For many of you in the corporate world, annual review time drives you crazy. No more. Here are proven tips on what to do before your annual review, as well as some other ideas about what you might do afterward, and what your annual review might really mean to you when all is said and done.
Let’s get started with my first tip, which you can use right away, no matter when your review is.
What to Do Before Your Annual Review
Tip #1: Ask for Feedback Always
After both being the reviewer and the reviewed many times in my career, I started to notice one important thing. The more I was prepared–no matter which seat I sat in–the better the annual review went. And the best way to be prepared was to ask for feedback–all the time.
There’s nothing more frightening than being surprised with negative criticism in a review. But you can prevent being surprised by making sure you are constantly inviting people around you to share ideas and observations about your performance and habits.
How to ask for feedback? Here are a few ways to ask for—and get—honest answers, rather than generic platitudes.
- “It’s great working with you on this project. I’m curious—what one or two things do you observe that could help me make a stronger contribution?”
- “Would you do me a favor? I’m working on growing my ability to [whatever you’re trying to develop], and I’d appreciate it if you’d share your opinion on how I’m doing after [this meeting/this week/this project closes, etc.] Would you be willing to do that?” [Then be sure to ask them for that opinion after the meeting/week/project, etc.]
- “What other support or actions do you need from me to make sure you can be successful for our work together?”
- “What other feedback do you have for me?”
Don’t be afraid to ask. Remember, though, that hearing their opinion does not mean you have to automatically agree, or do what they suggest. It’s just data to consider.
In the moment, all you have to do is to listen and say, “Thank you–I appreciate your insights.”
When you’re ready, you can process the data in your head and mash it against what you know to be true for you–your goals, your values, your superpowers. Then, you can decide for yourself whether you want to make any changes or improvements, or whether you just want to be ready to help others understand why you choose to do things the way you do.
Most people are afraid to ask, thinking they don’t want to know what someone else thinks or feels. But you’re not most people. Put on your red cape, and start asking for feedback on the things most important to you today!
(Have feedback for us? Leave a reply below or start a discussion on our Facebook page! And watch for Tip #2 soon!)