Doing what you can to prepare for a performance review puts you in the best position possible for a smooth experience, but unexpected bumps can certainly arise. If you and your boss haven't been communicating well, that leaves an open door for surprise comments that could shake your confidence. Don't let these minor moments distract you from getting the most from your review. Check out these tips for handling potentially sticky situations.
- Ask questions: Your boss may assume that you know what she's talking about when she tells you you're doing a good job. Ask what stands out about your job performance, and if she's dissatisfied with the job you've been doing, ask for specific examples and how you could do better next time.
- Tell your story: If you think your boss's negativity stems from a misunderstanding, ask her, "I have a different perspective on this situation. Would you like to hear it?" Steer clear of defending everything your boss brings up. Sometimes, it's more appropriate to say, "I hadn't looked at it that way. I'd like to try that next time."
See three more tips for your review when you read on.
- Play it by ear: If your review is negative, save the topic of your future with the company for another day. Go ahead and bring it up if you've been given a positive review.
- Don't sweat the small stuff: Leave the minor comments alone, but if something comes up that you think could threaten your job or promotion, ask, "I need a little perspective here. How serious is this?"
- Follow up: A negative review can throw you off guard, so before discussing specifics it's OK to say, "I need some time to think about these things." You may consider asking to meet again in a few weeks to discuss how you've been improving.