Appraisal Coming Up? How To Make The Most Of It

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Appraisals can be a nerve-wracking experience, but if you take the process seriously by preparing in advance, you'll make a great impression on your boss, which can influence the course of your career.

Common appraisal mistakes

€ Don't treat the appraisal lightly or use it for idle chat. It's a formal process meant to evaluate your work performance, and it can lead to decisions that will have a long term impact on your career.
€ If you're questioned about a task that you didn't complete, don't lay blame on others. Instead, make sure you have an explanation prepared with reasons to back it up. Present your case based on the facts and be professional and objective.
€ You may be given negative feedback or asked to justify your work performance or shortcomings. While your natural reaction might be to go on the defensive, refrain from displaying your emotions. Remind yourself that constructive criticism is what allows you to develop. Ask for specific examples so you can address the issue when it comes up next at work. Focus on coming up with solutions by sharing your challenges with your appraiser, and ask your boss to work with you to make positive changes.
€ Avoid sitting slumped in the chair or crossing your arms. Everything about you will be evaluated, and that includes your body language and attitude. Make eye contact, try to relax, sit up straight, and slightly lean in to your appraiser; you'll appear interested and engaged.
Tips for success:
€ Bring relevant data to back up the success of your work. Address any outstanding issues from your last appraisal, and give a status update for ongoing projects.
€ Allow your boss to set the tone of the meeting by listening to what they have to say first. This will give you a good idea of their line of thinking, which will allow you to answer their questions better and focus on each issue as it comes up. If you have any outstanding topics you'd like to cover, address them at the end of your meeting.
€ If you have a colleague or client that's sent you positive feedback, present their comments to your appraiser. It might even be worth proactively seeking testimonials from those you work with. Leave it to them to write what they want, and be open to constructive feedback, too. Those you have a strong relationship with will be happy to support you.
€ If you're requesting training, give an example from your work where extra skills would help you. Be careful not to give the impression that you can't handle higher-level tasks.
€ The appraisal is the appropriate time to discuss promotions. Your manager needs to know how you want to progress so they can help with your goals. Discuss the steps you need to take to be promoted to your ideal role.
At the end of your appraisal, you should have a clear idea of where you want to go, and what goals you need to achieve in order to get there. Have a list of your goals, timelines for each one, and an understanding of your employer's expectations. Keep track of your progress on each task; this will give you the key points to discuss in your next performance review.
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