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Make It Happen Tipsheet
Career Management and Life Balance

Mirror, Mirror on the wall...

Most people dread the thought of their annual performance review. We imagine the worst: our managers will dredge up examples of our poor performance, then set impossibly high goals for us for the coming year. Of course, it doesn't have to happen that way - and in fact, we can use this focussed time to solicit feedback that can make a real difference.

One technique is to review yourself first. Get a blank copy of your employer's evaluation forms, and take an honest, objective look at how well you've done. Go through the exercise of writing your own review - from the perspective of your manager. Don't forget to document the impact of your achievements, as well as the areas where you need to improve. Once this is done, tell your manager (if it isn't the practice already) that you have done a self-assessment, and that you would like to begin the performance review meeting to discuss any differences between their assessment and yours.

Doing this is a critical step: it changes the tone of the meeting from "download" to "conversation".

This week's action plan: There is no reason why you need to wait til the end of the year to do this type of self-assessment -and in fact, there is no reason why you shouldn't do it right away. It's a great way for you to make mid-course corrections - whether or not you share the results with your manager. And to keep yourself on-course, calendarize a self-assessment every 3-6 months. Mirror, mirror on the wall, your annual review will be much better after all.

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Make It Happen
Copyright 2006 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved. Publication date: Feb 28, 2006