It’s time for the year-end performance reviews. While it is great to receive a glowing nod from your boss, even a negative review can be a tool in helping you build your career. Turn a bad review into something positive by taking action to work on your faults.
“You can turn it into a positive by being open about it and use it as a learning experience,” explains Thomas Brodbeck, social media manager, of social media branding company Site Strategics. “We work with businesses on a daily basis on getting and collecting reviews and people are afraid of the consequences of a negative review. But you can turn it into a positive with a little work. You must learn from the review. If there is a problem, you need to correct it.”
Don’t freak out. “ When receiving a bad review, the first thing you need to do first is to stay calm,” advises Brodbeck. “If you get a bad review and it upsets you, the worst thing you can do is to respond inappropriately. Take a few moments and calm down.”
Thoroughly go through the review. Take notes on what you may disagree with and set up a meeting with your manager. Arrive at the meeting with a cool head and be prepared. Discuss these points with your manager and find out why she feels this way about your work performance. Then come up with a plan on how to improve in these areas. ”Create a development plan with your manager (which is the real purpose of a year-end review) that should include recommended courses, case studies and scheduled mentoring,” executive and performance coach Bettina Seidman, president of career assessment company SEIDBET Associates.
Besides your boss, it might be a good idea to seek counsel from HR. “Identify a human resources professional outside of your company to talk with,” offers Seidman. You may also want to seek outside help. “Talk to a career coach or a mentor and request objective input on steps you might take to improve,” suggests Seidman. Books on performance evaluations and improvement might also come in handy.
If you take action, your next performance evaluation should be a lot better. “This is key: demonstrate to your boss that you are motivated to improve and will continue working with the company,” concludes Seidman. Adds Brodbeck, “The best thing that could happen from the situation is to learn from it.”