As the year draws to a close, employees around the country are sitting down for one of their hardest meetings of the year: their year-end evaluation. While many will likely receive compliments on their performance, constructive criticism usually comes along too.
When the negative feedback is valid and insightful, it can actually be beneficially, giving you clear ideas on how you can improve in the coming year. However, when the negative feedback feels blatantly false or unjustified, dealing with the situation can become a challenge.
Luckily, there are things you can do to address any disconnect between what your manager is telling you and what you believe is true. If you disagree with points in your year-end evaluation, here’s how to handle the conversation.
If you are being criticized for a lack of timeliness, but you haven’t been late to work (or even a meeting) in your life, that is understandably frustrating. Similarly, if you are told that you don’t take the initiative but personally spearheaded multiple projects that fall outside of your job description, you’ll likely be a bit at a loss for words.
Whenever you receive feedback that doesn’t seem to align with your performance, ask your manager to provide you with examples of your missteps. This helps you gain clarity regarding their perspective and may lead you to hear details that didn’t immediately spring into your mind.
In cases, where they can’t think of an example, this betters your position. It either gives you grounds to discuss how the feedback may not be valid (or accurate) or may lead your manager to realize that they are mistaken, eliminating your need to participate further in the discussion as the misalignment practically resolves itself.
While it may seem counterintuitive, thanking your manager for their input is a smart move. Ideally, constructive criticism (even if someone inaccurate) is a sign that they want to see you succeed and they are trying to steer you in the right direction.
Take a moment to thank them for their feedback and let them know you appreciate their insights and bringing the point to your attention.
Once you’ve completed the first two steps, you are in a position to respectfully disagree. While it can be a nerve-wracking experience, largely because it may make you seem argumentative or closed to constructive criticism, it is necessary if your manager is genuinely out of line.
However, only openly disagree if you can provide clear examples that contrast with the feedback. That way, you are backing up your position and making the reason behind your perspective easier to see.
Ask Follow-Up Questions
After respectfully disagreeing, don’t end the conversation there. Instead, if your boss responds calmly to your disagreement with their assessment, include a question that can further the discussion. For example, if you were accused of not taking the initiative, you can ask if there is an approach that can make your efforts more immediately visible. This shows your willingness to engage in further conversation regarding the perception of your actions and are hoping to find a viable solution that meets everyone’s needs.
By following the tips above, you can disagree with your year-end evaluation in a respectful, professional, and constructive manner. If you’d like to learn more, the professionals at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions or concerns with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you. If you’re ready to start a new job this year, click this link to check out our newest openings!