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Year End Conversations and How to Get What You Want

When those year-end conversations roll around the most important thing you can do is to be prepared.

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Ideally, you’ve been keeping a list of all the good things you’ve done over the year. Haven’t done this? Don’t worry, very few people do!

While year-end conversations may seem daunting, it’s important for employees AND leaders alike to be able to talk about yourself, your accomplishments, areas for improvement, and what your plans look like going forward.

Additionally, they open relationships for sharing what people really think. You generally get your best feedback from the people who have worked closely with you, and those conversations help build your potential for even greater heights of success.

The thing of it is, none of us ever get to the point where we’re doing everything perfectly. There’s always room for growth, and being prepared for a year-end conversation that provides supportive feedback may be just the thing you need for continued advancement in your career.

So, with that in mind, here are some things to think about when preparing for your next year-end conversation. To start, assemble a list of all your accomplishments and any goals or objectives you were given for the year. You’re looking for:

  • Big projects
  • Committees
  • New creations
  • Additional training or certifications
  • Key metrics you’ve been tracking
  • Conflicts you’ve navigated well
  • Relationships you’ve established
  • New contracts or deals you negotiated
  • Skills and qualities you want to develop
  • Priorities for your company or career

Then ask yourself for each:

  • What was your role?
  • What was the impact on the organization: save money, time, help with retention, productivity, etc.?
  • What your unique contributions and skill set brought?

As I mentioned before, preparation is key when it comes to having a successful year-end conversation. The truth is, you won’t get what you want if you’re not properly prepared. In fact, chances are your review will only go well if you’re properly prepared.

Getting organized and collecting all of your information helps you succinctly talk about your impact in your performance review; these anecdotes become data points for promotions and contract extensions. As much as your employers and clients realize your value, no one is keeping a list. Forward movement requires equal parts self-advocacy + strategy + action.

To help you get started, I created a simple checklist. Download it to collect your thoughts. If you need help fleshing it out and writing your accomplishments into data points, book a session.

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