Handling Stress for a Performance Appraisal

by Gina Scott

Many employees regard performance appraisals as stressful events. Even if you feel like you've achieved success in your position, being put on the spot during a review can create anxiety. There are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the appraisal meeting with your boss and lower your stress.

Preparation is Key

Adequately preparing yourself beforehand relieves some of the pressure. Think about your job responsibilities and formulate your own list of strengths and weaknesses. If you have a previous evaluation to reference, show how you've improved on the deficits listed in that report. If you know one of your weak spots will be criticized, have your own plan of action for improvement in place to present to your boss. Also list all of your significant achievements since your last review.

Questions of Your Own

Turn the stress of the performance appraisal to your advantage. Use the meeting with your boss to show enthusiasm about your job and ask about opportunities to grow in your position. Think of a specific situation that may be hindering your department's progress and ask your supervisor how he thinks you can contribute positively to overcoming this issue. Expressing this interest will tell your boss that you appreciate working for the company and value your job.

Big Picture

Another method for alleviating stress is to look at the big picture. While it's true you're under the microscope when being reviewed, the criticism is likely not a personal attack. Performance appraisals occur company-wide, so you and your colleagues are in the same boat; even you boss is probably being reviewed. See an appraisal as an opportunity to learn more of what your boss expects of you. If you're given a specific road map, you'll have the chance to succeed in the future.

Pre-Emptive Strike

Perform a mock appraisal on yourself. If you have been given a questionnaire to fill out beforehand, make note of the points that you'll likely cover during the evaluation and have your own responses ready. Also set your own goals for improvement and be prepared to talk about them during the meeting. Working on these projects will not only relieve stress but also impress your boss.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.

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