Let me tell you the story of Prakash.
Prakash was reporting to me in my previous company. I had just taken over as a project manager and he had recently joined my team.
He came with good credentials. He had experience in marketing and had moved to my team because he wanted exposure to ERP which our team was handling.
ERP calls for thorough knowledge of finance and accounting. And Prakash had neglected them in his management school. He found it very difficult to learn.
Other than the above, he was good. He was a good communicator, a good person, and used to take initiative in almost all our team activities.
But he was not good in finance and hence not good in ERP.
He was a trier. He used to buy the latest accounting books and tried to cram finance. But it was not that easy and he was not particularly successful in ERP.
During the appraisal, I appraised him. I told him of his week points bluntly. I also told him of his good points. Being realist, he accepted it.
I gave him the impression that his appraisal was not very exceptional. I told him that he can expect a maximum of 3 rating. Though he was unhappy, he was realistic enough to accept this.
In the actual ratings I rated him 4. I did mostly because, I felt that he was a trier and he was good at a lot of other things than ERP.
After the ratings came out there was a perceptible change in Prakash. I suddenly found that he was able to pick financial concepts far more easily than earlier. A new self confidence came over him. His progress was an eye opener. It was almost as if someone, through faith in his abilities, have opened the hidden talents.
It was worth watching his progress.
Now he has moved on, and is now in a prestegious company in a good role. He is now considered very highly in his current organization.
We still keep in touch. In fact, we are now professional colleagues. You see, through his help, I got a very senior role in his organization.
Moral: Never underestimate the potential of an individual. In case of doubt, help him. You will develop and benefit out of your actions.