Write an Effective Self-Assessment

Write an Effective Self-Assessment

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Business English




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warm up

Answer the questions below. Then listen to Bella, a woman who works in the cunsulting industry, give her answers. Report back what you heard.

How do you feel about yearly assessment meetings?

I have mixed feelings about them, honestly. On one hand, they’re a great opportunity to reflect on the past year – looking at what I’ve achieved and where I can improve. It’s also a chance to set clear goals for the coming year. However, sometimes these meetings can feel a bit formulaic and don’t always capture the day-to-day realities of my job. I try to go into them with a positive attitude, though, because feedback is essential for growth, even if the process isn’t perfect.

Do you keep track of your achievements over the year? Is this a good idea?

Absolutely, I do keep track of my achievements throughout the year. I believe it’s a really good idea, especially in a field like auditing where the details matter a lot. Keeping a record helps me stay organized and ensures I don’t miss anything during my yearly assessment. It’s not just about listing what I’ve done, but also reflecting on how each achievement aligns with our company’s goals and values. This practice has made preparing for assessments much easier and more effective, and it also gives me a sense of accomplishment to see all that I’ve achieved over the year.

If a colleague of yours felt really anxious about their meeting with the boss, what advice would you give them?

If a colleague felt anxious about their meeting with the boss, I’d tell them, “First, remember that it’s completely normal to feel a bit nervous. These meetings are important, but they’re also an opportunity for growth. My advice would be to prepare well. Look over your achievements and think about how they’ve contributed to the team and the company. Also, be ready to discuss areas where you want to improve and perhaps have some ideas for future goals. It’s a two-way conversation, so feel free to ask for feedback and support. Lastly, stay positive and remember that your boss is there to help you succeed, not just critique you. You’ve got this!”


key language

Go through these words and expressions.

Check out if you know what they mean and how to pronounce them. 



Listen to a presentation on the topic “How to Write an Effective Self-Assessment”. 

What are the main points mentioned by the speaker?

Alita is listening to a podcast and making notes


Read the text below.

Write an Effective Self-Assessment

Writing a self-assessment can feel like a box-checking exercise, but it sets the tone for your manager’s evaluation of your work. Follow these five steps to nail this critical part of your performance review.

Focus on the entire year. Don’t just default to your most recent accomplishments. If you didn’t keep notes, take a peek at your calendar to remind yourself of the projects you worked on and significant conversations you were a part of.

Consider broader company and functional goals. Identify the work you did that directly contributed to the big picture. Your goal is to tie your day-to-day work to your organization’s success.

Look for alignment with company values. How you approached your job is just as important as what you accomplished. Identify the behaviours and attitudes you brought to work that upheld your organization’s values and culture.

Seek feedback from colleagues. Reach out to your co-workers to understand their perception of you and your work. Ask: What do I do well? What have I improved on this year? And what do you hope I improve on in the year to come?

Draft a concise list of accomplishments. Pick no more than five of the most impactful achievements to highlight. Each one should have fulfilled an organizational goal, advanced the company’s values and culture, and been informed by feedback from colleagues.

This tip is adapted from “How to Write an Effective Self-Assessment,” by Marlo Lyons



Answer the questions below using the information from the presentation and the article.

  • What is the first step suggested in the article?
  • Why is it important not to focus only on recent accomplishments?
  • In the second step, what is emphasized as crucial when reflecting on your work?
  • According to the third step, what should you reflect on in your self-assessment?
  • Step four involves feedback from colleagues. What are the three key questions you should ask them?
  • What is the recommended number of significant achievements to include in your self-assessment?



Bella had a performance review with her boss, Mr Norton. Read their dialogue.

How do they incorporate ideas from this lesson?

Mr. Norton: Bella, thank you for joining me. I’ve been looking forward to discussing your performance this year.

Bella: Thank you, Mr. Norton. I’ve prepared for this meeting and I’m eager to hear your feedback.

Mr. Norton: Well, let’s start with your overall contributions. I’ve noticed your work this year aligns well with our broader company goals. Can you share your perspective on this?

Bella: Absolutely. I’ve tried to ensure my audits are not just thorough but also contribute to our firm’s objectives. For instance, the efficiency improvements in the XYZ project directly supported our goal to enhance client satisfaction.

Mr. Norton: That’s a good example. How about the company values? How do you feel you’ve aligned your work with those?

Bella: I believe in leading by example, so I’ve embraced our values of integrity and diligence in every project. I’ve also encouraged my team to uphold these standards, fostering a culture of excellence and ethical practice.

Mr. Norton: I’ve noticed that, and it’s commendable. Tell me about the feedback you received from your colleagues.

Bella: I reached out to several team members. They appreciated my detail-oriented approach and my willingness to mentor new auditors. They did suggest, however, that I could enhance my delegation skills to manage workload more effectively.

Mr. Norton: That’s constructive feedback. Now, let’s talk about your key achievements this year.

Bella: I’ve narrowed it down to five major accomplishments. For instance, the successful audit of our largest client not only met but exceeded the compliance standards, which was a significant win for us.

Mr. Norton: Indeed, that was a highlight for our team this year. Bella, it’s clear you’ve done an outstanding job. Your self-awareness and dedication to professional growth are impressive. You’ve set a high bar, not just for yourself but for your colleagues as well.

Bella: Thank you, Mr. Norton. I appreciate your feedback and look forward to continuing to contribute to our team’s success.

Mr. Norton: Absolutely. Let’s keep this momentum going into the next year. Keep opening those doors to self-awareness and development, Bella.

Bella: Will do, Mr. Norton. Thank you for this constructive review.

Over to You

Write your own self-assessment using the tips from this lesson. 



Share your views and experience here.