How Do I Write a Self-Appraisal for a Performance Review
October 22, 2019
 
 
By Jim Clark PhD, Director of Student Sidelines LLC ©2019
 
First, consider yourself fortunate that you are in a situation where it is allowed and perhaps encouraged. Many, if not most organizations have no formal self-appraisal process.
 
If I may, let me make a generic statement about the notion of self-assessment or more specifically self-praisal. There is no assessment or encouragement approach that is more potent and beneficial that self-assessment. For example, when Tom Brokaw started his national broadcasting career, having transferred from a small station in South Dakota, he was faced with an overwhelming external performance review process - every day he was on the air. To keep from going nuts he started his own personal self-assessment review process that he reviewed after every show - before being forced to review ratings from others. From that he developed a behavior-oriented critique sheet that he used to self-rate his performance after every show. This tool was eventually incorporated into the ever popular Toastmasters speaker’s training program. This tool played no small part in his evolution as a premier broadcaster.
 
A sequel to this was designed by the gnarly John McEnroe, as a budding young outcast tennis star. Few people liked or worked with John as his career evolved because of his abrasive personality. In spite of this, he developed his own daily performance assessment tool that allowed him to compare his improvement against measurable yardsticks he had set for himself. It worked.
 
To answer your question, both Brokaw’s and McEnroe’s examples show us at least three features of effective self-appraisal tools:
 
1 prior to assessment, specific up to 7 somewhat measurable, observable, and controllable “behavioral indicators” of performance that you can track on a quarterly basis.
 
2 pin those measures to some kind of “unit measure” that is directly related to either fixing mistakes or increasing success. For example, Brokaw could track how often he halted or interrupted his speech delivery in ways that were distracting. McEnroe could track the frequency that his foot position on his serve resulted in successful ball placements at over 90mph.
 
3 do not include assessment of others in your self-evaluation. Nor do you want to include measures related to cost containment or revenue generation since those factors are largely beyond your immediate control. Look for factors that contribute to outcomes.
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