It's All About Learning

I had one position to fill in my department and interviewed four internal candidates.

After the interview, I met with each to share my decision, provide feedback on their interview and to answer any questions they had. Having these meetings can be difficult but I could not do it any other way. Each person took the time to consider my position, put their application together, prepare for the interview and finally, to interview. It would not be right for them to receive the "official" HR notification without first hearing it from me.

Some candidates would say that the interview is the easy part and that waiting for the decision is the hardest of all. When I meet with candidates not selected, I know there is going to be disappointment and I leave room for that. The responses I received this week were very different and ranged from sadnessand anger to acceptance and relief.

One candidate asked what she could do to better her chances for the next opportunity. I told her she was doing exactly that right now - she was asking questions and she was seeking to learn. Continuous learning and growth - that is what it is all about isn’t it? Continuous learning and growth is why I do the things I do and why I encourage and support others in their endeavors to do the same.

The fact is, as a manager, I have departmental goals to accomplish and performance measures to meet and I am going to select the person that I feel can help me best meet those goals. I was fortunate to have had two candidates who I felt could do that for me, however, with one position, that hard choice was mine to make and communicate.

My daughter had a Halloween party last month. She was very adamant (as adamant as a 5 year old can be!) that everyone always gets to win. So, each time there was a game or activity, everyone would get to choose a small prize from the pumpkin head. Life does not allow everyone to pick from the pumpkin head every time. Life is not always like that and it’s not always about winners and losers. It is often about things happening for a reason or happening when they are meant to happen, not when you want them to happen. How a person responds to the disappointments in their life says volumes about them.

I provide the feedback, but what if they don’t hear?

Note: Two very excellent posts on the topic of continuous learning are at G-Town Talks and SittingXlegged.