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In Praise of Self Promotion- How to Enjoy the Dreaded Performance Review

Updated: Feb 1

If you realize your best friend is a mirror, this blog is for you.

For years I watched my anxiety go up as I approached my performance review with my supervisor. I was an arrive early, stay late type of employee, yet I was always uncertain as to how my performance (and income increase) was viewed by those in charge of that evaluation. While for the most part, my reviews were great, I continued to have that pre-evaluation anxiety build up. This continued when I was the evaluator. Crazy.

A few years ago, after many reviews and a great many self-improvement books and courses, I had the Aha moment shaving. My mirror smiled at me when I verbalized how stupid of me to feel this way when the answer was right in front of me: Evaluate Myself.

Here’s my conversation with myself: “What would happen if I evaluated my performance weekly and sent a copy to my supervisor? I would ask for any comments and suggestions and make myself available to discuss any feedback. Should I ever have to wonder about how I am doing? What’s keeping me from doing this?”

“Nothing”, said the smile.

So I did, and then I went a step further: I asked my supervisor what I would need to do to obtain an outstanding evaluation on my next review. I evaluated myself weekly against that list.

Taking control of the process positively influences the outcome. Shortening the feedback cycle is always a great strategy for continuous improvement. And isn’t that what life is all about?

I use this approach in my coaching and team building sessions:

1) Ask for the scorecard used to measure your performance.

2) Evaluate yourself daily and weekly against the following:

· What did I do well?

· What could I improve?

· What did I learn or reinforce about myself?

· What am I grateful for?

3) Share with your supervisor/accountability partner/client.

4) Plan next week this week.

5) Repeat weekly.

Simple but not easy. You are probably thinking:

· “Will this guarantee that corner office?” No.

· “Will this greatly increase the odds of my success and increase my self-satisfaction?” It did for me and those who followed this approach.

When I ask supervisors and owners what would happen if their employees did this, they smile. First, an employee self-evaluation removes THEIR stress over the evaluation. Trying to remember someone’s performance over a year or even a quarter is difficult and prone to proximity bias. Second, every one of them would LOVE to have a team full of self-motivated members.

When I ask solopreneurs what would happen if they self-evaluated, they see the benefit as well. The mirror wins again.

Cheers to all you mirror watchers who take charge of your career and slay the dreaded evaluation dragon. Your best is ahead!

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