People are often polarised about how they feel regarding an upcoming appraisal – this is usually related to the culture of the organisation they work in i.e. how it is carried out. Those working in a more open and positive environment tend to see them as a more positive experience.

Many rightly see it as an opportunity to see how they are doing and whether that keeps them in line with their career goals, as well as what pay rise or bonus they might get, if it is that time of year. However, there are more opportunities that come from an appraisal, so in this article I will look at those, as well as seven top tips to get the most out of your appraisal meeting.

Potential opportunities of your appraisal meeting

  • To hear third party feedback – what others think of you, what they perceive your strengths and development areas to be.
  • To identify your gaps for moving to the next stage in your career.
  • To build your relationship further with the person conducting the appraisal.
  • To negotiate regarding future work and potentially remuneration.

Seven top tips to keep in mind when preparing for your appraisal

  • If you have the choice of where to sit, consider the atmosphere you want to create/the relationship you have with the appraiser. Sitting directly opposite someone is immediately more formal.
  • Brainstorm what has gone well for you since your last appraisal in advance.
  • Consider what has gone less well since your last appraisal but importantly what you have learnt from it before the meeting.
  • Think carefully about what you put on any forms you need to submit in advance, they will stay on your file.
  • Consider any criticism/development areas that are likely to come up and how you might respond. Once in the meeting, if you hear something that you instantly have a negative or defensive reaction to, don’t be afraid to say you want to reflect on it and come back to discuss later. Read more on the danger of reacting too quickly here.
  • Prepare to get clarity on any feedback you receive if it could be ambiguous. For instance, some of my clients have received feedback that they need to improve their ‘presence’, whilst we all have an idea what this is, it is important to be sure what someone means specifically by that – when, behaviours etc. If you don’t, you are likely to take no action or incorrect action.
  • Prepare questions you want to ask about your career path and development areas. Appraisals should be conversations!

If you want to discuss a more tailored approach to preparing for your appraisal or discuss the outcome of one you have just had, contact me for a complimentary, no obligation Career Booster session where I can help you in more detail.

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