It is the appraisal time in many companies. And it does bring a lot of anxiety to a lot of people.
A few employees who were really upset post their conversation with their managers came to me to discuss. They just wanted someone to listen to them and may be just understand their perspective.
Through the conversation I realised they were upset because they thought they had a perfect year. But the manager shared feedback which made them feel that it wasn't as perfect as they thought it to be.
In my dozen years of being an HR and many years of being a people manager, I have come across such a situation umpteen number of times.
It is a very human thing to seek perfection. Not be able to achieve it. Feel disappointed.
At that moment, I recalled what Chanakya wrote many centuries ago:
Gandham Suvarne Phalmikshudande Naakaaripushpam Kalu Chandanasya. Viddvan Dhanee Bhoopatideerghajeevee Dhaatuh Puraa kiapina Bhuddhidoabhoot. Gold has no fragrance, sugarcane have no fruits and the sandalwood has no flowers. A scholar is never wealthy and a king is never long aged. Why was this advise not given to Brahma (the creator).
It just implies that the creator (or universe or evolution or whatever you believe in) intended it this way!
Should we feel bad for being imperfect?
Should we feel dejected for not having a perfect year?
Should we feel sad for not leading a perfect life?
We can all make things better. There is always, always a scope for improvement. It is up to us to agree or disagree. To do something, or nothing. But, the search for perfection is a futile exercise.
I remember one of my mentors tell me this long ago when I was one of those employee who was upset with being made to understand that the year wasn't as perfect as I thought it was.
"If we wanted perfection, we would have hired an artist. We want passion, and hard work and intent".