According to Samuel Culbert, a UCLA Professor and Management Consultant, a badly handled performance review "destroys morale, kills teamwork and hurts the bottom line." An outspoken viewpoint but one which I am sure anyone who has had a disastrous review might agree with. However, as a method of "best practice" that is anything but, you can take control of the process. So how do you go about making sure your next review reflects you the way you wish to be seen? When coaching women in business I advocate ‘The Proactive Career’ and this means when it comes to your performance review you need to take control. As women we sometimes need to go beyond our comfort zone and point out what we are doing well, you must prepare in advance. If your company doesn’t ask you to do a self review in preparation do one anyway, and remember to make a note of all the areas you have improved sales, made cost cuttings, saved on time or increased productivity. Rather than wallowing in negative feelings if your performance is criticised you need to take responsibility and ask how you can proactively change the situation. This may be by suggesting some additional training or a mentoring scheme. Show your Boss that you are actively working to improve yourself and your performance. If your role has changed or increased and you feel you deserve a pay increase you must be brave and point it out – there is no point in being resentful if it isn’t offered. If you ask and it is turned down you need to ask why and how you can ensure a pay increase next time. If you prepare in advance and have data to back up your comments the review will be a much more comfortable experience. For more tips and information check out my book – Beyond The Boys’ Club or if you really want to kick start your career book now for my next Beyond The Boys’ Club Boot Camp starting on may 7th.