Preparing for an appraisal discussion
- It is important to prepare mentally and emotionally by doing the following:
- Remind yourself of the purpose of the discussion.
- Reflect on your performance over the past year and what you perceive to be your strengths and weaknesses.
- Write down your accomplishments and your goals for the next year. Give a copy to your boss a few days before the meeting.
- Reaffirm your own self-worth and remind yourself that any criticism you may receive.
- Picture in your mind how you wish to conduct yourself during the discussion.
- Get a good night’s sleep the evening before so you will be alert and fully present.
During the Discussion
Here are some things you can do during the discussion:
- Make sure you understand the basis of your appraisal discussion from the start. For example, your Boss should review your job description with you and go over any goals and objectives which the two of you agreed upon at the beginning of the discussion period or at your last appraisal discussion.
- Sit up straight in the chair and look your Boss in the eye.
- Listen carefully without interrupting: Being able to look at and accept your weaknesses is a sign of strength and maturity.
- If you don’t understand how your boss arrived at a particular evaluation, ask for further explanation or specific examples. Never put your boss on the defensive. Just ask questions with a goal of achieving a common understanding and view of your performance.
- Speak from the facts about your performance and the results you have achieved.
- Discuss with your Boss in detail: Before the appraisal is over, make sure that you have a clear understanding of areas you need to improve and how you are going to do it. Discuss options with your Boss.
- Finish on a positive note: An appraisal discussion is an opportunity for you and your boss. Take advantage of that opportunity.
After the discussion
- If you need time to think about something your Boss said, don’t feel like you have to respond immediately.
- If you don’t agree with the discussion, write down your thoughts and attach them to the appraisal document. Your human resources department probably has a procedure to follow if you disagree with your appraisal.
- There is an old saying, “if you and the other person are in the same boat, he will not make a hole in it.” Remember that you and your Boss are on the same team working towards the same goals. Bosses want their employees to succeed, because when you are successful, they have done the job they were supposed to do. So give your Boss a chance. You won’t regret it.