AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champImportantly, your negative expectations about this individual can impact the way you deal with him, and that can cause him to act in ways that seem “off.” Rather than generating a self-fulfilling prophecy, you should try to set your expectations aside and work positively with him. If this new manager is truly off, the time will not be far off for you to find out. Q When I evaluated my employees last year, I had only been with the company for a couple of months. Since I did not know the employees well, I gave them all high ratings. Now with a year of data, I gave most of them lower ratings. Several have complained that their performance did not drop and it is unfair to rate them lower than last year. How should I handle this? A Unfortunately, you need to give yourself a low rating on the steps you took last year. It would have been more productive to hold off evaluating your employees until you had a real handle on their performance, and then given them the ratings they deserved. If there were raises involved, they could have been handled retroactively. At this point, It will be important to have a high degree of internal consistency in your ratings. If your entire rating scale dropped the same amount, there should be no problem. The best employees will still be getting the highest ratings on your scaled-down scale, and less-productive employees will receive proportionately lower ratings. You should meet with your employees, let them know what your ratings now mean, and let them see the consistency and fairness associated with your standards. If they are concerned about the appearance of a drop in their performance, you could add a note in their reviews that the scale was revised after your first year of employment. In addition, if you are equitable in granting raises associated with your new rating scale, you will also find that money talks. Q At a recent meeting, I was interested in the discussion, but I did not see a need to make any comments. After the meeting, my manager sarcastically thanked me for my important contributions. I did not know what to say or how to react. What do you make of this? A This is the type of comment that really needs to be placed in context, and not merely the context of a post-meeting comment. The first place to look is your manager’s overall style. A comment like this can be a friendly and humorous throwaway that he makes to everyone, especially those who he likes and can take it. In some cases, managers are more likely to throw playful comments at employees who are doing well rather than those who are doing poorly. If this sounds like his style, you should ignore it. However, you should also look back at the tone of the comment. If his words came across as negative and insulting, you should try to look at your overall performance and working relationship with this manager and see if some repairs are in order. At the same time, since these comments came on the heels of a meeting, it is probably worthwhile to replay the meeting in your mind and try to see if you missed any opportunities where your comments were warranted. Perhaps more active involvement is needed in the future. Either way, everyone who attends a meeting prefers attendees who say nothing over those who jump in to hear themselves talk. And that applies to questionable comments after a meeting as well. Ken Lloyd, Ph.D., is an Encino-based management consultant, coach, and author who specializes in organizational behavior. He is the author of “Jerks at Work: How to Deal With People Problems and Problem People.” Write to him at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Q We have a new manager in our department, and I get a bad feeling about him. I cannot put my finger on it, but something about him seems off. I have talked to others in my department, and a few feel the same way. How do you deal with a manager who triggers these feelings? A You are concerned about dealing with a manager who triggers these feelings in you, but it could also be argued that you are triggering them in yourself. If he were causing them, almost everyone in the department would feel as you do, but that is not the case. There is no question that “gut feel” is important in interpersonal relationships, but such reactions can be wrong. You can just as easily have an initially positive reaction to a new manager, only to later find that there is less to the individual than meets the eye. The best initial step is to try to identify some of this new manager’s specific behaviors that are generating these feelings in you. It is possible that you are victim to some of your own biases and stereotypes.