I recently had my bonus communication meeting and was really caught off guard by a question the partner conducting the meeting asked me.
The flow of the meeting was 1) exchange pleasantries, 2) logistical details around 401k deductions, payment date, etc., 3) summary of feedback from anonymous reviews, 4) bonus number, 5) career progression/trajectory discussion
After the partner got done reading the feedback summary of my strengths and weaknesses as observed by the people on my team (#3), the partner stopped, looked at me, and said: "What's your reaction to that?". I froze and didn't know what to say. I didn't agree with all of it (positive and negative) and was frustrated to hear one piece of feedback (that I didn't "step up" as much as they would have liked), however I wasn't sure if I could comment on those items the way I wanted without sounding like I was complaining or shifting the blame. Further, I didn't think to say something would change the bonus number I was about to hear, so I just decided to say something safe like "All sounds fair - I appreciate that people recognized x, y, z". After I said that the partner kind of looked at me like he was expecting something more and just continued. Upon reflection, it really feels like I missed an opportunity here, but I can't figure out what I should've done instead.
Does anyone have any bonus meetings similar to this? What did you say when you were asked for your reaction? What should or can you say when faced with this question? Any advice to handle it better in the future?
EDIT: If I were to comment on the item that frustrated me, I would have said something like "due to how teams were staffed, I wasn't given the opportunity to step up in the way we discussed in my last review, and that was disappointing". Basically, I was told I should try to play a bigger role on the deal team, but I was consistently staffed on large teams (think me, first-year VP, more senior VP, principal, 2 partners) and so I couldn't really have a voice.