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How to avoid self-assessment sabotage

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Q: “As part of my performance review, I have been asked to write a self-evaluation, which makes me very uncomfortable. For the past eight years, my manager has completed the appraisal form by himself, so this process is new to me. Since I tend to be very self-critical, how do I keep from sabotaging myself?” Apprehensive

A: These days, self-assessments are a standard part of most formal appraisal systems. While they make some people uneasy, they also provide an excellent opportunity to highlight contributions and accomplishments. A performance review is no time for false humility.

One way to make self-praise feel less like bragging is to present it as feedback from others. For example: “People say that I am very organized” or “I have received several compliments on my customer service.”

When obvious problems must be acknowledged, be sure to describe how you resolved them. For example: “After losing the Anderson account due to delivery delays, I initiated a review of our order fulfillment system and eliminated several unnecessary steps.”

To reduce your anxiety about the self-appraisal process, simply view it as a chance to tell your boss what you have done this year. After all, if you want him to recognize your achievements, you have to be willing to describe them.

Have a performance review coming up? Here are some suggestions for getting ready: How to prepare for your performance review.

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