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Your Next Performance Appraisal: Make It Work For You

In the rush of everyday work, it can be difficult to think about your own career development. An appraisal is a key opportunity to identify your strengths, areas that need improvement and plans for your future.

The questions below are designed to stimulate your thinking and to help you prepare for and get maximum benefit from your next appraisal session. Think about your performance, your progress, and plans for the future. Appraise yourself.

  • What are my major accomplishments for the past year?
  • How well have I performed since the last review?
  • What were my key objectives and did I achieve them?
  • What did I do really well in the past year?
  • What problems did I encounter? How did I handle them?
  • In which areas do I think I could improve my performance?
  • What skill sets or competencies do I need to update?
  • Do my manager and I agree on priorities? If not, why not?
  • Are all my capabilities being utilized in my present position?
  • How can I better utilize my talents and skills in my present position?
  • How well do I get on with others on the team?
  • How well do I get on with others in the company?
  • What do I find most interesting in my present job?
  • What do I find least interesting in my job?
  • Do I have any interest or abilities which could be better used?
  • How committed am I to my job, my department, this company?
  • What are my key goals for the next six months?
  • What are my key goals for the next year to three years?
  • What support do I need to accomplish these goals?
  • What do I consider to be the important abilities which my job requires?
  • What would I want feedback on?
  • Am I open to honest feedback? If I feel squeamish, what can I do?
  • What are the ways in which my supervisor can help me to do my job better?
  • In what aspects of my job do I feel I need more experience and training?
  • What have I done for my personal professional development?
  • What are specific things I need to do in the next year for my professional growth?
  • In what ways would my present position better prepare me for assuming more responsibility?
  • When I was last appraised, what went well? What went badly?
  • Am I clear on the objectives and the structure of the performance appraisal?
  • Have I put together a development plan for the next months or years?
  • Marcia Zidle, the 'people smarts' coach, works with business leaders to quickly solve their people management headaches so they can concentrate on their #1 job - to grow and increase profits. She offers free help through Leadership Briefing, a weekly e-newsletter with practical tips on leadership style, employee motivation, recruitment and retention and relationship management.

    Subscribe by going to and get the bonus report "61 Leadership Time Savers and Life Savers". Marcia is the author of the What Really Works Handbooks - resources for managers on the front line and the Power-by-the-Hour programs - fast, convenient, real life, affordable courses for leadership and staff development. She is available for media interviews, conference presentations and panel discussions on the hottest issues affecting the workplace today. Contact Marcia at 800-971-7619.

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