If your heart rate has gone up just by reading the words ‘performance review’, well then there’s extensive learning for you here today. An upcoming appraisal meeting shouldn’t and needn’t be a daunting, anxiety-inducing occurrence. Let’s break it down together and leave you better equipped for this. First and foremost, an appraisal is a conversation, NOT a confrontation. You need to be calm and well prepared for one and if you’ve done well through the year then there’s no reason you shouldn’t get what you want.

Keep track of your progress

An appraisal is based on your yearlong performance, so track all your efforts from Day 1! You tend to forget about things if you don’t note them down as and when they happen. So make it a habit to have a solid record of things you’ve worked on and achieved in the year.

Be prepared

Presentations, numbers, notes—the more data you have to support your wins, the better! It makes for a compelling case and gives yet another example to your manager about how strategic and organized you are.

Numbers talk

Placing a numerical value on your performance is always going to work in your favour. At the end of the day, the company needs to see your contribution in a tangible way.

Maintain a positive outlook

Ask for what you deserve respectfully—being negative will leave a bad impression. If you walk into the room with a bad attitude, it will affect the conversation and subsequently the review.

Avoid giving an ultimatum

Tell your manager why you feel you’re ready for a raise/promotion, and back your statement with numbers and stats. Don’t go the ultimatum route, “give this to me or else…” because that can be an awkward conversation. Besides, you have to be a 100% indispensable to the company to make a statement like that, which realistically may not be the case.

Don’t sell yourself short

If you’ve done something phenomenal, own it! Ladies, especially, tend to downplay their wins. Please don’t do that.

Be authentic

Everyone has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, know them well and be true to yourself while you articulate them. Don’t parrot answers that don’t apply to you.

Ask for feedback

If your manager isn’t happy with your performance, don’t get defensive—ask them how you can improve instead.