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How to look good in a performance review

The usefulness of performance reviews has been much discussed lately, but research shows many companies still find them useful. They can in fact be an opportunity to discuss relevant issues and provide constructive feedback. But for that to happen, employees need to get prepared and suss out the psychology of their bosses, reports Fast Company.

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1.The egocentric bias: Your experience only really matters in terms of what it can help the company to accomplish. Don't forget what scientists call egocentric bias: “Your boss may very well want to help you grow and develop, but she's (likewise) ultimately more committed to advancing her career than yours - and that's all before accounting for how both of your efforts square with your employer's goals,” writes Fast Company. So your ultimate goal is to focus on persuading your boss that you're part of the vital few who advance the company and make him or her look good. So talk about what your company finds vital, not what you think are your best features.

2. Find the thin line between laid back and pushy. Some managers may rate their employees lowly when they appear passive. If your boss thinks you don't stick up for yourself - it may work against you. On the other hand, being seen as demanding or arrogant is also likely to displease your boss. Find the thin line in the middle. “Managers may even be more prone to promoting less effective but more likeable employees than those who perform better but are obnoxious or difficult,” says Fast Company.

3. What does your boss want? Everybody cares most about their own career. If you can, suggest in a low key, subtle way how your work helped to advance the bosses goals. And when talking about the coming year's objectives, focus on what is likely to contribute to your manager’s progression. “So your task is to get your manager to perceive you as a valuable resource without leaving the impression that you may actually be a threat”, writes Fast Company.

Workplaces are as rife with employees who excel at self-promoting as with those who make great contributions but fly under the radar, say the authors. “So since you can't expect your boss to be a totally objective judge of your or others’ performance, you need to highlight what your strengths are - and why they're such big assets in the first place. And you've really got to do that more than just once a year.”

Read more at Fast Company

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