It’s that time of the year again when you would have received the much awaited appraisal letter…. For some, it would be a sheer delight but for some a heartbreak! So, what do you plan to do? Just sit back and pine? Or twiddle with the thought of barging into your boss’ cabin and demand a reply? Or simply quit your job?
A negative appraisal surely leaves a sour taste, but does not imply failure, provided you know how to react. The natural instinct makes you angry and frustrated. But the idea is to stay calm and get a grip on your emotions. Receiving a negative appraisal can unnerve you a bit but it can also help you identify and defeat the hurdles in your career path.
So here are few tips for turning a negative into a positive:
The toughest thing is getting past your emotions! Criticism often evokes extreme reactions and when it’s about something as personal as your work, it’s natural to become defensive. Try to be logical and sensible- that is what will get you out of there. Lashing out at your manager will swiftly turn a challenge into a crisis! So take a minute and collect your thoughts. If you want to proactively do something about it, it is best to take it up with your immediate manager.
Assess yourself objectively:
Ranting and raving will get you nowhere! Most of us don’t really get a bad appraisal without some valid reason for the same. Be realistic and assess yourself objectively and think of areas where you could actually improve. Acknowledge the areas where you feel you didn’t perform and pick your battle for the areas where you feel the manager has been unreasonable.
It is significant to comprehend criticism, whether you agree with it or not. And if you don’t, then discuss with your boss and ask for details if you feel something is vague. And try to get exact instances, explaining that you want to understand their observations better, not defy them. If needed, correct genuine errors that your manager might have made in your review by giving quantifiable data. But don’t be defensive and give pointers to support yourself.
How to go about it?
The best way to deal with a poor appraisal is to first have an honest frame of mind and then introspect your performance vis-à-vis the targets. A discussion with your boss can surely help you put things in perspective and help you understand your appraisal better. For instance, you might have met your quantitative targets but not the qualitative ones. If there is a huge gap between your judgment of yourself and your supervisor’s assessment, it’s time for a reality check. Try and take the negative remarks as constructive criticism and use this as an opportunity to improve. A bad appraisal is not the end of your stint in the organization. Take it as a challenge and push yourself to better your performance next year.
Plan a strategy:
Actions speak louder than words! Develop a strategy which translates your crucial evaluations into exact actions. For example: If you are blamed for not meeting deadlines, reschedule your calendar and reorganize your every day priorities. Once this is set, tell your boss about it. This might ease their concerns and also involve them in your approach. Also ask for constructive feedback. Bosses are forever busy and don’t generally have the time to appreciate you of your good work. The bad stuff needs fixing but the good stuff shouldn’t slither by unnoticed! So, if you feel like your appraisal was all negative, just ask your boss about things that went well that year. That will not only remind him of the good stuff you’ve done but also give you a small shot of self-confidence in the course!
An honest appraisal can help you identify and conquer obstacles that have been holding you back. Accept the positive criticism and work towards addressing it. You will definitely give yourself a higher chance of getting a stronger review the next time around.