I had my year-end review last week. It was slightly later than normal, but it has been a hectic couple of months. Last week was also very busy. I visited four sites in three time zones in five days. I met new colleagues on two sites and old colleagues on two others. At various times I was delayed, on time, cancelled, upgraded, downgraded, hosted, interviewed, engaged, fed and tired. The common themes were people, science, partners, business and coffee. Lots of coffee.
It was a great week. My first opportunity to meet with, listen to, and interact with some of our new colleagues…and to visit their sites. So many similarities but also some delightful differences. It is reassuring to see similarities…it is exciting to see differences. Up until last week we were competitors. Now we are colleagues. A week is a long time. There is so much opportunity for us all…as well as so much opportunity to offer even more value to clients who already work with us; to clients who don’t yet work with us but soon will; and to patients who will ultimately benefit from projects we help advance.
My visits to our old sites were rapid but rewarding. There is never enough time – even without flight cancellations – to see let alone meet everyone I would want to. But even a corridor chat is such high value…and so much fun!
Mid-week I was back in the mid-west. This was my annual performance management review…although formally it is a Performance Management Discussion. A distinction that is small but significant. A discussion implies much more of a two way conversation. A review suggests much more of a one sided assessment.
I did complete my self review ahead of time. That was a ‘review’ since there was only me involved…albeit with much input from others – some solicited and some freely volunteered. I tend to find my self-review hard to start, but of high value. I am my own worst critic – I am very good at identifying aspects and areas in which I have to improve. Over the years I have managed to become better at identifying aspects of my own performance about which I can feel pleased and proud. Nevertheless, I still tend to skip past those in my self-review so as to spend more time thinking about those areas that I want to do more in, or better at….or less of!
Ironically I also know from experience that in the actual review with my boss, my approach can veer to the opposite. It is great to hear recognition of any aspects my performance that have stood out…even more so if they are areas that I didn’t identify myself. I can find it harder to hear areas where – if I am able to improve – my performance and contribution would increase. Harder to hear but again of high value.
I have often had feedback that I don’t take feedback (good or bad) well. I don’t want to believe that’s correct, but I know it has to be true since it is the perception of those offering the feedback. I do always work hard to really hear and to really understand feedback. Both highlights and improvers. I listen, I consider and I seek to understand. I want to understand so that I can learn and improve.
Learning and improving. Growing and developing. Different projects, different people, different experiences and different opportunities. This is all essential to me. As long as I am learning and improving I am happy.
I was grateful for how much I learned in my year-end review last week…now to improve.