Why ‘Meets Expectations' Never Does

A Manager's Guide for a productive ‘Middle Rating' conversation
Marc Effron | Talent Strategy Group
A Manager's Guide for a productive ‘Middle Rating' conversation

Your feelings at this moment mirror what many employees feel in a performance review when they hear that they've "met expectations", "fully achieved" or whatever label your company assigns to the middle of its performance rating scale.

There's no good way to dress up the dreaded middle rating and no way to convince anyone that being "average" is absolutely fine. If this conversation is in your future, here are a few practical ideas to make it easier and more productive.

There's a logical reason why no one likes to hear they've "met expectations" and it lies in one of the most conclusive findings in human psychology: Most of us believe that we perform better than we actually do.

The best science tells us that the bottom 80% of performers believe that they perform better than they do. Even worse, the lowest performers are the least aware of how poorly they perform.

Key Takeaways

About This Report

We're all better than average

How to have a great "Middle Rating" conversation

But I did better than that/I'm not happy/ It's not fair

About the Publisher

Marc Effron, President, Talent Strategy Group

Publish Date

September 2021