"Many a time, employees express surprise at a few statements mentioned in the appraisal form. Managers try their best to explain the reasoning behind them, but you, as an employee, might feel that the manager is biased or has misinterpreted the results. You might even feel that those comments have been written just to avoid giving a better performance rating. One can argue for any misunderstanding or misinterpretation, but it is not always the spoken or written word from the manager that conveys the meaning. Employees fail to understand that perception plays an important role in the evaluation process. It is human to remember selectively. Each person builds a perception about someone else based on the multiple interactions he has had with that person while working together. It takes time to build a perception, but, once formed – whether good or bad – it takes more time to change it.'
"It is not only the manager who will form a perception but also all those people with whom you interact directly or indirectly. Even your manager's superior will have a perception about you. It might happen that the manager has a different perception about you than his superior, but the chances of difference here are slim. At the time of appraisal, your manager collects the 360º feedback and his perception will flow together with the feedback. Even though each manager provides examples to prove his point, they are limited to the subject matter. Soft skills that envelop your contribution can, therefore, play a major role in building perception.'
"A wrong perception can play havoc with one's career. It is better to project the correct image through appropriate interactions. This could be done by providing strong results and consistently acting upon any feedback given. A willingness to receive feedback, and maintaining a positive attitude and flexibility on work assignments are a few examples of the soft skills that can help in building a positive perception. The only way to correct a wrong perception is by further interactions and by being patient for the desired results. Good interactions can clear doubts and make the other person see the results in the right perspective. As appraisals are not a once-a-year activity, it is important for an employee to interact frequently with the manager during the course of the entire year in order to ensure that perceptions (as well as objectives and results) are aligned."
(pp. 41-2, '101 Myths & Realities @ the Office: How to get the best out of yourself and your team' by Utkarsh Rai – Penguin)