The reason is that if you don’t get any feedback, your brain will create your own—often skewed and incomplete. You have the natural human tendency to notice and elevate what’s positive about you and your work and minimize or ignore the not so positive aspects. Here are five ways to make the most of your annual review.
1. Give and receive observations and feedback assuming best intent. Your reviewers aren’t out to get you because they only benefit when you get better. Listen to what they say.
2. Having a development mindset, you will get more from the conversation. If you have a protective mindset, you will tend to be defensive and miss what you need to hear. Prepare yourself to get information to pursue your career.
3. It takes courage to give honest feedback. Be appreciative to the person for making the effort.
4. With both confirming and corrective feedback, don’t ask yourself not whether it’s true. Evaluating the feedback isn’t helpful because you will likely become dismissive of everything that doesn’t match your perspective. Instead, ask how is it true? What did others see and experience from me and my work that they arrived at those conclusions?
5. Honestly review what you received and determine what is most useful. Then make a plan to do something about it.
These tips and techniques are applicable whether this is your first review or a partner-level discussion. It’s up to you to make your annual review valuable.
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