Posted On October 29, 2015

Unlike much of day-to-day work life, performance reviews are a time to focus specifically on our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, successes and failures, and the goals that we did or didn’t achieve.

All of which (let’s face it) can be a little confronting!

Admitting that we didn’t do the things we committed to in our last performance review doesn’t feel good. We may have really intended to do that course or learn from that amazing project manager, but other work got in the way.

Alternatively, it can be a time to celebrate our achievements and feel satisfied at having done what we set out to do.  It’s also a great opportunity to consider the future and set new objectives.

Turning our performance objectives into achievements, however, means we need two things: to know what we want to achieve and to commit to getting there.

Here are my top 5 tips to get both:

  1. Picture yourself 2 years from now – For some of us, it’s difficult knowing what we want to do long-term. Find a quiet place and spend a few minutes imagining yourself at work two years from now. What would you like to be doing? What do you want to have accomplished? How would people in your workplace describe you?  Your answers can help to draw out what you want, so you can plan how to get there.
  2. Prioritise your development plan – Your development is important. Make sure it happens by applying the wisdom of Stephen Covey and not letting emergencies railroad your priorities.
  3. Break down big goals – Reflect on your plan and break down any tasks that feel too big to achieve; they will soon feel do-able!
  4. Organise it NOW – Lock tasks from your plan in your calendar to make sure they stay front-of-mind and actually get done.
  5. Speak up if your priorities change – Performance plans should not be set in stone; they are part of a broader ongoing dialogue with your manager about what you want to accomplish. Don’t wait for your next performance review to discuss any changes to your career priorities.

With clarity around our development goals and commitment to achieving them, we can all be celebrating when we have our next performance review.