How Do I Handle a Disappointing Performance Review?

Turn something that can be discouraging into a growth opportunity
Andrea Alexander

Andrea Alexander, Technical Service/Development Manager, Shin-Etsu Silicones of America

If you have a disappointing performance review, be sure you have a highly detailed discussion with your manager as to why you did so poorly. Ask them for specific examples and if they have suggestions on how you can do better. Disagreeing with a review is ok, just be sure you have a constructive discussion, do not go on the defense. It is impossible for your manager to know every little detail concerning your job performance, so you could have a valid reason why some particular situation went poorly, or even was misinterpreted. Include a statement of commitment in response to this review, and outline your plan for improvement and how you will hold yourself accountable.

Rampur Viswanath

Rampur Viswanath, ACS Career Consultant

Having a less than perfect performance review is disappointing however, the best thing following that is to probe into lessons learned and understand what can be done to improve. Remember that a bad review can happen to anyone, even the best but for different reasons. Focus on your strengths and how to utilize them to turn things around.

Michael Dong

Michael Dong, Principal Consultant MWD Consulting

Regroup, and learn from the experience. It’s important to take some time to really process the feedback so that you are able to move forward without emotion or defensiveness.

Kockyee Law

Kock Yee Law, Network Innovator Xinova, LLC.

A poor review is understandably disappointing. It is all right to show that you are disappointed, but showing anger or even confrontation will only make matters worse. You should keep your emotions in check and try to understand how your performance is being measured or evaluated. You should also ask direct questions on how to improve your performance in the future.

This article has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

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