I’ve always had an unhealthy desire for external validation. Even though I’ve worked on this throughout my adult life, I still struggle with not getting a yearly appraisal now I’m self-employed. With that in mind, I decided that I would give myself an appraisal in the same way I would for an employee. Here is the format I use to make sure that I am giving myself a fair appraisal that relies on quality self-reflection. Whilst it is created with a business owner in mind, it could easily be adapted for anyone that just wants a quality appraisal. (And if you do have employees, this is also a great tool for writing an appraisal that is co-created by employee and employer). What you won’t find is anything about your business revenue or metrics. This is partly because you all probably do that anyway, but mainly because this is about YOU and not the business.
1. Big picture first – how has the year been? Successful, a struggle, mixed?
2. What went well? How did your actions lead to that? What lessons did you learn? What would you repeat?
3. What didn’t go well? How did your actions lead to that? What lessons did you learn? How much was due to external events? What measures could you put in place to avoid a similar issue next year?
4. Where did you excel this year? How can you use this strength in future?
5. Where have you improved the most? What led to this improvement? How will you continue to use it?
6. What is your biggest area for development? What options are available for you to improve or mitigate this area? Which option(s) can you afford (money, time, energy)? Which is the best for the long term?
7. What one thing are you most proud of? How would you describe this if you were commending an employee? What recognition would you give? Is there anything stopping you giving yourself this recognition?
The beauty of this appraisal is that it leads naturally into how to improve and use your best skills in the future. I will be putting together a similar blog post on how to goal set effectively for your business for the beginning of the New Year, but I would advise doing this exercise first.
I hope this is useful for you and that you really give yourself the credit you deserve!