If like most of us you are a cog in the wheel at a
cage cube before your know it. Read on for some tips
It’s an awkward conversation to have so you’re going to have some awkward banter to start, but then again all office banter is pretty awkward - so after you spend 5 minutes talking about how excited you are about the 50 game NHL season or how you always new Jodi Foster played for the other team you’ll get hit with ”So how do you think you did this year”. Don’t panic this is where you launch into your script which has 3 basic elements:
- Generic positive statement about how the year went
- Something that you acknowledge you could’ve done better
- Generic statement about how you’re excited for the year ahead
The key is to highlight your strengths first and then identify an area of improvement before your manager has the chance to. No one’s perfect so don’t act like you were. Coming out with guns blazing and showing that you know where you messed up means you’re not delusional and you know where you need to improve.
If your performance management system includes more than just the conversation, i.e. self eval that you review with your manager, there are some ways to game the system there too. In a lot of cases, you can fill out the self eval with just about anything that sounds coherent and generously rate yourself. Most managers are too busy to read through and change anything so they will just give the sign off and you’re done.
If you’re not so lucky and your manager actually cares about these numbers then you can play an odds game. Usually you’ll be evaluated on a few dimensions (What, How, etc) giving yourself a score for each. As a rule, always give yourself higher marks than you deserve in at least one category (of course you’ll need to be able to back it up). You will usually get away with this. Think of it this way, if you give yourself an average ranking you then put it on your manager to justify ranking you higher. If you give yourself higher marks and you sound reasonably credible, your manager would have a harder time justifying giving you a lower rating. Don’t go marking yourself as a perfect employee either, this is not something to be abused, use this carefully.
Whatever the case may be, treat your review like an interview: prepare your talking points before hand. Be prepared to pull out examples of why you did well and at least one thing you can improve on and how you plan to do so. Remeber, don't stress, these things are just a formality any way...