Even though performance reviews are intended to improve our performance, few of us welcome them. Why? Because we're afraid we'll get bad news, hear about what we're doing wrong and be given advice we don't want -- or feel we need. And most don't happen in the office but come from a spouse, friend, family member, client, co-worker and so on.
Of course you resist what you hear because you're already stretched beyond belief, while trying to do your best. And besides, their comments sound a lot like your inner critic, and that's so annoying! Still you do want to improve your performance, so what's the answer?
I invite you to give yourself a performance review to discover how you're doing now and what needs attention in the coming year. Not to save yourself from their criticism, but because you want to be the best you can be. By answering the next three "best year yet" questions, you'll be using your own wisdom to carry out a two-part performance review.
5. What Are My Personal Values?
Brian Tracy shares an analogy that tells us why the answer to this question matters:
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better
when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals and values are in balance.
You know the answer to question five -- the words that describe the person you want to be and the phrases that describe the way you want to live. What are the words you want others to use when they talk about you? Which ones best describe your true self? Ask yourself the question, "What are my personal values?" and then write them down.
As you make your plan for the coming year, revisiting your values is a reminder of what really matters to you. Having them in mind also helps you set goals that are aligned with your strongest personal beliefs. Here are a few examples from my list:
- Family first
- Loving kindness
- Making a difference
- Connecting in meaningful ways
- Awareness of the precious gift of life
Notice they are not goals, but words that point to a way of being that you aspire to. To give yourself a performance review, take a moment to score how well you're living each value. Use a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest.
6. What Roles Do I Play in My Life?
Here's an easy one, but it matters because doing so sets the framework for your planning and goal-setting for the next year. Write a list of all the roles you play in your life, examples being husband, manager, father, friend, community member, musician.
Also include roles that you want to begin playing, such as meditator, author, student, adventurer -- doing so gives you the chance to set goals for them.
Also I insist that you include one role that's about taking care of yourself so that you can do a better job of playing your other roles. I usually call this one "Jinny's Coach" or "My Guardian Angel." When you play this role, you're exercising, eating right, reading books you've been meaning to read, learning Italian -- get the idea? Whatever you'd be doing so that you know you're growing as a person.
7. Which Role Is My Major Focus for Next Year?
Now it's time for the second part of your performance review. How well do you think you're doing in each of your roles? Before you begin, look through the list and think about how you'd be playing each role if you were doing your best -- playing it up to your own standards? What would it look like if you rated yourself a "10" as a mother? Read through your list and imagine a "10" for each role.
As you do, notice that most of the roles are about taking care of others -- what does that say about you?
For the second part of your performance review, review your roles and rate how well you believe you're doing right now in each. Once you complete your review, take a moment to appreciate the areas of your life in which you're doing well -- and then consider what's missing in the way you play the roles to which you gave a lower score.
To complete question seven, answer the following questions:
- If I could put one problem behind me, once and for all, what would it be?
- In which of my roles do I want to have a breakthrough in performance?
- In which role do I want to have a sense of mastery by the end of the year?
The answer to these questions reveals your "major focus" for the coming year. To begin your focus, write down the name of that role.
"Remember that what you focus on is what you get. Focusing your awareness on this role will give you the result you want." -- Your Best Year Yet!
I'll be writing soon about your next step: "Your Top Ten Goals for 2012." Here you'll answer questions eight and nine.
For more by Jinny Ditzler, click here.
For more on making it a healthy new year, click here.
Please leave a comment or question below. Let us know how you're doing. By doing so you'll inspire the rest of us. Or you can email me at email@example.com.
P.S. If you want to complete your plan right away, there are a number of ways you can do so:
P.P.S. The purpose of my articles is to give you everything you need to make 2012 your personal best year yet. Here is a list of the previous articles in this series, as well as those on the way:
- Whether you're ready for your best year yet
- Making resolutions that work
- Discovering the biggest obstacle to your personal success
- Give yourself a performance review (this article)
- Setting your top 10 goals
- How to make sure you stick with your plan throughout the year