A Performance Review with my Wife?

Posted: December 6, 2010 in Performance
Tags: , , ,

As my wedding anniversary approached, I thought it would be the perfect time to have a performance conversation with my wife.  After all, it is a partnership, and what better way to manage performance than with a verbal if not written review of her performance. With SMART objectives in my mind, balanced feedback, and a monetary reward system, it was a “can’t lose approach. “

I scheduled a review time.  I didn’t use my office; we sat side by side at the dining room table.  To sweeten the pot, I had put a blank check in my top shirt pocket and made sure it was visible.

I began by saying, “Dear, I would like to talk you about something… specifically your performance in our marriage this year. There are a number of areas in which I think you excelled, and a few that I think you could improve in.  But first, tell me how you think you did.”

The encounter ended abruptly with a strong emotional response and her running out of the room.

I rrealized the errors of my ways.  I should have told her the topic of discussion beforehand. I also think it would have been more effective if we had developed a marriage strategy and discussed personal objectives for her that directly aligned with the overall strategy.

Regarding her reaction, I think I might have to add a new policy to the Marriage Employee Partner handbook I am working on.

Incite: Feedback can trigger unconscious responses to power, authority, control, and status hierarchy.  Is there a better way?

Credit: This is a variation of a parody I first heard from either Tom Peters or Peter Block years ago.  Here’s a link to a related book on Amazon with the Foreword by Peter Block.  Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What to Do Instead. If anyone can confirm the source, please leave a comment.

  1. Rick,

    Too funny! Thanks for making the point in such a humorous way.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s