Q: I recently received a poor performance evaluation from my new manager. I was stunned. This manager has only supervised my performance for four months yet the performance review was supposedly for one year. How can that be? My former manager is now in another division in another state and is barely reachable by phone or email.
A: I am sorry that you were surprised by your review. No one likes to be surprised in a negative way.
When negative feedback is received, it is smart to take notes and listen. Rather than respond in an angry or argumentative manner, think about the feedback. Is there some truth to the feedback? Employees sometimes don’t realize it is difficult to give negative feedback. Managers often have some angst before sharing a negative feedback. Sometimes this anxiety causes the manager to delay the performance review, because the manager would honestly like to avoid it altogether.
My advice – take some time. Read the review. Collect your thoughts. Make some of your own notes. If you can meet with your manager with a calm demeanor, request a follow-up meeting. Try not to be defensive. Instead listen. You should know at the end of that meeting, whether you should forge ahead in your current role, or not. Sometimes an employee and a manager disagree so vehemently that the relationship can never move ahead in a positive way. Then you will have to make a choice: to remain in your current role or look for another role.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.