I had a friend tell me that she had her annual job performance review recently. She told me it was great she got an excellent mark on almost everything, attendance, work ethic, etc. But as she was being reviewed her employer said "Well, I can't give you excellent for everything".
I heard this and thought... why not? The statement suggest that although everything is excellent it should not be said. If everything is excellent why not state it? Is there some unwritten rule somewhere that says you cannot tell someone they are excellent in all categories. Is there something wrong with building someone up and letting them know that, as it is right now, everything is excellent, just the way you envisioned it. If the work that is being done and the results that are being realized from that work are excellent why would someone not say so.
Perhaps there is a fear that if you tell someone that everything is excellent and that person is only giving you 75% of their effort that you will never see what else could be accomplished. Perhaps the fear is if you give someone the highest rating in all categories they will start to slack off a bit. Or maybe it was just the fear that if everything is so good she would want more money. I don't have an answer just more questions about a statement like that.
All I can hope is that when the performance of an individual is meeting or exceeding your expectations that you tell them how excellent they are. That you have no fear about any negative side to telling someone how great they are doing, that you are proud of them and think they are excellent. That you have no fear about building them up too much or recognizing their contribution. It's funny how the better someone feels about themselves the better their lives are and consequently the lives of all those around them become. We all strive for excellence, and if you know someone who has gotten there let them know... there will only be an up side to that kind of reinforcement and that is excellent..