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I am a software engineer and our company hands out promotions around performance review time.

Previously I endorsed a coworker without having worked closely with them, having only a familiarity with their work. They didn't get the promotion last year and are trying again this year.

My problem is that after working closely with this person I no longer wish to endorse their work. Endorsements are visible to my coworker.

How should I handle this situation without damaging the relationship with my coworker?

  • Welcome to the Workplace -- is there something specific you need to do to "unendorse" your coworker? Or is it just a matter of doing nothing instead? – mcknz Aug 10 '17 at 19:14
  • Not duplicates, but some of the answers might be helpful: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/18484/… and workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/19867/… – user812786 Aug 10 '17 at 19:28
  • @HLGEM Endorsements are by definition positive, so there probably isn't much harm in letting the endorsee see it (in fact, it possibly significantly reduces the risk of the endorsee choosing an endorser who'll give a bad, possibly dishonest, endorsement, totally sabotaging their promotion without them even knowing). These should be balanced out with official performance and personal reviews to give a clearer picture of the candidate - it's much harder to fake your way through years of reviews than it is to get someone to say a few nice things about you. – Dukeling Aug 10 '17 at 19:37
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    @Dukeling, it is not my experience that all endorsements are positive. Some come under the heading of damning with faint praise. The problem isn't so much the endorsement but the fact that he knows who did and did not endorse him. This leads to exactly what is happening here, people who endorse just so they don't have to look the guy in the eye and say they won't. Those endorsements may be positive but they are unreliable and since the manager doesn't know which are unreliable, then all of them are suspect. – HLGEM Aug 10 '17 at 19:44
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    @EdHeal Would the reason being objective change how the coworker takes telling them? It seems like the answer would be the same either way. It probably also won't hurt to address both sides in an answer if there's a difference. – Dukeling Aug 10 '17 at 19:45
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Handle it the way you would handle any other request: Objectively analyze whether this person deserves an endorsement and provide the endorsement if you should find them acceptable.

As for "dealing" with the co-worker: don't worry about it. If the co-worker gets upset and confronts you, simply explain your misgivings as to their qualifications and where they fell short in your opinion. Help them move towards a course of action that would make you give them an endorsement in the future. Be open, clear and concise.

That said, if they take all this and still feel the need to have a negative reaction, then that's their problem, not yours. Approach your side in a professional manner, that's your responsibility. Don't worry about their reaction, that's their responsibility.

  • This seems to basically say "ignore anything that might affect your relationship with the coworker" but that is precisely the question the OP is asking. – enderland Aug 11 '17 at 13:17
  • Allow me to clarify the last 2 paragraphs: Your interpersonal relationship inside the job should not be dependent on whether or not you're endorsing them, and you shouldn't concern yourself as to whether it changes it or not. So, in short, ignoring it IS how you deal with it. – SliderBlackrose Aug 11 '17 at 13:56

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