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'It Doesn't Matter': Leadership Coach Sounds Off on How to Hack Employee Performance Reviews

Leadership coach Kara Kirby is going viral for advising viewers to rate themselves highly when faced with employee performance reviews.

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At one point or another in a corporate job, employees will be asked to complete a performance review where they'll rate themselves in certain areas (often on a numeric scale of 1-5) in order to self-evaluate their work at the company.

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Getty Images

And while many are unsure whether or not to rate their performance realistically or undersell themselves in an effort to appear more honest, one leadership coach is doling out the opposite advice: Put the highest number available.

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

"The whole system is bullsh*t, so put some bullsh*t in there," Kirby tells viewers alongside a caption that reads "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

Kirby insisted that it "doesn't matter" what employees rate themselves, garnering a slew of comments from viewers that both disagreed and agreed with her sentiments.

"Always give yourself 5s," someone reiterated. "When managers ask you why you gave that kind of response just say it's as high as the scale would go."

"Took me years to learn this, all I was doing was selling myself short," another chimed in. "Realized my male counterpart never was. Get what you deserve ladies!!"

Others opened up about how earning a 5 from a manager was more of a challenge than originally anticipated.

"My old job was toxic and they told me 'they just don't give out 5s' and that a 4 is 'exceeding expectations,'" one said.

In a follow-up video, Kirby elaborated on what she perceives as the flaws in the corporate system, especially managers who use the reviews as leverage to talk about wage increases.

@insightsleadershipkara Replying to @emilyschweiss ♬ original sound - Kara Kirby

"If it's an actual performance management, where you're trying to get people feedback to get better at their jobs, philosophically, it should never be paired with pay increases, so should be two separate conversations," she told viewers. "The great managers out there we'll have a conversation with you of how to give you as many points as possible inside of this process. The mediocre managers don't really know what the hell is going on and they're just checking boxes, and the bad managers you need to fight to get as high of a score as you possibly can."

Kirby did not disclose where she has previously been employed.

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