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Chapter 19. Preparing for Your Annual Re... > How to Disagree with Your Manager’s ...

How to Disagree with Your Manager’s Viewpoint

I always found that excellent people wanted and expected excellent reviews and were often taken aback when a “surprise” criticism came their way. If they got a rating of 3 instead of 4 they fought me and showed me where I might be wrong. I actually changed reviews on the spot in a few instances because I saw the sincerity and the proof and because I realized that the score was less important than having this person believe he or she was contributing in an important area. I would make a case for my perception, but include the employee’s rebuttal in my reversal. The person would still think about the conversation and strive to improve the perception of the competency discussed.

I fought reviews twice in my career. The first was in the early stages when women in television sales were still scarce and my management believed that the big, handsome hunks should call on the major (mostly female) buyers. The other woman on the sales force and I were relegated to the tough shops with low budgets and business that our top-rated stations could live without. (Actually, our lessons learned equipped us well for television’s future of more competition and more difficult negotiations.) I was marked low for “adaptability” because I was calling on buying services rather than the A list of advertising agencies. I challenged my boss that perhaps it was he who was not adaptable and that I should be given an opportunity to call on these agencies. He changed his mind, changed my score, and gave me a better customer list. This was an issue that he was blind to, but he was willing to change and I was able to grow and improve my value to that company and within the industry.


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