I am in my car waiting to enter the building in front of me. It is a modern and dynamic place. I cannot tell you its name or who I am about to meet for privacy reasons, but the reason for my visit is to, effectively, assess the host. Are they competent to perform their task and to recognise their limits of performance and development?
It is a charged atmosphere. I have been appraising, mentoring, training, supporting and coaching for as many professional years as I care to remember. There is something odd about putting a peer into the spotlight.
At times, the professional competencies of colleagues needs to be assessed. Those that are in the public eye or who perform critical tasks SHOULD be able to show that they are fit for the job, safe and untroubled. It makes sense.
But, just sometimes, when you are alone with a colleague in their private room, the atmosphere changes from “can you do it” to “I am here to help”. There is a fine line between assessment in its sterile form and the human tendency of putting a firm arm around someone’s shoulder and telling them everything will be just swell.
The fact remains that being competent to perform a task is as much dependent on those that you work with, party with and sleep with and it is on you as a person and the qualifications you have amassed.
Which brings me back to me in my car. I believe in what I do and get paid handsomely for it. Whether I give good value is another matter but assessing someone for a wide and public role feels slightly odd in the confines if a private office over tea and biscuits.