They meet for the discussion. Aaron is quiet, listening carefully, respectful of Martin as a fellow engineer and as his superior. Aaron is also very much looking forward to a meeting-of-the-minds on his performance over the last year, and to discussing the goals they want to reach in the upcoming year. The same goes for Martin.
The discussion does not go as expected, however. Neither from Martin’s point of view, nor from Aaron’s. On the contrary. Aaron departs the meeting confused, almost shocked, in a bit of a daze. “I’ll be fired within six months!”, he thought to himself. “How could I have been so wrong in my self-assessment?”
It took several days for Aaron to steady himself. Self-doubt had dominated his thoughts and emotions. Was he out of touch with reality? Did he misunderstand what the goals for the year were? How could he have so grossly misread the situation? Were the achievements over the last twelve months average, mediocre or worse?
Aaron, a rather self-critical person, was expecting a B+. Martin, no less of a perfectionist, also had a B+ in his mind. What went wrong?