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Seeking Detailed Pillar-Level Feedback from Manager after Performance Review

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Communitya month ago

Hi everyone,

I recently had my bi-annual performance review in a FAANG-like tech company, where I was evaluated against four key pillars: project impact, craft excellence, direction, and organizational impact. However, the feedback I received was an overall "met expectations" rating without specific details on how I fared within each pillar for individual tasks.

I'm now looking to engage in a follow-up discussion with my manager to gain a more granular understanding of my performance. Specifically, I want to discuss:

  • How I was evaluated against each pillar for the tasks I undertook (whether it was met expectations, below expectations, or exceeded expectations).
  • Clarification on which tasks were aligned with each pillar and how my performance was assessed accordingly.
  • Identifying areas for improvement and potential growth opportunities within each pillar.

Any advice on initiating this conversation respectfully and productively would be incredibly helpful!

Thanks for your insights!

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Discussion

(3 comments)
  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    In general, frame every communication for topics like these in terms of mutual interest. In this situation:

    • Bad: "I want to figure out how to get a higher rating, so I can be promoted/paid more."
    • Good: "I want to clearly understand how I can land more impact on your team and uplift my teammates even further."

    You can run something like: "Hey [manager], thank you for sharing the Meets Expectations rating - I am glad to have a solid foundation on the team. I would love to understand exactly how I can improve and add even more value to the team - Would you mind walking me through each axis and how I can improve?"

    This is very rough as I recommend anchoring the conversation with specific axes and projects where you are pretty confident that there was large room for improvement. This shows that you are putting mental effort to make the conversation as effective and efficient as possible as opposed to lazily putting out an open-ended request for more feedback/information.

    These 2 videos aren't exactly about your question but are quite related:

  • 2
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a month ago

    Do a lot of the work for your manager. Create a matrix of the 4 pillars with the expectations for your level (mid-level) copied from the official guide at your company.

    Then write your own evaluation about how you're doing in each category, and what you plan on doing. Make this easy to read, e.g. color code each pillar with red, yellow, green based on how you think you're doing.

    Share this with your manager and ask to go over it and collect feedback in the next 1:1.

    If you were cynical, you'd say that people like to correct more than they like to help. Whatever the reason, this is pretty effective in forcing a deeper discussion.

    We talk about this more in the onboarding masterclass: [Masterclass] How To Succeed At A New Team Or Company As A Software Engineer

  • 1
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    Mid-Level Software Engineer [OP]
    Taro Community
    a month ago

    Big thanks to Alex and Rahul for offering such invaluable insights on how to tackle this situation. Your advice is truly appreciated and incredibly beneficial.