50 Self-evaluation Phrases for Your Next Performance Review

Lori Li
9 min read
Mar 19, 2021

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Performance reviews can be nerve-racking—especially when it comes to self-evaluation.  Am I being too critical? What if I seem arrogant? It’s often difficult to know what to write or how well it will be received.

In this article, you’ll discover why your self-evaluation is important, learn how to get started writing yours, and find 50 performance phrases you can use on your self-evaluation.

What’s the benefit of a strong self-evaluation?

One of the most crucial parts of a performance review is the self-evaluation portion because it reflects your self-awareness. When you are self-aware, you are conscious of your strengths and weaknesses—and how others perceive you. A higher level of awareness means you are more likely to have a higher confidence level, build stronger relationships, and make better decisions.

Being self-aware not only benefits you on an individual level, it also helps your company. In fact, it can have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line. The Kerry Fong Institute found that employees at poor-performing organizations had 20% more blind spots than employees at financially strong companies.

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What’s the goal of self-evaluation for a performance review?

The goal of self-evaluation or self-assessment is to provide honest insights into how you perceive your performance and reflect on how others perceive your performance. 

Organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich refers to these two perspectives as internal and external self-awareness. In a Harvard Business Review article, she described this relationship as a “delicate balance of two distinct, even competing, viewpoints.” This balance ensures your self-evaluation won’t be one-sided.

To better understand others’ viewpoints, it’s important to seek regular performance feedback. Remember, feedback is a process—not just a single event. It can help you identify blind spots you may have developed and even uncover strengths you didn’t know you had. This will allow you make continuous performance improvements and enhance your career. 

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How to get started writing your self-evaluation

1. Reflect on feedback

To create a great self-evaluation, it’s important to understand how your actions affect others.  

Between your performance reviews, be observant and mindful when you're collaborating with different teams. If any feedback comes up in your daily work, take note and reflect on this information when you’re preparing to complete your self-evaluation. 

You can also take a proactive approach and solicit 360-degree feedback from your peers, managers, and direct reports.



2. Make a list of your top accomplishments and identify areas for improvements

Your self-evaluation is an opportunity to highlight how you used your unique strengths to accomplish your goals while also being honest about areas you could improve. 

Before writing your self-evaluation, take the time to compare your job description to your recent performance. Where did you excel? Where did you fall short? What personal strengths or weaknesses contributed to this? 

Once you have both lists created, compare them to your organization or department’s goals, values, and missions and identify how they align.

3. Gather analytics to show impact

Using quantifiable data in your self-evaluation will show the real value you provide. It also helps legitimize your results. 

For the best results, make sure to include numbers and action words. For example, instead of saying “I am one of our top sales associates,” you could say, “My sales have increased by x% since my last review.”

In addition to using analytics to showcase your accomplishments, you can also use them to create SMART goals for your next review period. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Here’s an example to get you thinking in the right direction: Over the next x months, I will increase sales by y% by making z cold calls per week.

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How to address weaknesses in your self-evaluation

It can be difficult to talk about areas you need to improve on or situations you’ve handled poorly. But doing so shows that you take ownership of your mistakes and have a growth mindset. According to Gina Abudi of the Abudi Consulting Group :

  • Individuals who rate themselves as being stars when they are not—meaning they evaluate themselves as performing better than they are—are unlikely to be receptive to performance feedback that is not in the same light as they see themselves.”

Addressing your weaker areas provides balance for your self-evaluation. It also gives you the opportunity to seek guidance from your supervisor when making improvements.

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Once you’ve identified a specific area to improve, follow these three steps to address it on your self-evaluation.

1. Make a commitment to improve

Start by acknowledging your shortcomings and explain that you want to address them. 

2. Set a SMART goal for yourself

In the previous section, you read about SMART goals. Use this information to create one for improving the areas you’ve identified. Remember, these goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

3. Create a plan of action 

After you’ve committed to improving and set a SMART goal, you’ll want to cover how you plan to make it all happen. There are a lot of resources out there that can help you figure this out. Take the time to research which ones will get you the most return on investment.

Here are seven free or low-cost resources to get you started:

  • A course or workshop at your local community college
  • Free or low-cost online courses through websites like edX, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy
  • One-on-one or peer coaching 
  • A mentor with experience in your industry
  • Organizations and networks like Toastmasters 
  • Business podcasts and books
  • TED Talks and YouTube videos

If you have trouble finding something that will work for you, don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor for recommendations. Your performance review is your opportunity to engage in a dialogue and work together to find solutions.


50 sample phrases to use in your next performance review

When you write your self-evaluation, there are three main areas you want to focus on. These include:

  • What to keep doing – What have you done that has contributed to your accomplishments? What has helped you develop strong working relationships?
  • What to stop doing – What are you doing that negatively affects how your peers or supervisor perceives your performance?
  • What to start doing – What are you not doing now that you should be doing?

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Once you can answer these questions, you’ll be ready to write your self-evaluation. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 50 self-evaluation phrases to consider using on your next performance review.


1. I clearly communicate my expectations to my team.

2. I effectively communicate at all levels in our organization by [insert specific examples here].

3. I tactfully provide difficult feedback and approach sensitive situations.

4. I effectively present my ideas to groups of all sizes.

5. I frequently share relevant information with my peers so that our team as a whole can benefit.

6. I proactively communicate changes that are coming with the stakeholders they will affect.

7. I frequently publicly and privately acknowledge my peers and/or employees for a job well done.

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Job Performance

8. I take pride in my work and value doing my job well.

9. I frequently volunteer to participate in projects that are beyond my job responsibilities.

10. I promote a team-oriented work environment by [insert specific examples here].

11. I have exceeded my [insert specific goal here] performance goal by [insert specific number here]%.

12. I have decreased [e.g., costs and customer churn] by [insert specific number here]%.

13. I frequently challenge myself to perform better.

14. I am happy to answer questions my peers have and often provide guidance on [insert specific examples here].


15. I follow through on my commitments to others and keep them aware of any challenges I face.

16. I have met [insert specific number here]% of my major deadlines.

17. I use my time effectively and am able to prioritize my work.

18. I am mindful of my team and customers’ needs and schedule my planned time off well in advance.

19. I regularly show up on time and fully prepared to start my day.

20. I am not afraid to ask for guidance when necessary.

21. I promptly respond to emails I receive from customers and peers.

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Customer Orientation

22. I effectively handle difficult or hostile customers by [insert specific tactics here].

23. I actively listen to understand the customer’s point of view.’

24. I go beyond what is required to ensure our customers are educated on [insert specific topics here].

25. I have received [insert specific number here]% on my customer satisfaction survey.

26. I am continually working to improve the customer experience by [insert specific examples here].

27. I am mindful of my own interactions as a customer so I can better understand our customers’ perspective.

Innovation and Creativity

28. I regularly look to streamline and improve our work processes.

29. My idea to [insert specific idea here] has increased [insert specific metric here] by [insert specific number here]%.

30. I approach each challenge with fresh eyes and look for out-of-the-box solutions.

31. I frequently collaborate with others to brainstorm and problem-solve.

32. When I was facing [insert specific challenge here], I [insert specific solution here].

33. I regularly consider others’ perspectives and try to find solutions that work for everyone.

34. I am able to quickly adapt to new situations and change course, if necessary.


Growth and Development

35. I am committed to my personal growth and regularly set personal goals for myself.

36. I stay current on developments in my field and regularly read [insert specific sources here].

37. I am committed to my professional growth and have taken [insert specific training here] training to improve my [insert specific skills here] skills.

38. I regularly seek opportunities to connect and learn from others in my field.

39. I have a long-term vision for my career and continually take steps toward achieving it.

40. I learn quickly and am able to adapt to change.

41. I value learning and regularly seek opportunities to learn something new.

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Performance improvement plan

42. Although I try to be transparent, I have recently become aware that my team doesn’t think I am.

43. While I excel at serving our customers, I need to work on following up with them more frequently.

44. I typically have a very positive mindset and struggle with holding difficult conversations that need to take place.

45. Although I communicate clearly with small groups, I usually don’t get my ideas across when I’m presenting information to a larger group.

46. I have a tendency to stick with what’s working and am not always open to new approaches.

47. I have a lot of ideas about how to improve our work but I am afraid to share them.

48. While I am mindful of my teams’ needs, I often forget to put my OOO time on the calendar in a timely manner.

49. Even though I value my peers, I can sometimes come across as unapproachable.

50. I like to figure things out myself and sometimes I don’t ask for help when I should.

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Self-evaluation templates

Need a little more help? Here’s a template you can use:

  • “Over [insert time period], I have been able to [describe your accomplishment or goal you’ve met] by [insert percent or numeric value]. By [explain what you did to achieve this goal], [explain how it has affected how you do your work]. 
  • After reflecting on my performance, I recognized that [insert area for improvement]. [Explain why this is important or the background behind it]. By [explain what you will do differently], I will work to [insert SMART goal].”

Get started with your self-evaluation

Writing a self-evaluation can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. 

A self-evaluation is about more than simply how you view your performance. It’s also about being able to see things from another point of view. Before you start writing your review, take the time to reflect on how others perceive your actions.

An easy way to collect this type of performance feedback is with TINYpulse’s 360 feedback tool, which lets you request feedback from anyone at any time, anonymously or non-anonymously. This type of 360-degree feedback will help you to write a stronger self-evaluation, make improvements, and strengthen your work relationships.

With TINYpulse, your organization can get a bird’s-eye view of performance across all metrics and from every perspective. With that information on hand, all of your employees can focus on continuously improving. Over time, this continuous improvement translates into a happier and more productive team, happier customers, and a stronger bottom line.

To learn more about how TINYpulse can help your organization get to the next level, book a demo today.

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