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Bad Review? Don't Get Bitter; Get Better.

published December 17, 2007

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( 2 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
A bad review can bring a lot into focus depending on how you react. You can challenge your boss's claims, nurse a deep, quiet hatred for your boss, think about finding a new job, or turn the situation into something positive.

Read on to find out how you should handle a not-so-pleasing review and how to turn it around to work in your favor.

1. Stop and Think.

Before you fly off the handle and chew out your superior, take in his or her criticism. Try to look at the situation from your boss's point of view. In many situations, we may be able to justify our actions for ourselves...but not for our bosses or their bosses.

For example, you may have a perfectly legitimate reason that you haven't gotten any new clients for the past month; however, the facts speak for themselves, and your excuse cannot compensate for the lost business. It's just the way the harsh world works, and sometimes we have to suck it up and accept it.

Another thing you should do is put the criticism in perspective. You may be someone who is used to getting stellar reviews and praise for your work. That usually means that when even the slightest bit of criticism comes your way, you blow it up and make it worse in your mind. Yes, it's no fun to have your perfect record tarnished, but it's not the end of the world.

Also, some firms or companies require bosses to find a few areas where the employees can improve, sometimes cornering bosses into coming up with less positive aspects of the employees' work. Despite how relevant the concerns actually are, just remember that the bottom line is to help you improve as a professional.

2. Calm Down!

This is probably the most valuable thing you can do for your reputation with your boss and at your firm. It's a real test when a boss tells his or her employee something negative. This is where your true colors will emerge.

Your boss will see your body language, speech, and entire demeanor change when he or she delivers the negative review. Some tips for handling this the smart way are:
  • Keep eye contact. You want to remain respectful, and you want your boss to know you're paying attention and take this seriously.

  • Shut your mouth. Let your boss complete his or her thoughts before you chime in with your rebuttal. It's never easy for an employer to deliver bad news to his or her employees.

  • Build a case. Be careful what you say when it's your turn to dispute the claims. Don't blurt out what you want to say unless you have substantial facts to back it up. You can always talk about your review at a later date if you need to build your case.

  • Thank your boss for the feedback. Yes, this may be hard, but it shows humility and professionalism, whether or not the review is accurate.
3. Fix the Problem.

Depending on the severity of your bad review, you should consider taking a few steps to improve. If the review is pretty negative, you should have seen it coming. If not, you might want to consider arranging more time to talk with your boss.

When problems occur within our personal or professional lives, lack of communication is usually to blame. Make sure that you and your boss regularly communicate about your current projects and cases. That way, if any potential problems arise, he or she can help you resolve them before they surface.

You should also sit down and give yourself an honest review and then compare that with what your boss said. Critique yourself and then devise a plan of action to improve in those areas that are weak. The point is not to get another warning about the issues your boss has, so do what you can to make it better.

4. Pat Yourself on the Back.

All in all, if you're able to handle a harsh review with grace, that can say much more than the bad news in the review. You can't change the fact that you got a bad review; it will happen to all of us at some point. Just rest assured that your positive approach in this type of situation can outshine the negative critique of your performance.

published December 17, 2007

( 2 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.