by Alex Baranpuria, V.P., Iveyexec.com
Handling Performance Reviews
Some companies have regularly scheduled reviews, but some don't. Furthermore, in this chaotic market, even regular reviews might get pushed off.
With the downsizing and restructuring in today's market, your job may have changed significantly. You may have more responsibility or completely different tasks added to your plate. So you want a review to make sure you're on track to meet your goals (and to confirm what these goals are in this ever-changing market).
It is important to use these reviews to your advantage; as a chance to make adjustments in your approach, identify blind spots and figure out how you can contribute value-added to others.
Take time before responding. During the review by all means ask for clarification and get specific examples so you understand exactly what the reviewer is thinking. But don't try to justify or respond to the feedback. You are getting someone else's perspective.
Even if you disagree, this is what they think. Take a step back and ask yourself: what have you done to contribute to this impression? Is this an accurate reflection of what you are trying to accomplish? If not, what might you change?
Help the reviewer help you improve. Coach the reviewer to give you the feedback you need. Ask the reviewer what s/he might want differently? If there is a communication problem, how does s/he like to communicate -- email vs. in-person, regularly vs. at project stopping points?
If the reviewer feels like goals haven't been achieved, confirm the goals AND the metrics used to measure the results. Maybe you are focusing on revenues and the reviewer cares about customer satisfaction. Maybe you think clients just want the best price but they want more access to you.
Define a concrete action plan. Schedule a meeting after the review to decide on a plan going forward. Feedback is only useful if it's used.
How do you want the next quarter to differ from the last quarter? What one goal would add the most value now and take priority in the short term? What can you do to ensure that the next review is a positive one?
If you think the process is unfair, this may mean looking for a new job that is a better fit. In that case, even a negative review is a benefit if it brings you closer to your ideal situation.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine helps people find fulfilling jobs and careers, as the co-founder of SixFigureStart®, career coaching by former Fortune 500 recruiters.
As a former executive search and corporate recruiter for over 10 years, Caroline has hired thousands of people for leading companies in financial services, consulting, media, pharmaceutical/ healthcare, and technology. She is also the co-author (along with Donald Trump, Jack Canfield and others) of the best-selling How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times 2010; Two Harbors Press.
Article reprinted with permission of Ivyexec.com
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