December 21, 2006
How to Interpret Evaluations
I had coffee this morning with my good friend Rick Kinsley (left), formerly my colleague when he was the Senior Vice President - Human Resources of Great Lakes Chemical Corporation and I was his sage GC. Rick is simply the best human resources executive on the planet, and I never exaggerate about something as serious as this. Like me, he is a recovering corporate running dog, and has a burgeoning recruitment, executive assessment, and leadership consulting practice.
Lisa Fairfax's thoughtful post on student evaluations over at Conglomerate this morning made me think of some of Rick's wisdom. In the corporate world, we had evaluations up the yin yang, the classic being the "360," in which everyone around you got to take a shot. Lisa says (accurately, by the way, because I cannot remember many positive comments, but I can remember almost every negative one since my summer associate review in 1978): "it would inevitably be the case that no matter how many nice comments I received, there would always be that one."
Rick would say if you have 50 evaluations, cut out the top two or three and the bottom two or three, and only look at the rest. That is probably going to be the best reflection of you.
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