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How to Respond to Negative Comments in a Performance Appraisal

how to write a negative performance evaluation

Try not to get emotional during the negative comments.

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A performance appraisal can be a nerve-racking experience, particularly if your boss is highly critical of some areas of your performance. Your manager is likely to rate your performance in a variety of areas, discussing pros and cons related to goals, teamwork and attitude. When he’s done with his assessment, you should have time to respond to his comments.

Be Prepared

Go into your performance evaluation armed with statistics related to your performance and your own measurements of how well you did achieving your goals and objectives. If you received letters of commendation from department managers or clients, bring those along. Consider in advance what criticisms your boss might have about your performance and be prepared to defend yourself in those areas. For example, if

your boss has spoken to you about your sales performance on several occasions since your last assessment, prepare for your meeting with sales reports and other information that detail the successes you've had.

Acknowledge Accurate Comments

If your boss makes negative but true comments, don't attempt to make excuses or justify areas where your performance should be better. Instead, acknowledge your manager’s concerns, provide an explanation, if appropriate, and offer suggestions for moving forward in a positive way: “I understand your concerns about my sales performance. I expected more of myself as well. Getting clients adjusted to the new pricing structure has taken more time than I anticipated, but I'm confident that now that everyone is accustomed to the changes that we can move forward and secure longer-term contracts in the coming months.”

Dispute Incorrect Assumptions

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