13 Ways to Bounce Back from a Poor Performance Review

No one wants to write or receive a poor performance review. Yet, your skill level, productivity, and more do not define your worth as an individual. A poor performance review is a learning opportunity to grow professionally and erase blind spots. Sometimes it can even launch your success. Here are thirteen ways you can bounce back from a poor performance review:

1. Feel your emotions

Give yourself time to react someplace away from the office. A poor performance review may come as a surprise or trigger your anger if you feel it was given unjustly. Your emotional response is valid, but it shouldn’t affect how you communicate or act at work. Calm professionalism is the best approach to improvement.

2. Seek clarification

After receiving feedback, an explanation may not always be clear, or you may feel that information is missing. Make a list of questions about your performance review and bring it to a meeting with your supervisor. Understanding the expectations and specific areas for improvement is crucial.

3. Defend against inaccurate information

If your performance review does not reflect accurate accounts, take some time during your next check-in meeting to address it. Bring any deliverable statistics, past emails, documentation, or other examples that demonstrate discrepancies in the performance review. Approach your defense as a means to clarify not justify your past actions. 

4. Take responsibility and accountability

Acknowledging your past mistakes is the first step toward improvement. Remember your weaker skills do not reflect your success. They are a chance to show how accountable and dedicated you are as a professional. Plus, a proactive attitude and a willingness to learn from your mistakes are traits of an executive.

5. What can you learn from it? 

Poor performance reviews are a chance to self-reflect. The process is intended to clearly identify your strengths and not just weaknesses. Consider what it can teach you about yourself, your workflow, organizational skills, and more.

6. Create an action plan and goals

A plan is essential to bounce back from a poor performance review. Begin by defining a clear goal, one that is specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and time-sensitive. If you aren’t sure what steps to take, turn to your colleagues and manager for advice. Some organizations also have programs to assist employees in their professional development. 

7. Find learning opportunities

There are plenty of educational resources around you. Some include asking your manager if you can attend national conferences, registering for virtual workshops, working toward a certification, or reading books from subject matter experts. 

8. Find a mentor

Mentors are often the difference between obtaining that promotion and getting passed over. With the many advantages of mentorship you can build a long-term plan with an experienced individual who supports you every step of the way.

9. Leverage your strengths

Performance reviews pinpoint more than your mistakes. While focusing on improvement, don’t neglect your strengths. Leverage them to contribute positively to your work and team. By showcasing your abilities in other areas, you can demonstrate your overall value and potential.

10. Request feedback regularly

Request feedback from your colleagues and supervisor on an ongoing basis. Performance reviews may only be annual, and a lot can happen in a year. Checking-in consistently will ensure you continue to grow and find the resources you need.

11. Stay positive

It’s essential to maintain a positive mindset throughout this process. Stay resilient, persevere through challenges, and approach each day with a proactive attitude. It can make a significant difference in how you overcome setbacks.

12. Update your manager

Maintain open and honest communication with your supervisor or manager. Keep them informed about your progress, share your action plan, and ask for their support and guidance. Regular check-ins with them demonstrates your commitment to improvement.

13. Rely on your community

Often, we feel like it is all on us to fix our mistakes. Yet, asking for help and relying on your network is how professionals get ahead. You are never alone in your career and there are people who genuinely want you to succeed.

If you want to expand your community of support, check out the International Association of Women. We are a women’s professional community who supported thousands of industry experts, entrepreneurs, working mothers, and more to reach their next level. As a global organization, you can network with women continents away all while finding the resources you need to thrive. 

Find out more at www.join.iawomen.com/new-member

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