Q: I am supposed to write a self-assessment on my performance at year-end. I dread writing this because my supervisor is very critical of me and others on my team. I know he will pick apart this document. Do you have any suggestions?
A: I am sorry that you feel such angst about writing this document. When you write this document, it should represent a balanced summary of your performance. Definitely mention what you have done well and cite specific accomplishments. For example, if you closed a large client include a note that says, “After several months of negotiations, I was able to close ABC, Inc. which is estimated to bring $126K in revenue in the first quarter of 2015.” Focus on results.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you didn’t close a specific deal (which you expected to), you should include that you expect to close that piece of business in 2015. If there is a legitimate business reason why you didn’t close this prospect, mention that as well. Do your best to keep emotions out of the document. Write a draft and put it down for a few days and then re-read it. It also may be helpful to have a trusted friend read it.
In some companies, employees are expected to meet and review this document with their supervisor. If you review this document with your supervisor, be prepared to share examples of your strong performance. Keep your tone professional and appropriate. Be careful that your body language isn’t conveying defensiveness. Even though you may disagree with your supervisor’s feedback, listen attentively. If you receive a positive comment, light up! Be grateful. This type of response may prompt your supervisor to share more encouraging feedback.
Whether we agree with it or not, and as trite as it sounds, feedback is a gift. Take it, accept it and understand why it is being shared. You don’t have to agree but you should be open to listening to feedback.
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. Click here to read about more employment topics in The Job Doc Blog at Boston.com.