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How to Deal with Performance Appraisals

Many jobs have periodic performance appraisals. Some companies do them every six months and others only once a year. Appraisals aren't just about your supervisor presenting you with a list of things you've done wrong; instead, the idea is to help you develop into the best employee you can be as well as ensure that targets are being met. Don't take negative feedback personally. To impress your reviewer, show him or her that you're willing to cooperate to and to grow as an employee.

When you go into your review, be prepared for anything. Act professional and dignified throughout the entire process. Anticipate comments and prepare your responses as best you can. Sometimes, it's good to review the policy manual before your review to remind yourself what your company expects. Be open to discussing any problems brought up. Don't get too defensive, but do explain your behavior. Be prepared to admit when you did something wrong and apologize for it.

When facing criticism, deal with it maturely. Listen carefully to what is being said and try for an optimistic and creative discussion, while still understanding that your supervisor or company policy has the last word. If you don't understand something, ask for clarification. Your reviewer won't mind spending some time helping you understand what you need to work on.

If you're dissatisfied with the goals your reviewers suggests or think that they're not workable, express your opinion tactfully. You don't want to offend your reviewer or come across as belligerent, but do state your side of the story if you feel it's not being acknowledged. Avoid an argument: know when to step back and let go.

Be sure to both ask for advice and volunteer your own constructive suggestions about how to solve any issues at hand. Write down the reviewer's recommendations and implement them as soon as possible. This way you'll show your employer that you're willing to work on your weaknesses. Being upbeat and proactive after a review could possibly lead to future raises and more positive comments in your next performance appraisal.

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