You can make a bad situation worse when talking to your boss after a poor performance review.
Think for a few seconds before saying anything.
"The first mistake we make is to respond emotionally. We are human and we need to be loved," says Laurie Ruettimann, a human resources consultant. "A poor review hurts our heart and cracks our ego; however, you cannot explain your way out of a poor performance review.
"Just like the Olympics, your performance has been assessed and you cannot sway the judges. It's not a debate," she says. "By the time you hear your review, it's too late to fix it."
If you receive criticism, pay attention to the feedback, says Alison Green, author of the Ask a Manager blog.
"Too often, people get so focused on how to defend themselves — or even just on panicking — that they forget to really listen to what they're being told about what they need to do differently." Green says. "Understanding your manager's concerns is crucial to a good outcome here. ... Listen and ask enough questions that you truly know what you're being asked to change."
The tough part: Honestly consider what you're being told to determine whether criticisms of your performance are true, she says. Figure out what might be causing problems if you want to move forward.
"Honestly, it's not enough to address the deficit," Ruettimann says. "You must improve your performance and exceed expectations in order to redeem yourself."
Your best bet: Immediately apologize for your poor performance, make a plan (read the rest here)