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ManagementImagine the scene: a partner calls in his firm’s HR manager to discuss the continuing under-performance of a legal secretary and tells her the secretary has to go because she has consistently failed to pull her weight throughout her three years’ service. The HR manager checks back, only to find that the secretary has had just one performance appraisal since joining the firm and was given the top score of ‘exceeding standards.’ When the HR manager challenges the partner on this, he says: ‘Oh, you know, we didn’t want to upset her by being completely frank.’

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