Performance reviews are scary, even when receiving excellent feedback. But what if you don’t receive glowing remarks? What if your boss shares less than ideal feedback with you? A negative review can truly feel like a slap in the face, especially if you didn’t see it coming. However, it is possible to not only recover, but come back even stronger after a less than glowing review. Read on to learn our tips for bouncing back.


Allow Yourself to Process

Chances are, you feel embarrassed, ashamed and a little defeated. This is normal and okay. No one likes being reminded of their faults, especially by an individual in authority. If you are in the meeting, stick with a simple “I understand, thank you for the feedback”. Don’t immediately react and try to explain yourself. Instead, give yourself time to process your emotions and thoughts. You want to ensure that when you do come back to your boss, you’re ready to have a neutral, constructive conversation about how to successfully move forward in a way that works for both of you.


Get Honest with Yourself

This tends to be the hardest part. But get really honest with yourself. Your boss didn’t pull that negative feedback out of thin air. There had to be a definitive reason they had less than glowing remarks to share. Sit down and write down what they said, and then make a list of what you did, or didn’t do, for them to reach that conclusion. Did you miss too many deadlines in a row? Were you taking days to respond to emails that would have taken 5 minutes to read and reply to? The first step to becoming better is recognizing your faults. Only then can you make a plan to fix them.


Create a Game Plan

Now that you know where you’ve messed up, it’s time to define your plan to becoming better. For every negative item on your list, write out an actionable step you can take to improve. If you struggled with being late to meetings, write out how you will add a reminder to your calendar for 5 minutes before each meeting to ensure you’ll be there on time. If you procrastinated on a past project, create a time management chart that you can apply to future projects to ensure success.


Share with Your Boss

Let your boss know that you’ve taken their feedback to heart, and share your plan to improve. This doesn’t have to be a long, serious meeting, but just a few minutes to say “I appreciated your feedback and am ready to get things right. Here is how I’m going to do it”. The way we handle criticism is incredibly indicative of our character, and if done correctly, this conversation will wow your leader. However, be mindful that actions speak louder than words. So only share if you know that you will truly follow through. Because let me assure you, they will be watching.



About Debi

Debi is a coach to high performers, leaders and business owners wanting to achieve more and grow beyond what they believe is possible. Known for her clarifying insight and a pragmatic approach, Debi brings her clients to the next step by asking the right questions during strategy development and supporting them during strategy implementation. With experience in management, recruitment and employee development for various industries, she has a wide scope of expertise and will confidently guide you towards a successful future in your career.


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