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Performance Review Tips Needed: Conveying Value vs. Tooting Your Horn

Performance Review TipsI am getting ready for a performance review and I take time to document what I see are the tangible and intangible contributions that I make for my company. How do I convey my value without looking like I just want the spotlight (just trying to toot my own horn)? Would appreciate any performance review tips you may have.


Topic Expert
Stephen Roulac
Title: CEO
Company: Roulac Global LLC
(CEO, Roulac Global LLC) |

Who better than you knows and can document your value add?

Who other than you is motivated to make the case re your value add?

No performance review presumes the person reviewed is to be the shy dog who does not wag his tell his tale. By emphasizing your positive impacts upon the company and how your performance made a difference, you are not 'tooting your horn' but providing your supervisor/reviewer important information to do his/her job.

The more you can understand the context, expectations, and circumstances surrounding the performance review, the more effective you might be. In this regard, do not discount the importance of place considerations. The place of the performance review, your history in that place, the history of your interactions with the reviewer in that place, the reviewer's own history of that place, and the history of what has transpired in that place, all inform the review. If these place history considerations collectively are positive, then conditions are more auspicious for you, than if that place history is less than positive. In the latter instance, arrange however you need to, to have the performance review in a place that you favor, because it is conducive to having the energy positive for this important communicatioon.

The place considerations discussed above literally 'set the stage' for how the performacne review might proceed, be experienced, and ultimately perceived. One idea, concerning your sensitivity to the 'tooting your own horn' concern: bring a horn to the session, state you understand many may come there with the idea to 'toot their own horn' but that is not your intention. Instead, you want to discuss very factually, objectively, reasonably how your performance added value. Here, seek to have the reviewer talk about his/her assessments. Ideally, you orchestrate the session so that he/she says what you would have said yourself...and spends the majority of the meeting talking.

This performance review is informed by numerous factors, some of which might include:

your prior experiences,
company procedure,
whether you had clear measurable targets,
how well you performed relative to those targets and generally,
what you can influence and what you can't,
what feedback you have received to date and how much of that is documentable,
who does the performance review,
your relationship to that person(s),
what actions might be taken as a consequence of the performance review,
who has to approve/decide those actions,
how the company has performed overall and future prospects,
how well your business unit has done,
whether you have direct reports and if so their performance and contribution to your performance
degree to which you interact with and depend on third party suppliers: as VP, Educational Programs could be considerable and how you enabled their performance

Depending on the above considerations, you might approach the process by isolating and quantifying what you did to make a difference for your enterprise: what would your enterprise's world look like but for your performance? How much of enterprise performance is attributable to your ideas? strategies? innovations? initiatives? leadership? problem solving?

By taking a forward-looking approach, emphasizing what you shall do to create value in the future, essentially by building on the value that you have already created, you can make the case as to why your performance to be delivered in the future is indispensable to the enterprise. You could ask, 'if we can do this...if we can create this much value for much would it be worth to you?" Answer is the value created. So, "how much would you be willing to pay to have that outcome?" Addressing another way, if what we are talking about here adds 100X value, what would be reasonable to allocate to those who directly create this value? How much to shareholders? management? other workers? you?

Then, after you have agreement re going forward and the prospective recognition for producing those desired results, shift attention back to the period just concluded. Applying the same thinking and formula, would it not be reasonable to consider that the performance delivered met high expectations? And, reasonably, should it not be rewarded with $ABC?

Keep in mind that the performance review is a variant on the hiring interview. Both parties are concurrently selling and buying, persuading and evaluating, seeking to determine whether they wish to go forward in an employment relationship. Just reviewee may have anxiety, so, too, may the reviewer be anxious. Each knows that if the review is not mutually satisfactory and positive, the relationship will not go forward/continue. You are there to SELL YOUR VALUE. If you do not do it, who will?


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