10 Tips For Your ... Arthur ... ... 2004 Almost ... employed in a company of any size will be used to regular ... by their manager. It doesnít matter what level you ar
10 Tips For Your Appraisal By Arthur Cooper (c) Copyright 2004
Almost everybody employed in a company of any size will be used to regular appraisals by their manager. It doesnít matter what level you are in the company. Unless you are at the very summit there is always a manager above you to appraise your performance.
This is often a prospect dreaded by both staff and manager. It is often regarded as a formality, or a waste of time, or a time when the manager and his staff are rude to each other. But it neednít be and it shouldnít be. Handled properly it is a time when strengths and weaknesses are honestly assessed and agreed upon. It is a time when mutually agreed actions are instigated for the benefit of all concerned.
This short article looks at it from the point of view of the person being appraised. How should he approach his appraisal? How can he benefit from it?
Stop and Think
Before the time of your actual appraisal meeting with your manager, think back over the previous year (or whatever your appraisal period is) and do your own self-appraisal. How do you yourself think you have performed? What have been your likes and dislikes concerning what you have had to do? What problems have you encountered and how have you dealt with them? Where, if at all, have you fallen short of what was asked of you, and what were the reasons?
Be honest with yourself. An honest self-appraisal of your own strengths and weaknesses will put you in a good position to profit from your real appraisal when it does take place.
Confident in your own assessment of how you have performed, you can now set your own goals for the year ahead. What is it you really want to achieve? Is it a particular job you want to do? Are you looking for promotion? Do you want to acquire new skills? Think about what you need to achieve these aims. Will you need specific training? Do you need to gain experience of a particular function? Do you need to improve your people skills?
If you can go into your appraisal with firm aims and ambitions you will stand out as someone who knows where he is going. If you know what to ask for you are more likely to get it.
Demonstrate a positive attitude in your appraisal meeting. Show that you take the responsibility for your own success. Donít make lame excuses for things that have not turned out perfectly. Explain that you have learnt from your mistakes, and demonstrate your enthusiasm to improve and advance.
Donít be awkward. Donít make it difficult for your manager. He may not enjoy appraisals any more than you do. He may even not be very good at it. Ease the way for him. Listen to what he has to say even if you do not agree with it all. Donít accept without comment criticism that you not agree with, but disagree politely. Back up anything you say with reasons and fact. By all means be firm and assertive, but do it in a pleasant way.
Try to steer the discussions in the direction that you want to go, by concentrating on improvements you have made and can continue to make with the appropriate training or job experience.
Listen to, and take note of, your managerís comments. Weigh up what he has to say even if you donít agree with it. There may still be an element of truth in what he has to say, and you may learn something useful about how others see you. If you do disagree, however, it is important to say so. Donít just accept his comments passively. Make it clear that you have a different opinion, but back up your response with cogent arguments of your own to support your case.
At all times keep your cool. It is almost inevitable that you will bear the brunt of some criticism. You manager will feel almost obliged to search for something, however wonderfully you have performed during the preceding months. Donít get angry. Keep calm. Fight your corner. Stay polite.
You will come across as someone who can take criticism, but is prepared to defend himself and his views. That can only do you good.
Profit from the experience
Use the appraisal process to your advantage. Remember points 1 and 2. Go into the meeting well prepared, so that after the initial looking back you can steer the meeting towards where you want to go when you start looking forward. Talk about your aims and goals. Show yourself to be a positive, forward looking person. Say what it is that you need to achieve both your own personal aims and the goals set for you by your manager. Ask for the training necessary. Ask for the job experience you want. Ask for more responsibility and promotion. You cannot fail to impress your manager with your enthusiasm.
Your appraisal should be a positive and beneficial experience for both you and your manager. It is a time when you can both reach a common understanding of the past and both explain what you are looking for in the future. It is a time when grievences can be aired and misunderstandings cleared up. It is a time when you can reset course and secure the resources needed. In short, it is something to look forward to rather than to dread.