Negative Feedback and the Performance Review

NegotiationIt’s December and for many organizations, that means performance reviews and appraisals. If you are the boss, this might be the time of year when you provide feedback to your team. And if you are an employee, this might be the time when you are on the receiving end of an evaluation.

Over at the Fast Company blog, Celia Shatzman has posted 8 Questions to Ask your Boss that can Make or Break your Career. The post draws heavily from the book Great on the Job: What to Say, How to Say It: The Secrets of Getting Ahead by Jodi Glickman. Question #8 attracted our attention:

“I’m sure that I’ll have some additional thoughts and questions as I digest all this information. Could we schedule a follow-up conversation in a few days?”

When to ask: At the end of a not-so-great performance review or any conversation wherein your boss gives you valuable, if not altogether positive, feedback.

Why it’s important to ask: It’s hard to think on your feet and ask constructive questions when you’re feeling beat up. By asking for a few days to collect your thoughts, you’ll have time to reflect on your boss’s words and brainstorm ways to move ahead. “The last thing you want to do is lose your cool,” says Glickman. “Remember, the goal of feedback is not to make you feel good. It’s to make you better at your job.”

Seems as though this would also apply if you were the one delivering the negative feedback—you might propose that the two of you meet again in a few days for a follow-up conversation.

What has been your experience with negative feedback, either on the giving or receiving side? Share your observations in the comments.


  • As a employer I would want my employee to ask questions after their review. Take notes during the review and even if they want to come back later and collect their thoughts is another good idea. Some times we think “darn I wish I would of said that or asked that question.” So I don’t mind if they come back to me later and want to speak about their review.

  • I too would like to have my employees ask question during the review or even have question about the office and if there any office problems that I should be aware of. I like to have an open door policy.

  • Sometimes giving or receiving negative feed back can make you grow as an individual and not take it personal. These are growing steps in ones self. The more we can understand ourselves the better we can work with others and understand where they are coming from.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *