Dear Cubicle Coach: It's that time of year when we have to fill out self-evaluations as part of the review process. What's the best way to approach these things? I don't want to give myself all l0's but don't want to shortchange myself, either.
Dear Perfect Nine: The self-evaluation should reflect the aura you want to project in the workplace every day: a quiet but authoritative confidence with the humility to realize you don't know everything. Think Reese Witherspoon post - messy tabloid divorce - not Denise Richards. Don't be overly modest when giving yourself scores; better to round up to 8's and 9's, not down to 7's. In your face-to-face follow-up, focus on areas you haven't had a shot at yet, à la: "I gave myself an incomplete on 'ability to lead a group,' because that opportunity hasn't presented itself so far. I know you're looking for a SWAT team for the Madson project, and I believe I'm ready to take that on."