All too often Performance Reviews are experienced as an unavoidable and rather meaningless exercise. The manager is unskilled at speaking the truth, whether praise or criticism. The recipient is unskilled at asking for more. Both people may be very well intentioned but the time spent seems perfunctory rather than empowering.
So, here’s a list of questions you can pick and choose from to advance the usefulness of your own Performance Reviews when you are the recipient. And you can think through your answers ahead of time when you are the manager and have to provide reviews for your team members.
They are in no particular order and some of them will not apply to your particular circumstance.
* What is your criteria for the evaluation you’ve made of my performance?
* What preparations have you gone through to rate me and give me feedback?
* Please describe in detail what I can do in the short term to improve.
* What will it take for me to be considered for a promotion, or a raise, or a bonus?
* Can I get a coach, or a mentor? And if so, what is the process?
* Are you open to feedback on what more I’d like from you going forward?
* I’d like to mentor someone, would that be appropriate?
* What are the top 3 priorities for the most important long term improvements I can make to enhance my career?
* In what ways am I a good fit for this company’s culture? Where do I not fit in quite so well?
* Please describe how you see my performance: with my team, in meetings, handling my successes and my limitations.
* Please describe how you see my talents and abilities.
* How can I best advance my career in the company, and beyond the company?
* What does this company most need from me at this time?
* How is my performance score calibrated?
* What impact have I had on my team, the organization, and the company?
* Where do you see me on the promotion ladder?
* What are my weaknesses and what can I do to grow stronger in those areas?
* How do I best represent the organization to the rest of the company?
* What do I need to do to expand my scope of responsibility?
* How do you feel about my taking the initiative to open up this discussion with you?
As you can see, some of these questions won’t apply in every instance. And in many cases you’ll want to change the language to fit the terms used in your company.
But, the key here is to take charge of your career and by getting the most from your performance reviews you let your manager know how serious you are about it. –Judith Sherven, PhD