Powerful Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews

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If you could buy just ONE BOOK to help you with your Performance Review, which one would it be?

Related: How To Answer Performance Review Questions – Like a Pro

There are a fair few books available, to my excitement. Surprisingly, the best book I found on this subject is actually intended for people who are reviewing their staff. Why I like it is it puts you, as the reviewee, in the shoes of your reviewer. Taking this approach means that we can engineer our we’ll use in our reviews to press the right buttons and hit the note of what our managers listen for. Hey – I’m the first to suggest that our Performance Appraisal is about US, not our MANAGER, but it’s an effective tactic to use the right phrases to ensure our message is understood – right?

The book I found is 2600 Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews: Ready-to-Use Words and Phrases That Really Get Results by Paul Falcone – you can buy it now at the discount price of $8.58 (a steal!).


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4 thoughts on “Powerful Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews”

  1. I have been working for my current employer in the finance department for almost 2 years and since the beginning to manage with the work I had to work long hours. My colleague did all the possible to gain my boss favor. To improve the created negativity I tried to be positive and help her whenever I could. I had never complain. However; she is a hardworking lady with exceptional communication skills and whenever she has difficulty at work she would cry , get private conversation with the boss and get the best sympathy and recognition. However as a coworker she has been very competitive and not supportive to me at all. She always gets what she wants. We were cross-trained for both positions in order to manage with the work load when one is on vacation. When I come from vacation my work was untouched and I had to work overtime to get the job done.When she got her vacation I did my obligation: I did all her job. My boss was always busy and does not supervise us. When I got back from vacation, I mentioned my boss the accumulated work and he ignored me.
    The last time my colleague cried was a week ago because other managers caused problem with the payroll.
    She made a point and her duties had been changed. Previously I was told by my boss that she would take over some of my responsibilities to help with my work load. Things changed. She proudly shared in private with me that she will not be involved with my work and will be helping human resources.
    I was not informed officially about the changes in her role. However, my workload will increase for the next 3-4 months and I will get an assistant for that time only which is a good news. The bad news is that my workload is not sustainable and till my manager make a decision to hire temporary help I got burned out from work.
    On our last meeting my boss avoided eye contact with me and looks at me with discuses. There had been some restructuring in the company and many people got laid off. In a week my boss will be resigning. His position will be taken over from an internal who I used to get along with. Suddenly my new boss changed his attitude towards me and started to get critical to me. At the same time the new supervisor became extremely friendly and supportive to my colleague. I had a job interview with another employer and I mentioned only about the “company restructuring and my workload”.

    Any advise on why my managers disrespect me.
    Do you think that the company that interviewed me could have contacted my current employer?
    Now I am not only tired, but depressed. and worried. Should I try to communicate and get a feedback? My boss used to be very supportive to me.
    What could have happened? My colleague is has very professional manners…


    1. Gina it is extremely unlikely that your current employer was contacted by the company who interviewed you – not without your permission. It does read like change isn’t being managed well, or communicated well in your organization. My advice is to ask lots of questions, make no accusations, listen loads, and be open-minded. Who knows – it might be not as bad as it first appears – just that communication isn’t effective. If it is then you’re within your rights to say how you feel to HR and ask for help.

      Asking for feedback is a very good idea, just as long as you are ready to receive it (i.e. negative as well as positive feedback). Read my post on ‘How to Ask for a Performance Review‘ for my advice on how.

  2. regina williams

    I am getting ready to fill out my performance review, however, there are some questions that
    I really don’t know how to answer honestly or answer in a positive light. For example, one of the questions asked, if I could keep or change one thing in the organization what would it be. If you can give me some examples of how I can answer this in a positive way would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Regina – it should always be honest… ‘Positive’ is a somewhat ambiguous word as it doesn’t always mean ‘nice’. A positive comment can be anything that creates progress and positive change. Criticism is positive, if constructive. So you don’t need to say things that are nice, but you can say positive things that are critical of your organization that could be useful for making it better. So perhaps point out where things could be improved AND give your opinion on HOW it could be improved. For example: “Staff morale is very low because we feel that we are being over-managed. Greater empowerment will give us more flexibility to do the right thing at the right time which should increase productivity, morale and customer satisfaction.” Just a word of warning – your idea/opinion of HOW your situation could be improved is just that – an idea/opinion. Be prepared for a different solution to be put in place; the main objective is to point out the issue in a constructive light. Hope that helps. Simon

      PS. This is a subject that warrants a post – so thanks for the inspiration.

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