If you’ve received negative feedback about your job performance, don’t panic. The first step to recovering is to digest the news with poise. While it’s natural to feel defensive or angry during a bad review, career coaches advise against acting on these emotions to avoid making matters worse.
Take a day or two to let things soak in. Then schedule a meeting with your boss to find out why you received a bad grade. Listen carefully and take notes. If your boss doesn’t offer specific examples of poor performance, ask for a few. This way you can learn from your mistakes and also be sure that he or she isn’t making any false or misguided assertions. When the meeting is over, thank your boss for the feedback.
Next, take a few days to absorb what you learned. Then set up another meeting with your boss to create a plan together for improving your performance. Schedule additional meetings throughout the year to discuss your progress toward those goals.
Going forward, you may be able to stave off an overly negative review by keeping a detailed journal of your accomplishments. Memos that commend you on your work accomplishments also should be filed. If someone compliments you verbally on the quality of your work, ask that person to repeat the comments in print. Then share your records with your manager about a month before he or she is expected to write up your review.
Stay calm and remember to take notes during the review process. It will help you evaluate your options later.
Give yourself a few days to process the criticism and then call a follow up meeting with the boss to discuss next steps.
Think hard about the reason behind the negative review and decide if it is something you can fix, or if it’s a sign that it’s time to move on.