The Critical Incident Appraisal


Critical Incident Appraisal focuses the rater’s attention on those critical or key behaviors that make the difference between doing a job effectively and doing it ineffectively. The appraiser writes down anecdotes describing what the employee did that was especially effective or ineffective. With this approach to appraisal, specific behaviors are cited, not vaguely defined individual traits. A behavior-based appraisal should be more valid than trait-based appraisals because it is clearly more job related. It is one thing to say that an employee is “aggressive,” “imaginative,” or relaxed,” but that does not tell us anything about how well the job is being done. Critical incidents, with their focus on behaviors, judge performance rather than personalities.

The strength of the critical incident method is that it looks at behaviors. Additionally, a list of critical incidents on a given employee provides a rich set of examples from which employees can be shown which of their behaviors are desirable and which ones call for improvement. In drawbacks are basically that: 1) appraisers are required to regularly write these incidents down, and doing this on a daily or weekly basis for all employees is time-consuming and burdensome for supervisors; and 2) critical incidents suffer from the same comparison problem found in essays—mainly, they do not lend themselves easily to quantification. Therefore the comparison and ranking of employees may be difficult.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

Boss-centered Leadership


For some leaders, anything goes. The end justifies the means—deceit and manipulation included. This leadership style is known as Machiavellanism, after Niccolo Machiavelli, who set it out in 1532 in his book The Prince. He argued that a leader is justified in using any technique, no matter how deceitful, to manipulate and to control people and to strike down enemies. Researchers have devised various tests to determine the degree to which individuals are “High Machs” (manipulators of other people) or “Low Machs” (not manipulators of other people).

High Machs are coolly aloof. They appraise a situation and other people in a logical and detached fashion rather than emotionally. Apparently this insensitivity permits them to manipulate others while pursuing their own goals.

The Low Mach, the typical “nice guy” who likes and trusts people, is not detached enough to exploit others.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.