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Being Appraised


Being appraised can be a satisfying and developmental experience: or it can be pointless and demoralising. To some extent it’s up to you which it is.

Ideally, appraisal and self-appraisal are a continuous process. Most people like to feel they’re doing their job well, and like to see the evidence of that. The appraisal meeting can be a good opportunity to consolidate this evidence, and to have a conversation about future development or  career possibilities.


What does it take to have a good appraisal meeting?


There are four things to think about before the meeting


1. Your current job: you need to be clear about what it really is and how you do it. Make a note of:

  • What your job is and what doing it well looks like
  • What other people realistically expect of you in your job
  • To what extent you meet those expectations
  • Your own commitment to the job and what you find satisfying about it
  • Any training or development (or resources) that would help you to work more effectively

2. The past year/six months: you need to have a clear picture of how you've performed.

  • Consider what your progress has been like.
  • Jot down a summary of the story and reflect on what you’ve achieved
  • Make a note of specific incidents where you have done really well.
  • Reflect on what you've been learning or getting better at.

3. The organisational context for the appraisal: how does it work here?

  • Check whether the organisation has a set of competences against which you’ll be assessed. If there is such a set, go through it and think of times when you have observably demonstrated each competence (and times when you’ve clearly fallen short)
  • Go through the appraisal form if there is one and be sure you are completely familiar with it, and can describe your work in the terms used on the form.

4. The appraisal meeting itself

  • Give yourself some time before the meeting to collect your thoughts as above.
  • Be clear to yourself about what you want to have achieved by the end of the meeting – and what you need to do to get that to happen.
  • Find out what your manager wants to tell you, and listen carefully. Whatever you think of it, it’s useful information.
  • Be sure that you communicate what you want your manager to hear about your own perspective.
  • Pay attention to being at your best. Don’t ignore the obvious points such as breathing, standing or sitting straight, speaking in a clear voice neither too fast or slow, showing that you are listening when the manager is talking.

And after the appraisal - give yourself a proper de-briefing.

  • How did it go?
  • What did you learn?
  • To what extent did you say what you wanted to say?
  • To what extent did you stay calm or get flustered?
  • What was the outcome of the meeting?
  • What are your next steps?             

Copyright Joanna Howard 2003/2007

If you wish to use any of this text, please email me

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© Joanna Howard 2006 | disclaimer | site by Agent8 Design Ltd