What To Do When You Receive A Bad Review? Best Ways To Deal With It

What to do when you receive a bad review? A bad performance review can be devastating, especially when it comes as a total surprise or when we’ve really tried our best to do well in the performance review. We often have a much different perspective of how well we do our job than our bosses do. 

However, additional perspective into our work performance can lead to greater success at work, but it doesn’t make it any easier to handle when we are given a poor review.

Negative feedback after a poor performance review can be hard to handle, and sometimes it can make us feel like giving up. We may tell ourselves that other people make similar mistakes all of the time, and they didn’t get critical feedback, so there’s no point in trying.

We may decide that the boss has been biased, and we may even go so far as going to the HR department in an effort to get the boss in trouble for holding a grudge or disliking us. But this is counterproductive and is often false. We just don’t notice things we do incorrectly as easily as a boss or co-workers can.

Unless you have tangible evidence of a grudge or workplace discrimination on behalf of your boss, taking this route is a dangerous one that can lead to an investigation, and by the time you calm down enough to see you need to course-correct, the issue is too far gone, and you’ve accumulated enemies at work.

Negative emotions are normal when we receive a negative performance review. No one likes to hear bad news. A negative review can make it hard to see the valid points given by your boss, and the sad truth is that many of us fail to see the positives about ourselves unless we receive a glowing review.

This article will focus on when you get a poor review and what you can do about it to turn things around. It will discuss how to handle constructive criticism and what to do so that you will leave your next performance review feeling awesome.

What to do when you receive a bad review

A Negative Review Can Feel Personal

A bad review at your place of employment, especially if it’s a job that means a lot to you, can feel like a personal attack. Just a few things can go wrong in an evaluation to make you feel like the negative reviews are less of an overall evaluation of your job and more a personal attack based on one bad performance. A bad review can have a significant influence on your self-esteem and your relationship with your boss.

You need to remember that constructive feedback by a superior or boss is meant to give you advice. Incorporating feedback well can lead to positive reviews in the future, and employers would rather see you improve at your job than hire someone else and begin the training process all over again.

Everyone has off days at work. Boss feedback can feel personal, especially when the boss conducting the performance reviews isn’t a hands-on superior, or you don’t know them very well. In this instance, the best career advice that can be given is to tell yourself that if you don’t know your boss that well, then they don’t know you that well, and thinking that getting a negative review is a personal attack is essentially baseless.

What to Do After a Bad Performance Review

Resist the urge to start a job search the moment after you have had a bad review. It’s normal to feel upset and to feel as though there was some vendetta against you, especially when people you work with had good feedback in their own evaluations. Stay calm and take the appropriate steps to get you on the right track so that the next review is a good one.

Address The Issues In A Professional Manner

If you’re not sure what went wrong in your review, ask for feedback from the person who evaluated you. This is key in improving your performance targets and getting a better evaluation at the next review.

Request a follow-up meeting and consider all feedback objectively. Try to understand why you didn’t do well. Maybe you just didn’t take enough risks. Perhaps you took a few too many. Perhaps no one did exceptionally, and it’s something that will be brought up in the next staff-wide meeting. 

Asking for answers and practical information is important to doing better at work, and it will show your boss that you want to do well and that you have a genuine desire to improve and excel.

Ask for More Input Regularly

Meet regularly with your superior, and start tracking your own performance so that you can improve and compare notes with your boss. Develop a performance plan so that you can stay on track, and consider asking trusted co-workers for advice.

Numerous professionals who have found great success in their careers have employed a development plan and often asked for feedback. Meeting often with a superior means that you open yourself up to receive vital information that’ll improve your skills, performance, and success.

When you know that you need to improve, putting a plan in place will help you get to where you need to be. Show your boss your plan at a follow-up meeting and see if they have any input.

For example: You get a less than stellar review, and you work in the service industry, you can request a meeting with your boss. At the meeting, your boss tells you that you are great at the technical side of the job, but you come off as a bit cold to the customer, and the customers have complained to the management about it on a few occasions. 

So you sit down and write a step-by-step plan for beefing up your personal and customer service skills. On that list will be things like: Engage with at least three customers a week and give them an experience rather than just a transaction, smile at everyone who walks into the business and ask them right away how they’re doing, relate to customers when you can and be as personable as you can be. 

You can show this performance improvement plan to your boss and ask for even more advice and ongoing feedback. Your professional development is key to your improvement and being able to climb the professional ladder.

Learning to Deal with Criticism Improves Other Relationships

When we learn to handle feedback and criticism appropriately, we don’t just become better employees and professionals. We also improve in other areas of our life. If we take the advice given in a review and we have a good attitude about it, we can apply a lot of that to our personal lives.

What to do when you receive a bad review

Learning that not every bit of criticism is personal can help make you a better friend, partner, spouse, and neighbor. It can help us be less defensive people and more open and kind people. When we have an understanding of how a less than positive review feels, we can extend more grace to those we know and work with who are in similar positions and offer our advice, or at the very least, our support.

Use Resources Like a Career Coach

The world has witnessed numerous professionals take charge of their own workplace power by putting a focused effort into utilizing the resources available to them. You can work harder and work smarter, but you can always do even better by asking for help.

A certified career coach can help you from the first stages of a job search all the way to retirement and everything in between. Some corporations have these professionals on staff for their employees to make use of, and if they are not available to you, you can find one online.

You can bring a review to the coach, and they can give you invaluable help. They can provide concrete examples of how to best go about improving at work, as well as staying unbiased because your job does not affect them. Ongoing feedback by a professional coach can help you get into your boss’ mind so that you can constantly work towards professional improvement.

Make Use of a Corporate Psychologist

If your company has a corporate psychologist on staff, we strongly urge you to utilize their services. If they do not have one on staff, you can find one online or ask a regular psychiatrist or counselor for a referral.

A corporate psychologist doesn’t just delve into your performance and skillset at work. They can help you connect to your emotions, handle them appropriately, and offer advice on keeping your work life and personal life separated. They can also help you identify the areas of yourself you need to work on to improve your job performance.

What To Do When You Receive A Bad Review? Make the Best of a Bad Situation!

Use every bit of criticism you get from a job or from any other situation in life to benefit you. Learn from it, don’t allow yourself to take it personally, and dedicate yourself to constant improvement.

A company that doesn’t offer advice and seeks to tell you what areas you should work on is a company that doesn’t keep its own best interests in mind. Companies offer the evaluations and criticisms they do so that they can improve their employees; therefore, they can improve the company. So that they can make more money and the company thrives.

When you go to work for someone, you are an investment that the company has made. Remember that. Evaluations, staff meetings, training seminars, and coaching is the company’s way of protecting their investment.

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