November 22, 2019 / Esther Choy
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.This article originally appeared on Forbes.com.Everyone dreads annual performance reviews, especially those tasked with reviewing others. That manager you are nervous to meet with is likely dreading the meeting more than you are. Can you make it easy, if not enjoyable, for them? Is this a pie in the sky idea? Not if you deploy this one leadership storytelling technique: strategically shifting your point of view. Shift your point of view, and you’ll notice the many biases that can plague managers. After all, reviewing a year’s worth of performance means battling a host of natural but detrimental tendencies, including:
- Recency bias (evaluating only the past month or two, rather than the full year).
- Leniency bias (giving everyone high marks, regardless of whether it’s merited).
- Confirmation bias (seeking only information that confirms the manager’s preconceived ideas about that person).
Awareness of common biases allows you to look through the glasses your manager could be looking through. You can then structure your review in a way that helps them notice your strengths. These three leadership storytelling tips will help you highlight those strengths and use your performance evaluation as fuel for further growth.
- What are my biggest contributions to the company or team this year? What makes these contributions above and beyond my call of duty? What is it about these contributions that makes them so unexpected that my manager will want to reward me?
- What was the biggest investment I made this year (at work, in professional development, etc.)? How did this investment go above and beyond what my manager expected?
- What new leadership skills or industry insights have I learned this year? Did I share them with my team? If so, what difference has it made to them?
- I – Intriguing beginning (first sentence or two)
- R – Riveting middle (next sentence or two)
- S – Satisfying end (final sentence or two)
A client of mine recently structured a brief story about herself with the opening line, “I am not who I appear to be.” Talk about an intriguing beginning! No one could shrug and walk away uninterested. Oddly enough, this story was inspired by a quick passing remark my client made. At first, she wasn’t convinced anyone would find her story meaningful. But when she tested it out on her mentor, it so impressed the mentor that she asked my client to teach her everything she knew about business storytelling. From that, my client was convinced she’d found a story worth retelling.
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