Aug 12, 2009

How'm'I doin'?

When I was a lawyer, we had performance reviews. Sometimes. When the partners could be bothered. And they typically went somewhere along the lines of: "You're billing 30% above the 2400hr target. That's decent enough. You still have a job. Do better next year, though."

Consulting therefore came as a bit of a shock. Here, feedback is the maƮtre mot. Of course, there are the bi-annual reviews, and the end-of-project evaluations. But there are also the weekly team "how can we be better" sessions, the extra bonus-round one-on-one "tell me what's wrong with me" sob-fests and my personal favourite, the "immediate feedback". Yes, in consulting, yelling at a team-member who has just screwed up and cost you hours of work and condemned you to a late-night dinner of plastic-tasting sushi under painful neon lights is not called "bitching", it's "feedback". As in: "Hey, here's some immediate feedback. You're a dummass and I hope you get fired. We cool?" I love it.

What they don't tell you is you can get completely hooked on feedback. You start craving more and more of it until, like a junkie strung up on heroin, you are completely incapable of functioning without it.

And so, in my weekly 7am pilates session, I now find myself harassing my poor instructor like a needy 3 yr-old: "Is my navel getting closer to my spine? How about now? And is my ribcage soft enough? What about my horizon? Am I stretching my horizon in the right direction through my knees? Tatiana? Hello?"


Consultant Insider said...

I hear you. I am managing a newbie consultant now, who doesn't have that addiction to feedback. Every time I try (in a nice way of course)to even offer a little criticism, she gets massively flustered and the whole thing degenerates.

Of course, there is also the trough you reach after feedback addiction, when you start to become desensitised to it all. Client hates me and says so? Who cares?

Houston Hottie said...

Stop it! Quit! Tatiana kicked my bum so much at Pilates this week that it hurts to laugh this hard!!!

Ever your Hottie