Grade Yourself as a Manager at the Start of the Year

Joseph Stubblebine
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Productivity, growth, and potential: three familiar management buzzwords designed to drive prosperity. Those three words also pop up frequently during work performance reviews. As a manager, you probably conduct reviews on a regular basis and listen to your employees' career-related dreams and immediate goals. There's a catch, though: what about your own business aspirations? Thorough self-assessment strategy is a tough talent to master—particularly without outside input—but it's an essential skill for a manager.

Work performance can be a touchy subject, particularly if the team member you're talking to hasn't achieved set goals. In some cases, consequences have to be put into place. Often, however, a solid work ethic becomes the basis for pleasant discussion and brings with it the potential for a monetary reward. During a self-performance review, you need to be able to examine your own conduct honestly and fully.  

Without criticism, business objectives become difficult to achieve; however, that criticism has to be constructive. If you verbally flay an employee with regard to subpar work performance, you're most likely to make a negative impact on your team. At the very least, you'll create an uncomfortably tense atmosphere in the workplace, which probably won't drive growth in an effective manner. Unhelpful criticism can also depress a person's self-esteem, leading to further decline in work performance.

With that in mind, it's important to apply the same advice to yourself. During your self-performance review, try to follow each honest criticism with an action plan. Instead of metaphorically beating yourself about the head over employee retention stats or a disappointing quarterly sales report, focus on ways you can improve results next time. Try applying the word "opportunity" to an issue, instead of the word "problem."

Work performance evaluations are ideally suited to encouragement, as well as criticism. They provide opportunities to talk about employees' very best assets and the ways in which they contribute to your team as a whole. Similarly, if you've done well, don't be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back. If you've expanded your client base, or you've been responsible for the production of a successful marketing campaign, it might be time to celebrate.

The very best managers are respected not only by their peers but also by the team members they guide. As a manager, your duties include monitoring your own work performance as well as the performances of the employees assigned to you. It can be tough to give yourself an honest review: however, by examining your own behavior in an ethical, truthful manner, you enable your own growth—both professionally and personally.


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