A Coaching Take on the Annual Review

We’re winding down to the end of another year. I find that late December provides a great opportunity for a “year in review” assessment.

But instead of looking at your goals and lining them up against the measures for success delineated by your company, I propose a different review today. Ready? Look ahead—far, far ahead. Think beyond your work achievements and consider your life achievements. My question is simple: what would you like to be remembered for?

Rarely does a person asking this question think, I’m so glad I hit 15% increased revenue generation each year! If they consider work at all, it’s more likely that they think of the people with whom they achieved that goal. And it’s very likely they think about those at home who benefitted from that success.

For most of us, life is about people. And at the end, reflections on life are recollections of people.

So, on the work front: will you be remembered for working with people, or for working people over? Will you be recalled as a developer of others, or one who mows them down? Will you have shared personal stories with your people and heard their stories, too? Or will they have just occupied roles at work? Will people know what you cherished and valued? Will people recall that you valued them?

The day in, day out behavior people observe in you informs them about you much more completely than an assessment filed away in HR ever would. As the aphorism goes: “People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

What will others remember about you? As the great poet Annie Dillard said: “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”

How are you spending your days? How will you be recalled by others? Now is the time to make sure that what you do each day contributes worthily to a life well spent.

About the Author

Mary Ellen Sailer headshotMary Ellen Sailer, Ed.D., is a Coaching Solutions Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 120 coaches have worked with over 15,000 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.

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