Have you ever received a less-than-stellar Performance Evaluation….? Or even worse, one you disagreed with? How did you respond? Were the results positive, or couldn’t you figure out what to say? Ready to turn this situation around and come out with a more powerful reputation, where you are now rated as the high-potential executive of the future?
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Have you ever received a less than stellar performance evaluation or even worse one you disagreed with? How did you handle it? Were the results positive or couldn't you figure out what to say, ready to turn this situation around and come out with a more powerful reputation where you are now rated as the high potential executive of the future? Let's get to it. A big welcome to Thrive with Nancy as an executive woman. Are you ready for a podcast dedicated exclusively to you? I know you're a woman who is doing well in your career and you're up for boosting the results you achieve while also enjoying the journey you recognize. It's about gaining influence right where you are in this season of your career. So your performance evaluation wasn't all you hoped. Now what? Ready for a four step plan to respond proactively and powerfully to a disappointing evaluation through wisdom, practicality, and research that works. Hopefully you've had an inkling that all was not rosy before the performance meeting. However, frequently it comes as a surprise. No matter how much effort companies exert on designing an objective performance evaluation system, subjectivity raises its ugly head. After all, they are conducted by human beings. Even the best leaders find it challenging, offering negative feedback. As a result, evaluations rarely, rarely go as thoughtfully as one would hope. Also, there's little doubt that we humans aren't particularly fond of what we perceive as negativity. As far back as 1981, William Swan found through his self verification theory that people tend to gravitate towards the relationships and settings that bolster their self view . Unfortunately, hear this clearly, this isn't the equation that generates career growth. Additionally, self-awareness isn't exactly our strong suit. According to research by Tasha Uric , only 10 to 15% of people are self-aware, despite 95% of executives believing they are. There it is again, humanness, messing with organizational policy and practice from both sides of the equation. Have you ever considered that if you only receive top marks, there is a likelihood you're not challenging yourself? This gut check makes it imperative that you embrace correction, whether it is offered gracefully or hurtfully as a crucial element for your expansion. You can't grow if you're not uncomfortable, ready to gain a new perspective that generates positive results in this area. Through pause, breathe, explore, and engage. Step one, pause. When unexpected, undesirable feedback comes your way, I almost guarantee your natural tendency is to become defensive, possibly even indignant. Such a response will never, ever win you points. Once you received an emotional hit, mentally, step back, feel the pain. Mind you, this stage can take days and then analyze what you've heard. Did the feedback nail you accurately or is it questionable? Step two, breathe . Yes. It's another level of pause that plunges you deeper into the physical You As Dr. Sellen Malco of Ohio State University, sagely put it while researching failure. When faced with a failure, it is better to focus on one's emotions. When people concentrate on how bad they feel and how they don't wanna experience these feelings again, they are more likely to try harder the next time, and I would suggest they're also looking around for solutions. This result must be why so many sages offer take a steadying deep breath in response to those innate reactionary negative feelings. Because it works, it calms your nervous system, slows your heart rate, and reduces stress and anxiety. Controlling your breathing interrupts then redirects the nature of your senses into one that supports you in responding positively, productively, and effectively. As crystal go. Describes, hear this, I love it. Your breath is your brain's remote control. Love that metaphor. Step three, explore. Now that your emotions have settled down as Stephen Covey, who is the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Advocates First seek to understand before seeking to be understood, accept the criticism at face value and then fill in the picture through curious open-ended questions and continue asking for clarification and specifics until you can wrap your arms around the entirety of the concern. The most crucial aspect is your attitude reign in your mind. You are an executive exploring for the gold of your performance evaluation. This has you entering the conversation with your mind, clean of all pre-judgment, open to finding the wisdom and gold your boss has ready for you to unlock. When you come to the table with this mindset, it aligns your body with that commitment. I hate to tell you this and I have to. It is almost impossible to generate open listening If your tone of voice, facial expressions, and body are screaming a contrary message, your nonverbal body language always wins the day. Step four , engagement. Once you've processed the detail of your performance, your job is to become the engaged executive you and your organization needs at this time. Don't give up now. We're almost there. Avoiding those who offer negative feedback is never the answer. You are facing two options depending on your decision regarding the performance evaluation. Ponder, is the review accurate? Did the advice strike a familiar chord of truth with you even if only a faintly remembered one? If it did, you have work in front of you. I expect you now have hints about what you're required to perform better or more effectively. Then you need to formulate an action plan to rectify the gap between corporate expectations and your execution. What key objectives and support will you tap into for your development plan? What systems do you need? Is it registering for a training program? Can you identify a knowledgeable mentor in areas you need to improve? Is the answer hiring an external executive coach? Whatever it is, take it on right away. A crucial rule of thumb for transforming the view of others is to ensure you communicate throughout your development journey and once you've made the necessary headway, it's time to fall on your sword. What is that? It initiates a dialogue with leadership that clearly says, This is who I was in the past and now this is who I am. From that moment on, they will be looking to affirm your transition. If you fall back into old patterns, you lose every bit of progress you've realized, so make sure you're ready for that microscopic examination because it's coming your way once you initiate this stage. Next, now ponder is the review inaccurate purposely. Frame every interaction from now on with the presumption of positive intent. If you spot any unconscious biases in your assessment, tackle them at once. How Initiate your inquiry from a position of respect and puzzlement. Hear that puzzlement curiosity with no resentment or detailed nitty gritty finger pointing. This philosophical approach honors the organization's hierarchy while it also has you voicing your point of view and it absolutely signals that you're committed to your development before the meeting. Ensure you have concrete examples backing up your continued dialogue . This is why I always coach my clients to maintain a folder on all their noteworthy wins projects that made a difference to the company as well as all those well dones received throughout the year. Such an approach is critical, especially when comments reveal unconscious biases, whether gender or the you. Don't do it like me comments, and by the way, there is a whole slew of other biases that can impact the efficacy of your review. Identifying them is amazingly simple. Examine whether the criticism or recommendation is attached to specific behaviors and accomplishments with examples rather than drawing on personality attributes. If you don't find this, it behooves you to initiate an amplification discussion. Again, remember, counter without exploring for gold mindset. We discussed. As you respectfully produce evidence contrary to the comments and ask, Are these achievements not aligned to your expectations of me? Can you explain it a bit more specifically? If you're still left unsatisfied, you have a profound career decision in front of you. Do you bump your concerns upward? Can human resources or your diversity equity inclusion officer assists you or not? What faith do you have in them? What kind of fallout can you anticipate? Your decision then is pretty clear, cut , stay in , fight, or find a healthier environment for you to succeed. Do you see the wisdom of pause, breathe, explore, and engage. Then go out and take action next time. Your performance evaluation isn't all you hope it will be interested in checking out your strategic edge coaching program to propel your career forward. It would be my honor to explore a partnering relationship with you. Check out the your Strategic Edge coaching program full of free extras such as $125 a month virtual mastermind program with other dynamic executive women around the country. You'll find it at www thrive with nancy.com/executive/. If you're interested in talking to me, click the link on the page to schedule A working through your career call. We'll take on your problems right then and there. I'd love to discuss how together we could achieve all you hope is possible. Remember, and please remember this, no one ever makes it to the top or even arrives at their next career destination alone.