Taking Bad performance review feedback

Your performance review is an integral part of your work life and one that you cannot avoid. And there is a good chance that most professionals no matter how good they perform are faced with a bad performance review at least once in their career.

Don?t worry if your recent yearly appraisal has not been favorable. There is a lot you can do to turn it around the next year instead of questioning the management?s decision or looking for a new job. Here are some things you can keep in mind to help you handle a bad performance review at work in a better way.

Ask Questions

Most managers will always tell you the areas where you lacked and more importantly, also tell you how you could improve your performance in the problematic areas. However, if constructive criticism is not your manager?s forte, you should always ask questions about how you can work on your weak points. But make sure to do this in a manner that does not make you sound defensive. Make sure to reflect well before you ask anything, even if it?s a day or two later if you feel that you may lash out initially.


A lot of times the image you have about yourself may differ from what your colleagues or manager may have, this can cause your review to be different than what you expected and also create issues for you to accept it. This is why introspecting and reflecting instead of lashing out or arguing after receiving a bad performance review can help. It will help you recognize any blind spots in how you are perceived versus how you see yourself. As a result of which it will be easier for you to keep yourself from arguing when seeking clarifications from your senior. Put yourself in your boss? shoes to understand why your yearly appraisal is not as shiny as you expected it to be.

Make an Action Plan

Once you have introspected and understood well from your manager about the areas you could have performed even better, make an action plan to execute the feedback. Set your goals by clearly defining them and the actions you will be making to achieve them. Ensure that your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely – this will make it easier for your manager to review them.

Polish your Skills

Once you have a plan of action, make sure you are equipped to execute in the best way possible. Look out for opportunities to hone your skills and if requires, to acquire new ones to stay on top of your game. No matter how new or long your career has been, there is always scope for learning to improve one?s value at the organization.

Take it In the Right Stride

While you should take an unsatisfactory performance review seriously, do not let it get it to you by taking it too personally. Remember that it is called a ?re-view’, something to help you re-assess the way you work and perform to improve your productivity. Instead of letting it consume you, let it be a guide to help you achieve even better things at work.

Bad performance review or not, remember to power through your work with a positive attitude and the will to offer the best to your organizations. These are yearly appraisals and can be turned around in the following year with the right tools.

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Jappreet Sethi
Jappreet Sethi, CEO and founder of HexGn, stands out as a strategic human resource management and entrepreneurial mentorship expert. Under his leadership, HexGn, known for its dynamic community of serial entrepreneurs and industry experts, has trained over 5000 entrepreneurs from 20+ countries, reinforcing its global impact in entrepreneurial education. Sethi’s extensive experience includes strategic government projects, developing e-commerce strategies, and authoring white papers on technology in internal security. His international workshops have spanned 15 countries, aiding participants and clients in raising investments. His tenure as head of People and Process Consulting at Jones Lang LaSalle India and his role on JLL's global Diversity board reflect his deep understanding of organizational dynamics and transformative change. A certified facilitator with an impressive track record in leadership development, Sethi’s expertise in process management is evident in his achievements as a Six Sigma Black Belt and master lean practitioner. He’s also a visiting faculty member at leading institutes, a prominent speaker, and the founder and lead editor of the acclaimed HR blog, humanresourcesblog.in. Recognized as a top HR influencer, Sethi's unique blend of strategic HR expertise, global mentorship, and organizational transformation insight makes him an invaluable asset in guiding companies through growth and innovation.


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