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(MCT)—The annual performance review strikes fear and loathing in the hearts of most workers, even those who believe they’ve worked well and hard.

There’s usually some disconnect between what we see in ourselves and what others see in us, even if both worker and manager have a reasonably good working relationship.

The good news is that workers can minimize some disagreements.

Writing in the March newsletter of The Five O’Clock Club, a career advice organization, counselor Cecelia Burokas offers tips to influence an upcoming evaluation.

To paraphrase Burokas:

-Understand the review form, the process and the timing so you know what’s being measured and when.

-Keep track of your accomplishments over the review period and share them in writing before your manager writes the review.

-In your note, include benefits to the organization. Remember: Your job isn’t all about you. It’s about the value you bring to the company.

-If you know there was a disappointment, share facts that explain it and include ways your performance improved since the problem.

-Share your own goals. It speaks well to your attitude and desire to be a valued contributor.

-In your face-to-face review, hold your tongue and temper. Listen to each point before you jump to respond.

-Make sure you understood your manager. Paraphrase: “What I heard you say is…” in order to know if you got what the reviewer intended.

-Ask questions. If your review said you were rude in meetings, get specifics so you know what problems or misperceptions you need to correct.

-If you believe something was unfair or wrong, be calm and factual to refute it. You might counter with praise from others on the topic.

-If your emotions rage, admit that you’re angry or very sad and ask for time to absorb the feedback before completing the review meeting.

-End on a “team” note by asking how you can help your manager or work unit be better.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at The Kansas City Star.

©2012 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services