“Frank,” you say, looking him in the eye, “I normally don’t give perfect performance evaluations. I’ve always believed you ought to leave a little room for improvement, even in the best employee. It’s a motivator.”
Frank looks dubious and a bit wary, waiting for his less-than-perfect work evaluation. “What did I do wrong?” his expression seems to ask.
“In your case,” you continue, “I’m going to make an exception. Your work has been fantastic. I can rely on you to do the job right the first time, and you frequently exceed my expectations.”
Frank’s face flushes, first with surprise, then pleasure. Clearly you’ve just exceeded his expectations.
“Thank you,” he stammers.
“Not at all,” you say. “You’ve earned it. In fact, ...