We all work as hard as we can and hope that our performance review reflects the appreciation of our bosses. But what if, despite all our efforts, we sit down for an annual evaluation—and get bad feedback? Here’s how to deal with a bad performance review in a positive and empowering way.
Stay composed and professional
It is crucial that you stay calm and composed, because your reaction will make or break your boss’ opinion of you. If you cry or become defensive you will only be perceived as weak and unprofessional. You can say, “I’m disappointed with the feedback, but I appreciate the opportunity to become better.” Believe that your boss sincerely desires to improve your performance. However, if you feel your boss is just being spiteful, read this article on what to do when you can’t trust your boss.
Make a battle plan
Show that you’re committed to improvement by asking, “What can I do?” or “Do you have any recommendations or suggestions?” Specific feedback can help you understand what your boss wants and expects.
End the meeting on a positive and proactive note
Thank your boss for giving you the time to discuss your performance. You can express some disagreement, but always end with a positive statement: “I wish my contributions in other areas had been considered, but I understand your point about improving the sales figures and will certainly take your recommendations seriously. Maybe we can meet sometime soon to discuss possible sales strategies.”
If you were emotional or are confused, ask if you can meet again and talk about things after you’ve thought about the points raised.