Surviving a Poor Job Performance Evaluation

A poor job performance evaluation is a lot like other negative experiences such as failing a class, getting evicted from your apartment or having the bank foreclose on your house or causing a car accident. It can make you feel frustrated, bad about yourself and very negative about your chosen career and where your life is headed. Here’s a few things you can do to survive this nightmare.

*Remain calm. Tears and angry shouting at your boss do not help the situation. No one likes to give a poor job performance evaluation, so he or she is likely to be on edge and defensive also.

*Take a lot of notes. This will calm you and give you information that you can use should you have to complete a self-assessment or meet with HR.

*Close your mouth and listen. Listen hard. You’ll want to stop listening at the second or third point your boss is making because you will be so busy thinking up strategies to protest and refute. If you want to make a case for yourself, you need to be aware of where you are perceived to have deficiencies.

*Stop the evaluation process any time you are not clear on what is being said about you. Make your boss clarify and give concrete examples of the point he or she is trying to make.

*Tell your boss you have heard and understand the whole evaluation and ask for another meeting where you can discuss strategies on how to improve. Go away from this experience, and set yourself some goals for improvement, and not just finding another job. Leaving for another job may land you with the same problems all over again if you do not do a reality check or a self-assessment.

*Do not skip the written self-assessment if you are required to complete one. Many workplaces make you sign the poor evaluation and give you no chance to address the problems. The self-assessment is your opportunity to ask yourself if you have done the best job you can and where are the areas in which you can improve, as well as making your case for disagreeing with a particular point.

*Get a written copy of your evaluation. Some companies will refuse to actually give you a copy, which is illegal in some states. It is your evaluation, and you have the right to have access to it.

*Set up a meeting with HR instead of complaining to co-workers about your evaluation if you feel it was unfair. Your co-workers can’t help you and may even distance themselves from you because they do not want to be associated with a poor performer. Plan your strategy in advance. This is where your note taking and a written copy of your evaluation will help you. Emphasize your accomplishments and address why you think you’ve been evaluated unfairly.

*Remind yourself that you are not a bad person just because you received a poor evaluation. Think of your accomplishments and where you would like to go from here. What else would you like to accomplish? What are those good things out there waiting for you?

*Be nice to yourself. Being evaluated is hard work. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Leave work behind for awhile, and take some time for yourself and do something fun and relaxing.

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