Life is not always as we want it, especially the professional side of it. We all have our ups and downs, and we are not machines to perform at our best all the time. You are probably reading this article as you approach your quarter review or appraisal meeting. This article is to help you know how to handle the situation in which you hit rock bottom with a bad appraisal.
Take a breath
As silly as it sounds, it is one of the best tips that ever existed. If your appraisal went so badly, don’t make it worse, and take a breath. According to many studies, researches, and scientific trials, taking a breath will lower your stress levels, and hence you can control your first reaction, especially if you don’t handle criticism well (that’s another issue we can talk about later).
You might feel angry, irritated, frustrated, and sad at that moment. It’s totally normal to feel those feelings, but don’t let them control you and make you look worse.
The worst thing to do in a feedback session is to interrupt your manager. They’ll probably go through the good and the bad, probably starting with the bad to end the feedback session with a final good impression. Bring a notebook and a pen to the session and take notes about whatever they say. This shows dedication and willingness to learn and get proper guidance.
While you are listening, don’t just listen with your ears. Be mindful of what your manager is saying. Open up to the advice or concerns they bring up in the meeting. Consider their advice. They might be seeing something out of your sight. Make it an opportunity to gain a new perspective and see how your performance and work are perceived by other people.
Remember to ask yourself the right questions. What has gone badly? The appraisal or your reaction? The work you already got feedback for or your externally fed self-image? Look into what your manager said, and differentiate between reality and your perspective. Get back to the facts. What actually happened? What outputs did you really produce? Did you really do your best? Was your best in the wrong direction? What was the right direction?
Be mindful of the topic
It’s easy to get defensive, especially when you didn’t expect a bad appraisal or feedback. Don’t fall for it.Click To TweetIt’s easy to get defensive, especially when you didn’t expect a bad appraisal or feedback. Don’t fall for it. Don’t go off topic defending why you delivered that report late or finished that project carelessly. Don’t reason your professional shortcomings with personal issues. Your boss has nothing to do with your personal life. In addition, it would have been better if you communicated your personal circumstances beforehand so they could be understanding. If you bring up your cousin’s funeral or your sister’s illness for the first time in the feedback or appraisal session, it will definitely appear defensive and you will be mostly perceived as an unreliable employee.
Take responsibility for your actions
Your colleagues are not always the reason and the client is not always the villain! Instead, take responsibility for your actions even if you don’t like them. That’s a way to learn and grow.
A bad appraisal is not always bad
No, I am not trying to make it look good. It really has a bright side. You really can benefit from a bad appraisal even if it comes from a nitpicky manager. A bad appraisal always offers room for questions and improvement. ِAsk your manager about what you lack to meet their expectations. You can discuss with them how you can improve your skills. Get recommendations about topics you can self-study or online courses you can enroll in. You are alive, which means you are learning, you are changing, and you have a choice to make that change for the better.
Be vocal and give feedback too
Maybe your manager is not just a harsh one, but also unfair! You don’t have to take it or accept this. You can always give feedback too. It’s a two-way meeting. Maybe there is a misunderstanding that needs clarification. Maybe there are miscommunications that led to you performing less than what’s expected from you. Clarify things, and be proactive so you can resolve any conflicts.
On the other hand, your manager’s job is to manage your work, so maybe you are affected by the way they manage you. Maybe their style of management is not compatible with your style of work. Maybe there is micromanaging and this makes you feel distracted or handicapped and can’t reach your full potential. Your manager NEEDS to hear your opinion so they can be better. Good managers always appreciate feedback. Good managers always appreciate feedback.Click To Tweet
If your manager is not that good, you need to rethink this point. Though, if you feel that your manager is treating you unfairly and there is no way to resolve this, you can always check your company policy and know more about situation regulations so you can play by the book.
Did we miss any useful tips that can make a bad appraisal go smoothly? Share your insights with us in the comments below.