Whether it happens on an annual, bi-annual or quarterly basis, the performance review can install emotions of fear and loathing in all of us.

Depending on your organisation, & more to the point the manager carrying out the meeting, there can be all kinds of level of expectations from an output perspective, from a constructive & helpful meeting (whatever the commentary) to a mere fruitless "tick on the to do list".

If you're looking to progress & to make sure you have all of your career options open, it's the latter which you need to try & avoid.

Whether you're expecting a glowing review, or worried about the battle ahead, preparation is always key to making your performance review a positive career remedy & refresh.

The article below is excellent, not only in terms of a top list of tools to prepare for your armoury, but some really useful links to delve into those areas more fully.

Key points

Negative Feedback – learn how to take it & how to manage it.  If you’re honest with yourself, negative comments should never normally be a surprise.  Review time is a great place to discuss it privately (rather than in front of colleagues in the heat of the moment) & to really get to the crux of how to improve behavoirs or effectiveness. 

Even a near flawless performance should also include a certain level of criticsm.  Embrace it, how else will you ever improve or achieve anything new?

Know your achievements – if they’re tangible numbers you need to know them inside out & back to front, if you can’t do that in your own performance review, the only other place you’re going to shout about it is in your next job hunt, but does that need to be the case?

But remember the stuff that isn’t so black & white too, where have you contributed to success?  Helped others?  Developed & implemented ideas?  Changed or evolved processes?  Implemented efficiencies?

Goal Setting– are your current goals & measures appropriate? Realistic?  Too sky high and you may never get the review “pat on the back” you’re looking for, too achievable?  Maybe it’s time you asked for that promotion….

Awkward Questions – need to address your salary?  Personal differences?  Company performance issues?  If not now – then when?

Get a route forward – make it productive. Set some goals and get them agreed with your reviewer, when’s the next promotion / pay rise?  Personal development plan?  New skills training.  Get takeaways & feel that you’ve got something towards.