Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Do Not Be Angry- What to Do After a Bad Performance Review?

I encountered this article from HBR and find it quite useful not only in arts managers’ work but also in our daily life. Imagine you have read your creepy mid-term feedback and found something wrong. Do not lash out the innocent PC but come here to read this article.

It listed several points tackling bad performance review, among which I find three of them are effective to bring arts managers out of the puzzle of “What is wrong with my performance”. They are “Look for your blind points” ”Ask questions” and “Make a performance plan”. I believe many of us have already done like these steps before, and they are directly checking the core of problematic reviews.

I used to be afraid of receiving bad reviews of my works and take it as an indication of failure. Nevertheless I found it is negative feedbacks that made me grow rapidly and they have truly opened my horizons and helped me hit, related to this article, blind spots. The philosophy is “just face them directly”.

However, I am wondering if I am too optimistic about bad performance feedbacks. What if they are difficult to solve due to some irresistible reasons? And what if some bad reviews on the performance itself come from people who didn’t see the gist of this performance? Should we change the arts to some extent to cater our customers’ view?

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3 comments on “Do Not Be Angry- What to Do After a Bad Performance Review?

  1. amyjoforeman
    October 31, 2014

    Hi Chang! I really enjoyed this post. I think reviews are great tools for learning about yourself, but they can be difficult. I like this one line from the article about performing well after receiving a very critical review is “You could get an F on the exam, but if you get an A on what you do with it, that’s what matters.” I think it’s really important to be able to handle constructive criticism well. I also think that, as an arts manager, you want to hire and work with people who take criticism well. How do you determine how they’ll handle it when you’re hiring them?

    • gaochang619
      October 31, 2014

      It is an interesting question AmyJo. I haven’t considered myself as an interviewer or an HR people yet. Perhaps I may put some situational questions in the hiring process, intend to ask those job applicants to imagine a set of failure circumstances and then indicate how they would respond in that critical situation. However they may prepare for this kind of questions before interview, so I guess a stress interview would be better. Any good ideas?

  2. yaoge2016
    October 31, 2014

    It’s an interesting post! In my opinion, if the critical review is constructive, a good arts manager really should discover the blind spot and learn from it. However, what if the reviewer doesn’t get the point of what the artists want to express? The action suggested from Standing Room Only might be talking directly with reviewer and not involving any editorial staff. A nice direct talk might change the attitude of the reviewer or a least lets him/her know the possible influence of a single bad performing review. I think this may help.

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