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Got a Bad Performance Review? Here Are 10 Tips to Improve!

Receiving a negative performance review can be a distressing experience that can make you feel like a failure and the end of your career. In reality, numerous people who get negative evaluations can make the required changes and turn things around effectively. Here are ten useful tips to consider to avoid bad performance review by Jobeling:

Understanding the Review

bad performance review

A performance review is not a judgment but an opportunity for improvement.

Remember that this isn’t just about what happened during the last few weeks or months; it’s also about looking into the future and figuring out how best to handle situations as they arise (or even before they happen).

Emotions and Reflection

When you receive a bad performance review, keeping your emotions in check is important. Don’t take it personally! A manager may have had a bad day, or they could be having personal issues that are affecting their work. It’s important not to blame yourself because this will only cause frustration and anger.

Instead of taking the review personally, try to see it from your manager’s perspective. Remember that it reflects their feelings at the time and not necessarily your abilities or character. Consider thanking them for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback.

Seeking Clarification

  •   Ask for a meeting. If you need clarification on why your boss gave you the performance review they did, ask them to sit down with you and explain their reasoning. Make sure that this meeting takes place in person rather than over email–It’s important for both sides to have the ability to observe each other’s physical cues, including facial expressions and body language.
  •   Ask for follow-up meetings as needed throughout the year so that both parties can discuss any issues or concerns as they arise (or before they become too big).
  •   Seek help from colleagues who may be able to shed light on your situation by offering different perspectives or insights into what might have happened during their interactions with others at work which could have had an impact on how things played out during this particular period. In addition, if any major events were going on outside of work (for example, illness), consider asking someone else who knows more about these situations than yourself because sometimes even small things like “I didn’t know anyone was sick” can make all kinds of difference when trying understand why something went wrong somewhere along our journey together here on earth!

Identifying Strengths

After recognizing the aspects that require enhancement, it’s essential to shift your focus towards the favorable aspects. Identifying strengths and building on them will help build your confidence, making it easier to identify areas where you can improve.

Setting SMART Goals

bad performance review

The SMART approach to goal setting is a popular one. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Achieving goals is easier when using this approach, as it involves setting specific targets that can be measured against others in similar roles or industries, as well as against your own progress from previous years. This is in contrast to vague statements such as “I want to improve at work” which lack specificity and are less likely to be achieved.

Developing a Plan

Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to create a plan of action. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  •   To attain this goal, what kind of resources will I require, such as time, money, or assistance from others?
  •   Who can offer support in reaching my objectives, and what role will they play (such as mentors or coaches)? When should I start collaborating with them on this project, task, or assignment?

Seeking Support and Mentorship

bad performance review

If you’re finding that your performance review isn’t progressing as you had hoped, it may be beneficial to seek assistance. Fortunately, there are various methods to achieve this:

  •   Having a mentor can provide you with valuable advice and support. They may have encountered similar experiences and can share what has worked for them. Furthermore, a mentor is genuinely interested in your success and will help guide your career path accordingly.
  •   A coach is similar but more business focused than a mentor would be (although they often overlap). Coaches work with clients on areas of their lives or careers that need improvement, such as leadership skills or networking strategies. The goal of coaching is usually short-term (between three months and one year) but long enough so that clients make significant changes in their lives during that period–and sometimes even beyond it!

Expanding Skills and Knowledge

To enhance your work performance and stay ahead, it’s crucial to broaden your skill set and knowledge. This can be achieved by pursuing training opportunities, attending relevant events, reading materials from industry experts, seeking guidance from experienced colleagues or mentors, and ultimately, learning from your own experiences.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my 20+ years in this field, it’s this: You’re always young enough for education. Even if there isn’t time during the day to attend classes or workshops related specifically toward improving skills on the job, there will always be time later at home when we can take advantage of resources available online through websites like Coursera or Udemy, where thousands upon thousands of courses are offered free-of-charge (including many offered by Ivy League schools).

Enhancing Communication Skills

bad performance review

Leaders and managers must possess excellent communication skills, which can be challenging to perfect. If you’re struggling to enhance your communication abilities, here are some useful tips to consider.

  •   Make sure you understand the feedback. Ask questions if parts of it need to be clarified or clarified.
  •   Be careful not to interrupt the other person while they’re talking – wait until they’ve finished before speaking again (or let them know that it’s okay for them to go on).
  •   Use active listening skills when conversing with others: listen attentively; be respectful; don’t interrupt; clarify any points of confusion; paraphrase what was said so that everyone knows exactly where everyone stands on an issue/topic at hand; thank them after each interaction!

Tracking Progress

bad performance review

When striving to enhance your performance, it’s crucial to monitor your advancement. You can achieve this by utilizing a basic spreadsheet or applications such as Google Sheets or Excel. Arrange weekly meetings where both parties can evaluate each improvement area and discuss progress–this will guarantee that both sides are progressing towards achieving their objectives!

After a few weeks of practice, this task should become routine for you. Then, consider exploring other areas for improvement, such as monitoring the time spent on various projects and distinguishing between tasks that require less effort but provide greater outcomes from those that require more effort but have lower returns.


It’s important to give serious consideration to reviews, as they provide valuable feedback for improving your performance. If you happen to receive a negative review, don’t let it overwhelm you. Take a moment to breathe deeply and employ these helpful tips to turn the situation around.

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