One of the most difficult things to do as a manager is to conduct performance reviews.
One of the most difficult things to do as an employee is to participate in them.
A key to a successful performance review meeting is in the preparation. As an employee there are several things you can do to prepare. Start with reviewing the last few performance discussions. Look for trends in behaviors and how they have been characterized over time. Have you taken the necessary steps to improve? Have you slipped back to your old habits?
Remember that you are judged on results. Review your goals and provide status to them. Remember to document any new tasks or accomplishments that may have been assigned since the goals were drafted. If you are behind schedule, be prepared to discuss your recovery plan or to negotiate a new delivery date.
Consider your career aspirations. Be prepared to discuss how your manager can help you accomplish your career goals. Consider the skills or additional training needed to prepare for the next steps. If you are unsure of your skills gap, ask your manager or mentor to help you prepare a skills assessment.
A lot of advice is available for how to conduct yourself during a review. My advice is to take notes during the discussion. Listen and absorb the information. If your review is not going well, take ownership of the situation, focus on the facts and data. If you find yourself getting agitated or argumentative, remember that this is feedback opportunity that is difficult for everyone. How open you are in receiving the feedback could alter what feedback you receive in the future.
Here are three key things to consider when processing the feedback that you don’t agree with:
Perception is reality
How others perceive you is their reality of you. Consider what you may be doing to create that perception. Ask yourself, “what steps can I take to match the perception with the reality of who I am? ”
More on the perceptions as reality: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/your-perception-is-your-reality.html
Control your PR
Conduct a brand check on yourself – Ask yourself What do you want to be known for? Do you emulate the qualities and values that match your brand?
Many brand checks guides refer to a company or product. You can use most any of them if you just consider you as the product. Here is one that I found helpful: https://createhype.com/when-to-do-a-brand-check/
Follow up –
Now that you’ve had time to consider the feedback, write up a list of questions or points that need clarification. Put together an action plan, the path you will take to close the gaps and to improve your performance rating in the future. Schedule a meeting with your manager for the follow up discussion to review your questions and action plan. Discuss your questions and review your action plan with your boss or mentor. Finally, keep the dialog going all year. If you had a less than stellar performance review take ownership. Make sure you are not waiting for a formal review to get feedback, check back often and communicate your progress.
Set a goal to increase your self awareness. Look for instances where you are exhibiting the behavior that you want to change.
When you witness the behavior you want to change – practice the 3 R’s
Recognize it, Regroup and move forward with the Right behavior.