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The Key to Great Performance Reviews

By Joey Havens

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It’s that nerve-wracking time of year where we “officially” document our progress and performance for the past 12 months. It’s tough on the performance advisors and the assigned team members. Everyone wants to get it right.

I know from my personal experience that one of the best ways to have a great performance review is to have a positive attitude. When I remind myself that this is about helping me grow as a professional and that my performance advisor and coach all care about my success, then it helps me listen to the feedback both positively and constructively. It is part of being better and growing.

Now, there are some other keys to these reviews being successful. Through the years, I have noticed some rare moments when partners not only used the power of a positive attitude during their evaluations, but they demonstrated some of their own secrets to great performance reviews. 

Last year, a partner showed up for his performance evaluation (with me as his evaluator) dressed to “connect.” He had on an Ole Miss jacket and had the latest football recruiting report showing Ole Miss in the Top 10! Now it is completely coincidental that he did receive his highest evaluations ever, but I want everyone to know that I was not influenced by this obvious attempt to connect.

A little humor always helps as we navigate through these important meetings. But seriously, find a way to “connect” with your performance advisor. Obviously, someone might take more time and interest in us if we have something in common. 

We all want to grow and make a difference for our clients, our firm, our team, our families and our communities. Remember that the goal of the performance review is to help you reach your full potential. If you keep a positive attitude, connect, and take fierce ownership of your career, you are headed for a great performance review.