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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Beneficial Reviews: Learning by Looking at Self

Whether a review is about personal performance or the quality of a product, its only as good as the time put into creating it. The familiarity of book reviews belies their importance. The short posts following a product description on a store's website may do the opposite – not give enough information so as to be valuable. What is the balance when writing or looking at reviews? How much depth is needed? Does the expertise of the writer matter? And, perhaps the most important question of all: what are the benefits of self-review in the work world? Career service providers may need to help clients critically examine their concept of the review (starting with self) so as to achieve the growth that often comes from a challenging experience.

~ Melanie Reinersman, M.A.,

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

FOCUS ON: Self-evaluation in the Workplace

Annual reviews no longer follow the old-school reward-punishment structure. The work world is focusing on self-evaluation and more regular discussions to encourage employee growth and development. This produces benefits such as greater insights, confidence and motivation. Studies have confirmed the connection between reflection and learning, even though the implementation process takes time. Read more from We Thrive.

COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY: Reflection, Learning & Leadership

Reflection is one of the keys to ensuring students are developing as leaders. Reflection involves pondering in a careful and persistence way, so as to grasp the meaning of an experience. When students are participating in practical experiences, the opportunity for thoughtful insights, based on combining theory and practice, must be present. Read more about continuous, connected, challenging and contextualized reflection from the Journal of Leadership Education.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Helping the Team Excel

Leaders need to provide easy access to relevant learning material to achieve the identified goals based on performance reviews. Frequently, in organizations the Performance Management Framework is not connected to the Learning Management System, making it difficult for employees to achieve set goals. Structured feedback, opportunities for development and measurable outcomes result in improvements in the organization's bottom-line. Read more.

BONUS! FOR PRACTITIONERS: Performance Reviews in a Pandemic

Not surprisingly, the pandemic changed the process and goals of employee performance reviews. Because circumstances at work have changed considerably this past year, so should reviews. Unrealistic pre-pandemic goals may reduce organizational success while extended support and empathy may increase employee mental health, communication, and productivity. Read more about rethinking performance reviews.

TOP TEN: Ways to Learn from a Performance Review

The employee's approach to a performance review is one key to making it worthwhile. Understanding its hard on nerves, involves more than just the employee and employer, and requires a plan for improvement are additional keys. No matter what, the employee should not play defense. Read all ten tips when faced with a performance review.


"We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience." ~ John Dewey

“It is only by reflection that one can assimilate what one has read. If one reads straight ahead without pondering over it later, what has been read does not take root, but is for the most part lost.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer



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