Ever feel like you’ve stuck your foot in your mouth? Or an entire shoe store? It always happens at the worst possible time!
That’s what happens to many professionals during their performance evaluation (and other critical career conversations at work). It’s often hard to know what you said that made you less credible, you just know things were fine one minute, and then everything seemed to go downhill.
It’s so easy to do. Your choice of words, tone of voice, even your body language makes a big difference in how your words are perceived by another person. This gets amplified with a power dynamic in play (like speaking with your boss). It’s even further amplified when it’s a crucial conversation – and performance reviews can feel crucial (it’s only your career’s future and financial outcome that hangs on this conversation).
If only there was a way to avoid common communication pitfalls in these types of conversations!
Check out these 7 things you should NEVER say in your performance evaluation to keep your career nicely on track:
Always check your body positioning (uncross those arms), your facial expression (neutral but positive) and eye contact (consistent but not creepy). Your tone of voice matters too, so if you need to take a moment before you respond to get it just right, then do it; an open and curious tone of voice supports credibility when you need to navigate communication in a performance evaluation.
There is a lot you don’t control in a performance evaluation, yet you control the most important person in this conversation – you. Even if the initial review doesn’t go as planned, know you can ask for time to think, reflect and circle back to topics you want to re-visit. In doing so you are empowering yourself to get the performance review you deserve (and gets you to your dream career).