That time of year we all dread – notification from your manager that your appraisal is imminent. It doesn’t matter how well you think you’ve been doing, if you’re like me you’ll probably always be at a loss about what to say when the time comes. Do you go into the appraisal ‘bigging’ yourself up and risk coming across as arrogant or do you put yourself down and undersell yourself? And whilst I’m on a role – the question about ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ – how are you supposed to answer this question?
There’s not a lot you can do to avoid an appraisal, unless of course you want to move jobs just before it’s due and that’s a bit drastic seen as they generally happen every year.
Let’s look at a few tips to try and make the process a bit easier for both yourself and your Manager.
- If you feel you need it use your appraisal to ask for more training or coaching. Usually appraisals are a good starting point for identifying training needs.
- Never compare your appraisal with your colleagues. Remember that you may do different jobs, be at a different level and have different priorities therefore your appraisal should always be personal to you.
- Share your experiences with your Manager – did you struggle with something, did you feel that you did something well, do you feel like you’d like to expand your skills in a particular area
- Listen to your negatives – they’re not intended as an attack against you but a way of identifying areas where your performance lacks or you may need extra training
- Listen to the feedback that your Manager gives – if you disagree, discuss it but never lose your temper in doing so. Remember that you will still have to work with this person after the appraisal so losing your temper is not a good idea.
- Learn from your mistakes – everyone makes them, listen to what you did wrong and discuss what you both need to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again
I don’t think appraisals will ever be something that we will look forward to but remember that you only have one to attend each year – your Manager may have to do numerous!!