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Keeping Your Cool During a Review

Reviews are this month for most agencies. How are you feeling? Nervous? Indifferent? Frustrated? How do you keep your cool and negotiate your worth during your review? 

As a manager, giving constructive feedback is a skill in itself and not everyone can deliver feedback well.

As an employee, receiving constructive feedback about our performance at work can sometimes be difficult. So, it will be natural to feel defensive and upset. It’s important to remember that even the greatest leaders have received negative/constructive feedback and we’re constantly growing and learning 

My advice as an employee? Stay calm, respectful and in control of the conversation. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that it’s a conversation that can lead to better pay, training opportunities, more flexibility and/or more senior responsibilities.  

Here are some tips…

  • Ask if you can focus on one area today, and another one tomorrow
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop the conversation and let your manager know how you prefer feedback.
  • Can you have some specific examples so that you can understand exactly what they mean?
  • Can you check in again tomorrow to go through the next step in your review, so that you can break this down slowly and absorb the information properly? That way you can come prepared with questions.
  • Set goals that you think are achievable.

If it’s not covered in the conversion, ask about your strengths both in terms of skills and productivity, but also the role that you play within the office culture. Everyone has a unique skill set and while you may feel defeated, know that the aim of the review is not to attack you, but to evaluate and set goals for improvement. 

Money, Money, Money

What’s a review without asking about money? While there is no rule of thumb on how much to ask for, you need to factor in inflation rates. In the September 2023 quarter, the CPI (consumer price index) was at 5.4%. 

If asking for a pay rise falls on deaf ears, consider these negotiations:

  • Perks – Things like a car park, gym membership, free breakfast, laptop, etc. 
  • Work flexibility – Finish early on Fridays at 3.00 pm or have the flexibility to work from home (WFH) two days per week etc.
  • Upskilling opportunities – Ask your work to contribute towards or cover the full cost of an online course or workshop that will grow your skillset or improve your productivity (and in turn, add value to the companies offering to clients).
  • Future bonus opportunities- Ask if a bonus structure could be put in place and will be paid out if you achieve certain KPIs by the end of the financial year.

We can all learn from constructive feedback. Stay calm, break things down and ask for specific examples. Use this opportunity to grow and develop your skills. Good luck!


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