At the Discussion Table
Before you enter your superior’s office, remind yourself that you’re not going in for a debate or argument, and that you’re a professional and you’re there to discuss things in a mature and adult manner. Control your emotions, and avoid raising your voice anytime during the discussion. If your manager has talked about some of your positive aspects in the review, you can use them to start the conversation on a pleasant note. Then come to your point, and without making any allegations discuss the problem areas. Ask questions, if you need clarification. Bring in your reasons and evidence to support your case, but at the same time you must listen to the explanations your superior puts forward. Find common grounds on which you can work together to avoid any such problems in the future. And, finally, request that he revise the performance feedback, if appraisal policies permit him to do so.
What if the Discussion is Unproductive?
Despite all your reasoning and requests, if your superior just dismisses your case while you still feel the feedback is unjust, then you might want to consider protesting. Also, if the superior has refused to discuss things despite your repeated requests, you need to escalate the matter one level up. You can either put in your views in the space reserved for employee comments on the appraisal or you can push your written appeal to the next higher authority or the human resource department.
Knowing how to react to a negative performance feedback will have a major impact on your career growth, especially if you chose to continue working in the same organization. If it is nothing serious and is not likely to hinder your growth, you should let it go and concentrate on your performance. However, if things need to be sorted out, then use these guidelines to reach a peaceful resolution.