What To Do When You Receive A Bad Review? 4 Best Ways To Deal With It

What to do when you receive a bad review?

Take a deep breath and don’t think about handing in that resignation letter just yet. Your worst fears may just be put to rest by reading this article.

A poor 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 negative performance review.

Negative feedback after a poor performance evaluation 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 evaluator has been biased, and we may even go so far as going to the HR department in an effort to get them in trouble for holding a grudge or disliking us. But this is counterproductive and is often false.

We just don’t notice things our mistakes 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 correct yourself, the issue is too far gone, and you’ve accumulated enemies at work.

Negative emotions are normal when we receive a poor 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 what you can do about it to turn things around when you get a poor review. Learn 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 impact 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 by acquiring new skills than hire someone else and begin the training process all over again.

Everyone has off days at work.

A superior’s feedback can feel personal, especially when the one 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 also don’t know you personally, and thinking that getting a negative review is a personal attack is essentially baseless.

What to Do After a Bad Performance Review

Handling negative reviews can be challenging but resist the urge to start a job search the moment after getting a bad review.

It’s normal to feel upset and to feel as though there is some vendetta against you, especially when people you work with have had good feedback in their own evaluations. Stay calm and take the appropriate steps to get yourself on the right track so that you can get better feedback the next time around.

1. 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 better results at the next one.

Request a follow-up meeting and consider all feedback objectively.

Try to fully 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 well, and it’s a matter that will be brought up in the next staff-wide meeting. 

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

2. 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 with an interim review 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 and performance, giving you greater chance at 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 unhappy 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 interpersonal and customer service skills. On that list will be action plans 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, help an upset customer and transform their negative experience into a positive one, 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 negative feedback appropriately, we don’t just become better employees and professionals. We also improve in other areas of our life.

If we take the advice during a feedback session 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 feedback is a personal attack can help make you a better team member, friend, partner, spouse, and neighbor. It can help us be less defensive and instead, be more honest and kind to 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.

3. Use Resources Like a Career Coach

The world has witnessed numerous professionals take charge of their own workplace 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.

4. 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, 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 with 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 Negative Review? Make the Best of a Bad Situation!

Use every bit of criticism or bad experience you get from a job or from any other situation in life to benefit you. Learn from bad reviews and keep an open mind. Don’t allow yourself to take a negative review personally, and dedicate yourself to constant improvement until you earn positive ones.

A company that doesn’t offer advice and 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 share areas of improvement so that they can further develop their employees, which lead to better performance and business reputation. As a result, the company gets more potential customers that bring in more money and make the company grow in the long run.

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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