Performance Review Season is Upon Us!
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
Deep Breath. Inhale...Sigh. We’ve got you covered; let’s go through how to prepare for your review. Our mission is to relieve some of your anxiety, clarify preparation steps, and review intentions so you are confident heading into the review and ready to receive the feedback for the following year.
Step 1: Assess your performance Review your duties: get success data compiled(hopefully you’ve been charting this all year). Review collaborative successes: present it as a success story: problem, actionable steps taken to overcome, pinnacle moments of leadership, results, and moral of the story. Review independent project successes: focus on how you supported yourself with research, resourcefulness, strategies, and grit. Review instances of leadership: retell key moments of successful decisiveness. Review growth moments: how did you research, solicit support, learn, and implement newly acquired skills from this "failure". Failure to us is defined by ignored learning opportunities. So reviews to take accountability where it is needed and rebrand failures as “growth moments.”
Step 2: Putting it all together Building a story of success is much more engaging than a performance review slideshow. Yes, include hard numbers to back up your story, and re-read our blog post on storytelling
to make your yearly review a story of success.
Step 3: Maintain a Team Perspective
You and your boss are on the same team: Accountability is a key to a new path forward. Step into your boss’s shoes and hear how excuses for any errors put you on opposing teams. Hear them out, validate their view, offer actionable solutions and invite the opportunity to make a game plan to for moving forward. Again, it’s a good mindset to have that you are on the same team as your boss and they want you to succeed.
Step 4: Set Outcome Goals from the Review
Ask: What do I want? What am I doing that justifies it? What is the benefit?
Example: You want a new role. You have shown all the strengths and examples that make you well-suited for it. You’ve shared growth moments of being in new situations/new problems and how you overcame, responded and moved through them. Now be direct.
Direct Language: "I met the goals you outlined at the beginning of year, am I on track to max out my bonus?” Or “I know this past year presented some challenges, but after reviewing my game plan for the year to come, can I count on your support to reach my objectives?”
Step 5: In the Review
Ask questions, take notes and repeat key points back to your manager for clarity. Get the most out of this undivided time with your manager. You want your manager to end the review knowing you’re engaged and ready to implement their directives for the year.
Step 6: After the Review Afterwards, take some time to review your notes. Then, create a plan for implementing your boss’s feedback and identifying you've met these objectives for next year's review. Break your plan into monthly and quarterly objectives, so you can make steady progress over the next 12 months.