According to a Gallup survey,  only 14% of employees feel that their performance reviews inspire them to improve. The rest of them either feel underwhelmed or demotivated after their managers are done with their performance reviews.

We all know that a performance review is a great tool to enhance employee performance and optimize productivity. But why do employees have a hard time falling into the groove here? If you are an employee awaiting a performance review, do not go unprepared.

To make the best of your session, you'll need to gain an idea of the right things to say and the right way to say it.

What to Say in a Performance Review as an Employee?

If you have done your research and have a good idea of your own set of strengths and weaknesses, there is no need to worry about performance reviews. Anyhow, it is a good proactive approach to keep a few topics in mind that you can discuss with your manager during the performance review.

1. Set Goals for your Professional Development

A performance review is a great opportunity to sit down with your manager and set goals for your professional development. You can ask the manager about the possible career advancement paths you have in the company and then set goals for the next quarter or year which align with the same. 

2. Discuss the Accomplishments You Have Made

Before your performance review takes place, make a note of all the accomplishments, both big and small, that you have made since the previous performance review. During the meeting, you can discuss these points with your manager to support your statements which reflect your efficient work.

Always back your statements up with the right examples from your past performance. It makes your claims more authentic and increases your credibility as well. 

3. Talk About the Skills You Have Learned

If you have taken any certification courses or have learned any new skills which supplement your current job role, make it a point to let your manager know of the same. You can also use the opportunity of a performance review to explain how the acquisition of these new skills helped you perform your daily tasks better.

4. Provide Feedback on the New Tools You Have Used

While you work in an organization, it is common for the company to introduce you to new tools and techniques. The type of tools and programs can vary depending on the sector you are in and the job you do.

For example, if you are working in the digital marketing sector, your manager might introduce you to tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to make your work more efficient.

Talk to your manager honestly about how you feel about these new tools during a performance review.

5. Clarify the Goals Set By Your Manager

At the end of a performance review, it is common for managers to introduce a development plan or a future plan of action for you.

During this time, pay close attention to the goals that are being set for you. Feel free to pitch in your ideas for an appropriate goal and be clear on understanding it. In other words, make sure that you and your manager are on the same page. 

6. Ask About the Future Developments of the Company

The future of the company can affect the future of its employees as well. So, make it a point to ask about the future direction in which the company is planning to go and the projects they might take up soon. Make sure that these questions remain somewhat relevant to your job role in the organization as well. 

7. Learn More About Your Future in the Company

Just like the future of the company, your future in the company is another relevant topic to discuss about.

Ask about the potential career path you have in the company and other areas in which you can diversify in the future. All these points ensure that you care about the company and is committed to it. 

8. Remain Honest About Things That Are Not Working Out

A performance review is also a great opportunity to bring the attention of your manager to the things that are not working out.

If there is something that has been troubling you or preventing you from working productively, make sure to discuss the same with your manager during the performance review. 

10 Examples Of Phrases You Can Use During Your Performance Review

Now that you have a basic idea of what topics to discuss with your manager during a performance review, let us take a look at some phrases which you can customize and adapt according to the specific situation during the review:

Creativity and Innovation


  • I am alway able to come up with new ideas that improve the results of projects.
  • I can think outside the box, that leads to new ideas for how to solve problems.


  • I fear failing or being turned down when I try to bring up or pitch new ideas.
  • Occasionally, I put too much emphasis on old-fashioned methods and I may fail to see how new ones would work.

Leadership and Management


  • My team members find me to be excellent leader and a good role model.
  • I share tasks well, making sure that projects are finished quickly and on time.


  • I sometimes have trouble giving clear instructions, which may confuse my team members.
  • Sometimes I don't think about how important team mood is and how it affects work output.

Technical Skills


  • I possess a good amount of advanced professional skills that make a big difference in helping my team reach their goals.
  • I constantly keep myself updated about new tools and industry trends, and as a result I help keep our projects ahead of the curve.


  • Sometimes, I am unable to improve or update their expert skills, which could stop project innovation.
  • I occasionally get caught up in the details of work and lose sight of the project's main goals.

Project Management


  • I have great planning skills that keep projects on track and on budget.
  • I thinks ahead about possible problems and solve them before they happen, which avoids delays.


  • Sometimes I have trouble setting realistic deadlines, which causes projects to be late.
  • I find it hard to handle several jobs at once, which can lower the general output.

Work Ethics


  • I have a strong work ethic and I'm dedicated to my duty, always going above and beyond what is expected.
  • I keep up a high level of energy and productivity, even when things get tough.


  • Sometimes, I work alone, and I miss chances to work with others and achieve success together.
  • I can be too hard on myself sometimes, which can cause delays and get less work done.

Ability to adapt


  • I quickly take on new jobs and duties, showing that they are flexible and strong.
  • I take on change with a happy outlook, which helps create a lively team atmosphere.


  • I have trouble with rapid changes in project or process directions, which makes it hard to adapt.
  • I can get stressed when problems or changes from the plan come up out of the blue.

Communication Skills


  • I can explains ideas in an excellent manner, and can talk to team members at all levels clearly.
  • I effectively handle disagreements, encouraging healthy dialogue and problem-solving.


  • I sometimes assume information or plans without checking, which can cause problems.
  • I depend too much on email or text, which can make conversations less useful and interactive.

Analytical Skills


  • I possess good analytical skills which helps me make good choices and decisions by analyzing facts.
  • I can find patterns and trends that aren't clear, which gives a good foundation for providing useful information.


  • I sometimes gets caught up in the details, which takes me longer to make decisions.
  • I may not see the "big picture" because I get too focused on analyzing the small details.

Professional Growth


  • I actively looks for ways to improve their skills and add value to my team.
  • I utilize new information and skills to do work, always making the quality of my work better.


  • I am unwilling to leave my safe zone, which may stop me from growing professionally.
  • I sometimes miss chances to move up because I don't ask for more training or feedback.



  • I encourage open communication and teamwork, and plays a key role in creating a creative team atmosphere.
  • I often go out my way to help my team members, which makes the team stronger and more productive.


  • It is sometimes hard for me to share credit for teamwork, which can bring down the mood of the group.
  • I might not always ask everyone on the team for their opinion, so they miss out on different thoughts and points of view.

See our complete list of 100+ performance review phrases.

The Right Thing To Say

During a performance review, knowing the right thing to say is extremely important, be it for the employee or for the manager. After the review, make sure you conduct an employee feedback survey to analyse the effectiveness and accuracy of the performance review.

You can make use of an employee success platform like ThriveSparrow to help you with the process. The intuitive reports provided by ThriveSparrow help you decode the survey responses within minutes.

If you are planning to take your performance review game to the next level, then this is the right time to do so.

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