Liz Morrish suggests that academics “adopt a stance of concealed menace” towards their assessor to get through their annual performance and development review “unscathed” (Letters, 25 May).
Generating a spirit of “concealed menace” can cut two ways. There is more going on in any person-to-person interaction than that which is apparent on the surface. Individuals are at liberty to treat their annual review as a largely ceremonial ritual, the sophisticated negotiation of socially constructed “truths”, an outright waste of time for all concerned…or some combination of all those things.
Knowing how you want to treat your annual review and knowing how your reviewer plans to treat your annual review are probably key to making the process run smoothly.