19 February 2009 | Posted inBlog News & Updates
Posted by Justin
To pick up on where Jodi left off on her post about the annual HOK review process, I thought I would offer a more personal experience to the whole process. Hopefully someone out there may find some of my insight helpful.
Here at HOK, well, not really here, but in a meeting room somewhere, sits a person who is not always your boss but who probably has more grey hair than you. Jodi mentioned some kind of ‘inside/outside’ sort of thing, and that just seems too complicated for me. So thankfully here in Toronto we fill out these forms that don’t really apply to our daily tasks, but somehow describes us to a T.
So for all those who are new to the process, I thought I would go over some of the things you’re likely to hear from the person sitting across the table.
“Hi, (your name)!”
I like to call this the ‘so that’s who you are’ moment. Basically they are putting a name to a face, especially if they don’t know who you are. I’ve worked at HOK for three years and there are a few who have yet to get my name correct. So don’t fret if they act surprised when you enter the room.
“We have a difficult conversation ahead of us”
I’ve heard this before. Normally this is where they explain to you in ‘simple terms’ something you have been doing wrong. This probably isn’t a time for daydreaming about something irrelevant, like skipping through some wildflowers. If you start noticing their lips moving but you can’t hear anything they are saying, I suggest not interrupting until they stop.
“So, what I hear you saying”
Basically what they are trying to do is get you to forget what you had originally said. Take for example a conversation I had last year, during my review.
“I ate a hot dog at lunch.”
“So, what I hear you saying is that you like lunch.”
Classic example of manipulating the conversation. If you ate a hot dog and you liked it, tell them you like it! Don’t let them get you off the subject. It’s about the hot dog, not lunch.
Not literally, just figuratively. Anyone can use this reaction to anything. It’s the stereotypical response to any question someone doesn’t have an answer to.
“Yes, I know. She is an aggressive go getter”
Now depending on if they actually like this ‘go getter,’ they could either be telling you to follow their lead or don’t go down her beaten path.
“I can see this would be a difficult situation to overcome”
Upon hearing this comment, my suggestion is to break down and cry. They obviously have already felt some sort of remorse for you. So you might as well drive the nail in the hole and go out with a bang.
“I think we should discuss this further before going forward”
You just put your foot in your mouth.
“I don’t think I understand”
One of two possibilities for this response. The first, you’re mumbling. The second, your story happened six months ago, and it doesn’t apply anymore.
Well this isn’t what they will say, this what you’re supposed to say. I often find they have prepped the first few things they will say, so as soon as you sit down and they open their mouths for their first word, I suggest just throwing it out there and building a little tension in the room.
“It’s not you, it’s me”
If you hear this line in your annual job review, then you more than likely have heard this line before. Ask yourself how you felt the first time and why you didn’t react. This is the perfect time to just let it all out and tell them how you really feel.
In closing, I hope you take this next little while to really enjoy this experience and have a little fun. It’s not a job interview, and it’s not having dinner with your in-laws. It’s sitting across the table with someone you see every day.
Link to previous post: You Took my Heart in St. Louis