8Dispelling the Legal Myths and Dealing with Poor Performers

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If you really want to help people change, empathize with them.

Carl Rogers

I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem.

Dilbert (Scott Adams)

When we talk to audiences about tossing performance appraisal, invariably we see someone’s eyebrows furrow, and a hand goes up. “Well, what about legal documentation,” the voice of concern asks, “In these days, don’t you need appraisals to protect the company from employee lawsuits?” Our answer surprises audiences: There is far more fable in that belief than truth.

In this chapter, we sift the truth from commonly held beliefs. We identify the few instances when appraisal or formal evaluation is legally mandated. We also ...

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