First, thank you to Chris, Bill, and Frank for stepping up during my absence. I am bummed that I missed our special awards dinner and our spring meeting. I still have not had a face-to-face Section meeting as your President.

Have you ever been surprised during a performance review? I have been coaching one of our junior managers and helping him learn how to improve his working relationship with his boss. We are working with a technique using “gap” analysis. Let me describe it. Often, the surprise in a performance review is directly due to the lack of, or poor communication. When you examine your job, what are the critical elements of the job? Which of these elements are most important? How well are you performing these elements? To start the gap analysis, answer these questions. Write them down. Now the fun part. Ask your boss to answer the same questions about your job. Ask your boss to write down his/her answers. Once this is complete, meet with your boss and share your lists.

In many cases, there will be a “gap” in the answers. There may be something that you believe is a critical element of your job, that you think is very important, and that you are very good at this element. However, when your boss reveals her list, you discover that she does not see the element you’ve defined as critical, thus does not see it as important and has been wondering why you work so hard on the element. That is the foundation for the surprise because if you had never had the conversation, your boss’s displeasure would likely be reflected in your performance review. It’s possible that your review would be negative.

If you don’t want to be surprised, and want to ensure that you are aligned with your boss, take the time to do the gap analysis. For many of us, we are beginning our season. Many of you who are managers are hiring new staff or bringing back returning staff. This is a great time to schedule this type of meeting. If you are an individual contributor, ask your supervisor/manager to go through this gap analysis process with you so you are both clear on priorities and expectations.  Most of us will agree that we don’t like surprises unless it’s a party.

As always, thanks for your time, and thank you for all that you do. Please stay safe and healthy and reach out to someone you have not contacted in a while.

Have a great season and get out and play!

Howie Pruitt, PGA
Director, Golf Operations, Aspen Lakes GC
President, Pacific Northwest Section