How to Give Yourself a Performance Review

Thursday 22 August 2019
You’ve got a performance appraisal coming up. Your line manager has conducted 360-degree feedback among colleagues as part of that review. But who better to assess how you’ve done than… yourself?
happy, sad and neutral faces

Time to leave your ego at the door.

Giving yourself a performance review is a critical self-assessment of your achievements, skills, and shortcomings over a set period of time. There’s no room for inflated versions of the facts: this is a time for removing your rose-tinted glasses and putting on your cleanest reading specs.

If you’ve got a performance appraisal coming up, or are considering applying for a promotion, it’s a good idea to give yourself a performance review ahead of time. That way, you can focus on creating an action plan for the weaker areas that you can discuss with your manager, and truly understand all the positives you’d bring to the position you’re applying for. Here’s how to evaluate your own performance, using the key tenets of CMI’s Professional Standard.

Personal Effectiveness: Are You An Influential Leader?

A personal 360-degree feedback session is a good time to evaluate whether your house is in order. Some of the questions you might ask yourself include:

  • How well does your team work together, and how can this be improved?
  • What personal effect can you have on the productivity of your team – and how can you innovate the processes?
  • Have you led change, or could you lead it after this evaluation?
  • Where do you excel and where do you need to improve?

Look at the times you’ve implemented a new process, target, or priority, and compare how it’s changed the way your team works. Look at your time- and project-management skills, how effective your decision-making process is, and how well you communicate with your team. Perhaps you struggle with making decisions quickly, don’t fully influence your team to stay on track, or get sidetracked yourself by issues that pop up during the day. Identify these problems see if you need to become more decisive, learn how to influence your team or yourself more effectively, or talk through it with your manager to come up with an action plan together.

Interpersonal Excellence: Where’s Your Sense Of Direction?

Think about a time you’ve had to resolve conflict, have a difficult conversation, or give a presentation. Thinking of a particular project, ask yourself:

  • What were the outcomes, and what contributed to them?
  • What could you do better next time?
  • If you asked your team the most and least valued character traits of yours, what do you think they would identify?
  • How well do you provide direction to your team, both as individuals with different targets or guiding them on team goals and projects?
  • How well do you establish, build, and maintain professional relationships?

It’s important to note down the negatives as well as the positives. This section of your self-assessment largely focuses on soft skills; pay attention to your relationships, communication, and leadership capabilities. Think about how effectively you give your team goals and direction, and how you can dedicate time and resources into their development as well as your own.

Organisational Performance: How Do You Measure Up?

The third pillar of CMI’s Professional Standard is ‘Organisational performance’. Take a look back over the past six months or year and write down the targets you were set against the targets you achieved.

Did you do better or worse than expected – and why?
What external or internal factors contributed to your success or shortcomings?
If you tried a new way of running a project; what worked, and what didn’t?
What did you learn along the way that you can implement into your team’s work?
Then, look at other people on your rung in the organisation. How do you compare against them? Is your team more streamlined and cohesive than theirs, or do you have to herd them to perform well? How do your priorities differ: are you more focused on the customer experience or lead-generation than them – and how does this affect your performance?

When conducting your own performance review or 360-degree appraisal, these three areas are a great first step to evaluate your competency in the role – and to learn from any of your weaknesses by developing a skills plan.

CMI has lots more resources to help you progress in your career through our online portal, ManagementDirect. Log in now for more checklists, document templates, and tailored learning journeys.

Evaluating your performance might also be the impetus for you to undertake your Chartered Manager award.