Your Performance Review: How To Prepare

What You Say At Your Performance Review by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

Prepare for an annual (or quarterly) review the same way that an author prepares for a media interview.

Create a script Don’t walk into your annual review without preparing. You will need more than just a positive mental attitude.

Do forward thinking Anticipate the questions that will be asked, and write them down. Part of knowing what you will be asked is to try to get inside the head of your boss. Social scientists call this sympathetic introspection. Try to figure out what he/she thinks is most important about your job. You don’t want to be focusing on some aspect of your job that your boss doesn’t think is important. Decide what you will say about each question/topic. believes that words matter. So try out alternative ways of presenting your material–before the actual interview.

Take the initiative If you’ve done something that you are proud of, think of a way to work this into the conversation. Whenever I do a media interview, I think of some way that I can bring up a topic that the interviewer might not ask about. For example, I might say, “’Lincoln on Communication’ gives 10 ways to communicate more effectively. Do we have time to discuss one or two of them?” If it’s your annual (or quarterly) review, you might say, “I’ve been working hard on our training manual. Would you like for me to discuss that? Etc.”

Remember, there’s more to career success than just working hard. You must work at the right projects, and communicate that you do them well. Your annual review is an opportunity to do just that.

Don’t get embarrassed using a spurious Lincoln quote.  Here’s a quotation book you can trust:

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Absolutely awesome! Inspirational and even life-changing for leaders or for general living. An in-depth exploration of Lincoln’s character, spiritual beliefs, lifetime motivations…”  —Amazon verified purchaser

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject. In addition, this small volume contains “Biographical Notes” on the main figures cited and also a Bibliography of the sources quoted.” —Wayne C. Temple, world-renowned Lincoln scholar, critic, and author, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.

In these pages, Lincoln, famed as an orator, shares his wisdom on courage and determination, compassion and compromise, tolerance and tact—the essential traits that define character. The timeless impact of his words is as powerful as the achievements that have helped to make him an American hero.


–Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “The Words Lincoln Lived By” is in its 25th printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225.

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