Ah, the job performance review. With our top performers, we look forward to lavishing praise and hope that it will be returned from our cubicled all-stars. With the bottom-feeders, it's all about the exit strategy. And with those in the middle, we want to enumerate their strengths and weaknesses with the goal of moving them up a notch or two.

Whatever their level of performance, they're all getting feedback. And though we may be more wary with how we phrase and deliver it to the lower rungs, a negative response can come out of the blue even from the top producers.

Fortunately, one can prepare ahead of time so that a negative response to feedback can be handled to limit the fallout.

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