chorus, which refers to pure energy and that is my tie in to today's post.  It's good to know what your boss is thinking, if only so you can adjust your use of the time and energy you have in areas that are viewed more positively with your role.  Turn it up and enjoy the keyboard solo in the middle of the song!


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