Taking Another Look at Yourself

Although you can do it anytime, a new year is often a good time to take a step back and reflect. For many people, it is a time of renewal and change; a time to start over and create a new self. It can be a time to look at what you don’t like about your situation or yourself and commit to improving. One way to do that is not to wait for someone else to give you an evaluation, but rather to do your own self-evaluation.

Where to begin? That is often the hardest part, because many people may not know where to start.

Step 1 - Self-Evaluation Questions

Although this article is slanted toward salespeople many of these components will apply to other positions as well.

Take a look at your job components. Do you really understand what is expected in terms of productivity, performance, and contribution? Look at each skill or responsibility and quantify yourself on a scale of 1 – 5 or N/A – not applicable. (I the lowest score, 5 the highest). It’s important to be as honest as possible. I’ve also broken it down into two areas…Expectation and actual Performance. Is your performance meeting the expectation for the position?

Here are some areas to consider:

Category Expectation Performance

5 4 3 2 1 N/A 5 4 3 2 1 N/A


Listens to customers, internal and external _____________ _____________

Provides updates and follow-up _____________ _____________

Understands and clearly communicates

procedures, services, expectations _____________ _____________

Seeks feedback _____________ _____________

Accepts/applies constructive criticism _____________ _____________


Consistent quality of work _____________ _____________

Dependability _____________ _____________

Accurate _____________ _____________

Meets commitments _____________ _____________

Takes responsibility for their work _____________ _____________


Adaptable _____________ _____________

Works effectively under pressure _____________ _____________

Problem solving ability /offers creative ideas _____________ _____________

Accepts alternate solutions from others _____________ _____________


Understands customer needs _____________ _____________

Knows how to provide requested service _____________ _____________

Understands how each company member's

role contributes to overall success _____________ _____________

Understands how their efforts relate to

overall service _____________ _____________


Prompt service _____________ ____________

Sense of urgency _____________ ____________

Takes quick, correct action _____________ ____________

Provides answers to questions _____________ ____________

Meets deadlines _____________ ____________

Returns phone calls _____________ ____________


Helps others reach shared goals _____________ ____________

Easy to work with _____________ ____________

Shows willingness to help _____________ ____________

Willingness to work using solutions and

parameters other than their own ____________ ____________


Sets sales goals and objectives ____________ ____________

Meets sales goals and objectives ____________ ____________

Product and service knowledge ____________ ____________

Business development skills ____________ ____________

Presentation skills ____________ ____________

Total Points ___________ ____________

How did you do?

Step 2 – Review your job description

  • Identify any components of the job description that you no longer do or that now take additional time.

  • Describe any new goals, responsibilities, or added challenges you have taken on since your most recent performance evaluation. Identify those that require additional decision making, responsibility, accountability, or oversight of the work of other employees.

Identify what you like most about your current job.

  • Determine the components of your job that you would you like to change or eliminate. Why?

Step 3 – Achievements and Goals

Since you have been working for the company, you should have achieved some of your planned goals. Think about them when you answer the following questions:

  • What are your most significant accomplishments and contributions?

  • Which accomplishments and achievements are you most proud of?

  • What goals do you wish you had accomplished but did not?

  • What would have helped you to accomplish these goals?

  • What work are you performing that is outside the scope of your current job description?

  • What job-related goals would you like to accomplish going forward?

  • What professional and personal goals will help you improve or develop your performance in your current job?

Don’t forget to look for growth opportunities

Your self-review is a great place to look for professional development opportunities. Remember, in order to get what you want you’ve got to be willing to ask for it. So, even if your boss didn’t specifically request it, go ahead and make your pitch to get that certification, attend that training session, or register for that conference. Your boss will likely appreciate your enthusiasm and desire to up your skill set.

Self-evaluation do’s and don’ts

  • Do incorporate feedback you’ve received from others. It’s okay to include testimonials or meaningful quotes if you’ve got them. Show that others appreciate your contributions.

  • Don’t just make a list. A bullet-pointed list of your accomplishments is OK but writing out specifics can help focus on next steps.

  • Do prioritize. Remember to focus on the highlights when it comes to achievements, and the major concerns when it comes to challenges. Don’t be tempted to include a laundry list.

  • Do get a second opinion. It’s not a bad idea to have a friend, family member, or trusted colleague read over your self-evaluation. They can help you make sure your tone is positive and constructive.

If you didn’t quite reach your objectives, don’t point fingers—this is your self-review, not your team’s…it’s all about you. Your self-evaluation is no place to play the blame game. If you have a problem with a coworker and you believe that problem has affected your performance, that’s something you need to bring to your manager’s attention separately.

Remember - keep the focus on yourself and not what others did to you or didn’t let you do.

“You can either blame everybody else or you can take a look at yourself and determine where you can improve.” - Robert Kiyosaki (American businessman, author and founder of Rich Global LLC and the Rich Dad Company)

Jim Heilborn is a business consultant specializing in the office furniture/products industry, working nationwide with dealers, manufacturers, and service providers. Jim has been associated with INDEAL for over six years, specializing in training and dealer development. He can be reached at 916.434.9811 or jheilborn@indeal.org