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How should I prepare for my performance review meeting?
In essence, what you are doing in advance of this meeting is preparing a positive case for yourself, and why you deserve a performance reward. In the worst case you are building a case for your defence, finding solid reasons why things may not have gone so well. It's a two-way conversation that starts with you.
A year earlier you should have agreed and been given a list of performance goals and targets as a framework for your activities in the last twelve months. Run through the list again now, and ask yourself objectively how well you think you have done against each of them:
- Did you miss, meet or exceed each individual target?
- What examples can you give to show this? (Testimonials from delighted customers or amazed colleagues could help.)
- Did you demonstrate the competencies needed to achieve each target?
- Where you missed a goal, can you put your finger on why that was?
- What would help you do better next time?
The review isn’t usually just about evaluating how things have gone – it’s about looking ahead too:
- What objective(s) do you want to focus on going forward?
- Are you happy in your current role or do you want to develop your career in a different direction?
- What support would you need to do that?
- What are your personal aspirations and priorities?
Don’t leave it up to your manager to tell you unilaterally how you’ve done (or what you are going to be doing) – it’s your review after all.