What can women do to rock their next performance appraisal?


Women get different types of feedback to their male colleagues which puts them at a serious disadvantage, so here are three stages to rock your next performance appraisal.


We all know that women get different types of feedback to their male colleagues which puts them at a serious disadvantage. Input can be non-existent, erratic and unreliable, as well as being subject to bias and sexism. How many women have been told they are a bit “too much”, “aggressive,” “edgy,” highly strung” or “emotional?” Most of us at some point. Others have been protected from difficult feedback because of our so-called female fragility. So, given that a guy in your department will get useful feedback in the corridor or the bathroom on a regular basis, what can women do to rock their next performance appraisal?

Annual performance appraisals if carried out correctly can be super helpful to building up some constructive insights into how we are doing in our jobs and become one of the main tools of professional development. However, when a performance review is mishandled it can result in reduced productivity, broken trust and damaged professional relationships, all leading to low morale and even turnover in an organisation.

Don’t let this happen to you. Here are three stages to rock your next performance appraisal


Stage 1 Pre-work

– Be open to feedback

Sending your boss the message that you are open to receiving feedback on an ongoing basis will be important for setting the scene. Letting your manager know that that you would like regular input, gives you the opportunity to make smooth progress all year round, without waiting for that once a year annual meeting. Real time feedback eliminates the possibility of any surprises. Knowing that you could have been working on a problem for months is frustrating.

– Ask for help

Asking your boss for support to meet your goals with a coach, a mentor or additional training is another way of gaining perspective and neutral insights. Feedback from multiple sources is always useful.

It takes confidence to improve communication at work. 3Plus Returner Roll-Up Session on Building Your Confidence can help you.

– Develop Self- awareness

Have clarity around your personal goals and the expectations of your boss. If you have KPIs make sure you are on target. If not have good reasons why there are problems. You should have a job description. Are you working successfully within the framework of that role, perhaps even exceeding expectations?

– Keep track of your successes

Women tend to be other centred so forget to keep a record of our own accomplishments and achievements. We also forget to keep track of metrics associated with those achievements. Keep a written record either digitally or in a notebook of your key success stories. How many prospects do you have, how many deals have you closed, or open job vacancies have you filled? What sort of deadlines and budgets do you work to and are you always on track? Who do you deal with? What level of seniority? Keep all this information on hand so you can pull it out to polish before your meeting with your manager.

– Focus on added value

It’s not enough to say you go the extra mile – what does that mean? Concentrate on those little skills and attitudes that make a difference. Do you help colleagues make a successful presentation, do you build consistently good relations, to you coach and mentor junior staff? Make sure you know what they are and share them with your boss!

Personal development and growth happens all year round and not only because of an annual formal meeting. This is of course helpful, it but is no replacement for regular open and constructive feedback.

rock your next performance appraisal

Stage 2 On the day

– Be prepared

Be clear in your mind the points you want to cover. Make a list if needed. Bring with you all your success stories and achievements from your pre-work and have a clear idea of what your next steps should be.

– Stay neutral

Sometimes hearing criticism can be hard. Make sure you stay in business neutral and take care not to become defensive. If you feel your pulse rising, breathe deeply to calm yourself.

– Ask for clarification

If you do get any vague input “keep up the good work”, “you’re doing great” push for greater clarity “How, where and on what projects?” Insist on more and detailed information. This is also true with negative feedback “You’re too much” – ask exactly what that means and even details of specific instances. Don’t make assumptions.

– Thank your boss

Delivering good feedback in a way that it will be heard is a skill. If your boss has done this – thank him even if the news was not to your liking it will be helpful next year or even beyond that.

Stage 3 – Going forward

– Continue to add value

Look for ways you can continue to add value or even increase your contribution. This might be with a stretch assignment or a new project. Put your hand up and let your boss know that you are open to new opportunities

– Financial assistance

Ask if your organisation will give some financial assistance to adding to your skill set so you can meet your goals. This could be a course, or working with a coach or getting another qualification.

– Input and suggestions

Ask for input and suggestions. Research shows that women are harder on themselves than their bosses, so bask in all those lovely compliments! Maybe your manager has some ideas you hadn’t even thought of.


Do you need further help to enable you to rock your next performance appraisal? Then get in touch today!


Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services

Individual services

Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.

Corporate services

The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)

Upcoming events

Book Now

Linkedin Live on Ageism Friday 24th September 2pm BST with Hung Lee

Join Dorothy Dalton and colleagues -  Jo Weech, Head of People, (Exemplary Consultants),  Jacob Sten Madsen, Talent Acquisition Advisor (Nielsen) & Anne-Hermine Nicolas, Head of Executive Recruitment (ex-Deloitte), Frank Zupan, Director of Talent Management (Associated Materials) to discuss critical issues in Hung Lee’s Brainfood Live.

You can register here.




Dates for the Diary

September  21st -  ENGIE Gender bias in Performance Assessment online
September 24th -  Linkedin Live on Ageism with Hung Lee
October 26th - Banque de Luxembourg Préjugés sexistes dans le processus de recrutment.



We have Remote Learning Programs available 

Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.

Download and listen free podcasts

Related articles

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
3 Plus International Call Back Request