Under Review

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and project manager living and working in London. She run The Otobos Group, a project communications consultancy specializing in project management.

It’s the time of year for annual performance appraisals — make or break time for promotions and pay raises. But if you’ve been too busy with managing projects to think about preparing for and, yes, managing this meeting, what can you do in the days before your review to maximize your chances for a favorable outcome?

Just as you would prepare for any other important project meeting, your annual performance appraisal requires your attention and input. “One issue I see pretty regularly is a manager or executive who spends so much time attending to every detail of a project, but then when it comes time for a performance review, he or she walks in with no plan,” says Matt Eventoff, a communications expert and president of PPS Associates. “This leads to verbal missteps, lack of a message, and often lack of success, simply from not preparing as that manager does every day for every other project.”
A quick bit of preparation before the meeting can help. “Be clear on what you want out of the review,” says Les McKeown, author of Retaining Top Employees. “Know what you want and make sure you have a discussion about it.” That might be working on a bigger project next year, career development in the form of project management training, or taking on more responsibility by managing multiple projects at the same time or moving into …

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