Workplace: 'You're No Donald'

You've met your deadlines and trimmed your department's budget by 10 percent. But your boss gave you a lame "satisfactory" on your year-end review. What can you do? Monster.com 's career expert John Rossheim says to first ask yourself if she's right. If so, have her put in writing what you need to do to improve and check back in about three months. If you think you've been wronged, take a couple of days to cool off before responding. Address in person any accomplishments she's not aware of (you just closed a $5 million deal) or circumstances she failed to take into account (three of your employees are on leave). But don't file an official, written reply immediately, because it may make your boss feel backed into a corner. Your best bet, though, is to avoid the bad review in the first place. Graham Alexander, an executive coach and author of "Tales From the Top," suggests meeting with your boss three or four times a year to head off any developing problems. Then you'll cut your chances of hearing "You're fired!"

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