This is a delicate situation that must be handled with a great deal of diplomacy, because your approach will impact your future at your firm. First, you should re-read the performance review with a critical eye to determine its accuracy. You might want to share it with a person whose opinion you trust for an honest assessment.
Then make a list of the areas you believe do not accurately portray your performance, and support your position with tangible evidence, such as positive feedback from clients or media clips from a successful campaign. You should also acknowledge your shortcomings and how to improve.
Tell your supervisor that you would like to have a meeting to further discuss your review. Avoid being confrontational as you make your case. There's a good possibility that your supervisor will change his or her point of view on some things. Should things fail to change to your satisfaction, you can take your case to a higher level of authority, but only as a last resort.
Steve Seeman is VP at Makovsky & Company.
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