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How To Get Over A Bad Performance Review

We've all been there.
PHOTO: istockphoto

A few months ago, my friend Sam told me she was meeting with her manager to discuss her performance. She went in feeling confident because it wasn’t like she missed any deadlines or dropped the ball on any of her major projects. Sam was surprised to find out that she wasn’t performing as well as she thought. Needless to say, she was bummed. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

Plenty of hardworking employees go through a similar experience. Here’s how you should handle it:

1. Cry about it.

I’m serious. People say it’s always better to be positive, but there’s actually scientific evidence that supports the idea that letting yourself wallow and experience the negativity of a situation motivates you to do better. And if you think about it, it makes sense. When you accept your shortcomings, psychologically, you do everything possible to avoid experiencing that kind of failure again. 

2. Change your perspective.

After you mope about it, take a step back and examine the big picture. After a performance review, even a bad one, you get some idea of what you should be focusing on. What happened? What did you miss? What could you improve on?


3. Set new goals.

When you’ve pinpointed the areas you need help in, set clear, realistic goals. Doing more than just the bare minimum is good, but make sure you’re not setting yourself up to fail for the next performance review. Make sure your goals are challenging enough to show your boss that you internalized his or her advice.

4. Strategize!

Develop a strategy so you actually meet your goals. Make a list. Create a daily schedule. Organize your tasks in order of importance. To know if you’re on the right track, don’t be shy to present your new game plan to your boss. Track your accomplishments!

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5. Ask for feedback.

Let your boss know you take his or her advice very seriously by asking for feedback once in a while. This will also help you adjust accordingly in case there’s any miscommunication. If you value your colleagues’ opinions, approach them, too. Additional feedback can’t hurt.

6. Be consistent.

If you’re trying to show your coworkers that you intend on pulling your weight and performing better, it’ll take more than just a couple of weeks of diligence. Most people focus on their own problems and careers, so don’t feel bad if you’re not getting as much recognition or validation as you had hoped. Keep at it and your work will speak for itself.

Source: The Muse

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