It can be difficult to bounce back after a poor appraisal or performance review. However, to move forward you have to move past your feelings of embarrassment, frustration, or perhaps anger and use the feedback to identify what you need to do differently.

The first thing to do is to find someone who you can ‘offload’ to and will empathise with your position but also be candid and not collude. Discuss with them what might be right about the feedback, and whether they have seen any of the behaviours your boss has discussed with you. If you are unsure, ask colleagues for additional feedback, and ask them to be specific and give you examples to help you understand.

Once you have completely calmed down, make sure you fully understand the review. Go back to your boss with any questions that will help you to understand in more detail. For example if your boss has criticised you for not taking enough responsibility or showing enough initiative ask them questions that will give you more information to work with. Avoid asking why questions (e.g. why don’t you think I take enough responsibility?). Instead frame your questions differently asking for examples. For example, ask, “Can you give me an example of when I should have taken the initiative, but didn’t? What might I have done instead?” Come to an agreement with your boss on what changes to make. Try doing some things differently and ask for another review to make sure you keep on track.