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Performance reviews get a bad rap in many organizations. They are often viewed as labor intensive or just a rote drill that is virtually meaningless to the employee and/or the manager. However, a performance review can be a valuable exercise for both the employee and the manager if it’s conducted effectively. Related: 5 Tips For Motivating Your Team If you follow these steps, you'll love your performance review, because it will be honest and actionable. If you’re the employee:

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Performance reviews get a bad rap in many organizations. They are often viewed as labor intensive or just a rote drill that is virtually meaningless to the employee and/or the manager. However, a performance review can be a valuable exercise for both the employee and the manager if it’s conducted effectively. Related: 5 Tips For Motivating Your Team If you follow these steps, you'll love your performance review, because it will be honest and actionable. If you’re the employee:

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NOTE: This is a book excerpt with minor edits from Mandatory Greatness: The 12 Laws Of Driving Exceptional Performance by J.T. O'Donnell and Dale Dauten. Criticism is a compliment. What is the absolute easiest response to an employee’s work? The one thing that they always agree with and takes the least time to prepare and the least follow-up? It’s ‘Great work.’ You say that to someone and they never disagree, never argue, never say, ‘What do you mean?’ and never make excuses or offer explanations. It’s fast and easy and that’s why it’s overdone. Add in those other things we talked about, like believing in positive reinforcement and being liked, and you have the perfect formula for happy mediocrity. On the other hand, when you take the time to criticize, THAT’S the real compliment. Why? Think of the underlying message you’re sending to the person you’re talking to:
  • I think enough of you that I’m willing to take my time to truly analyze your work and really pay attention.
  • I believe you can get better, that I see you as improving and growing in your work and career.
  • I care about you and your contribution to the team.
Those are real compliments and you know they are real because you are going to back them up with genuine thought, attention and effort. The other compliments, the ‘great work’ ones, are easy and you can’t be sure they’re true because they are unbacked, no gold in them, just words. Now, flip it, and let’s consider the underlying message from the boss who always praises everything an employee does. It either means that such a boss…
  • Doesn’t care enough to take the time and attention to help the employee improve, or
  • Is too wimpy or self-centered to offer help, or
  • Doesn’t know how to help the person improve.”
Mandatory Greatness is presented as a conversation between a high-powered business coach, Yvonne Wolfe (described as having “skirts of steel”), and a young manager who won a day of her coaching in a charity raffle. She observes him in his work, then offers a stark and startling analysis of him and his approach to his job: By imitating other managers he is making himself “a commodity product” destined for “inadvertent mediocrity.” She then teaches him to remake himself into a highly-valued teammate and a true leader using The 12 Laws of Driving Exceptional Performance.

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Watch this special presentation on these 12 Laws of Driving Exceptional Performance. Presenters: J.T. O'Donnell and Dale Dauten, authors of Mandatory Greatness: The 12 Laws Of Driving Exceptional Performance.   WATCH NOW ►   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The performance review. It’s one of those mile markers of the work year – like open enrollment or Girl Scout cookie time. Anticipation of an upcoming evaluation can be stress-inducing. It can be difficult to sit there as your work record is picked apart. And, especially in this economy, any shortcoming is a potential strike against you if downsizing should come around. But a performance review also can be a great opportunity to strengthen your position and shape your role within a company – if you take the time to prepare.

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Procrastination leads to missed deadlines. It also leads to stress and a poor image. Procrastination is a promotion killer with a capital “K." Procrastination is the physical manifestation of fear. Most people fear failure, criticism and rejection. It’s only normal. We all want to feel good about ourselves. Failure, criticism and rejection are not pleasant experiences. They lower our self-esteem and make us feel bad about ourselves, so we often avoid doing things that we think might lead to failure, criticism or rejection. You have the courage to do things that might result in failure, criticism or rejection. Here are some great questions to ask yourself the next time you find yourself procrastinating because of your fear of failure, criticism or rejection.
  • Why did I fail?
  • Why did I get criticized or rejected?
  • What did I do to cause the failure, criticism or rejection?
  • What could I have done to prevent the failure, criticism or rejection?
  • What have I learned from this situation?
  • What will I do differently the next time?
If you do this, you’ll be better able to face your fears and act, you’ll stop procrastinating, you’ll be using failure, criticism and rejection to your advantage and you’ll be positioning yourself for a promotion.

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If your job search isn't moving as quickly as you want, it's time to take action. Check out this guide to landing your dream job and start climbing the corporate ladder faster! LEARN MORE ► Photo Credit: Shutterstock