Leadership Coach Tells Viewers How to Hack Performance Reviews

At one point or another in a company, employees are asked to complete a performance appraisal, in which they rate themselves in specific areas (often on a numerical scale of 1 to 5) as a self-assessment of their work at the company.

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And while many are unsure whether to be realistic about their performance or undercut themselves to appear more honest, one leadership coach advises the opposite: Go for the highest number available.

In a video that has been viewed over 273,800 times, leadership expert Kara Kirby encourages viewers to give all 5 when filling out their performance appraisal forms.

“The whole system is bullsh*t, so put some bullsh*t in it,” Kirby tells viewers, alongside a caption that read, “Don’t you dare give yourself a 3.”

@insightsleadershipkara Don’t you dare give yourself a 3. #performancereview #performancemanagement #selfpromotion #hrtiktok ♬ Original sound – Kara Kirby

Insisting that it “doesn’t matter” how the staff rate themselves, Kirby received a range of comments from viewers both disagreeing and agreeing with her opinion.

“Always give yourself 5s,” someone repeated. “If managers ask you why you answered that way, just say it’s as high as the scale goes.”

“It took me years to learn this, I just sold myself short,” chipped in another. “I realized that my male counterpart never was.

Others explained that earning a 5 from a manager was more of a challenge than initially anticipated.

“My old job was toxic and they told me they just don’t give out a 5 and that a 4 ‘exceeds expectations,'” said one.

In a follow-up video, Kirby explained what she perceives as flaws in the company system, particularly among managers who use reviews as leverage to talk about pay increases.

@insightsleadershipkara in reply to @emilyschweiss ♬ Original sound – Kara Kirby

“If it’s actual performance management, where you’re trying to get people’s feedback to improve their work, philosophically that should never come with a raise, so it should be two separate conversations,” she told viewers . “The great managers out there, we will have a conversation with you about how we can give you as many points as possible in this process. The mediocre managers don’t really know what the hell is going on and they just tick boxes, and the bad managers you have to fight to get as many points as possible.”

Kirby did not disclose where she was previously employed.