Here is a scenario you find yourself in if your manager, and your organization, want your input on an annual performance evaluation. You will receive a self-performance form or just a request to make a list of the contributions you've made over the past year. You might also be asked for your personal strengths and weaknesses and possible goals for the new year. Be ready.
You Know Yourself
When you are asked to write a list of your strengths, that is because your manager, or at least the designer of the performance appraisal system, believes you, the employee, know yourself best. Stick with strengths that you and your manager have already discussed or that you can support with examples. If you pick a strength and cannot justify it as such, or worse it is irrelevant to your job, don't write it on your list.
There are two perspectives on every quality about yourself that you believe is a strength. Your managers and coworkers might not agree. For example, you might be a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and you believe that this contributes to the high quality of your work. A manager might believe that you're never satisfied with your work and that your perfectionism slows down your productivity. Pick personal qualities that you're sure are strengths. You can ask for a few suggestions from your manager during a performance evaluation meeting.
The best thing that you can do when composing a list of professional strengths is to be brutally honest. A supervisor might use your list for different purposes. Your strengths written as actual examples of how you have helped the employer over the past year might become details in the narrative part of your evaluation. Other strengths, or weaknesses in the eyes of a supervisor, might form the basis for personal goals that your manager sets for the upcoming year.
You can solicit input on your strengths from coworkers. Explain that you want to write an honest self evaluation and focus on strengths. Coworkers who worked closely with you throughout the year can be instrumental in reminding you of your accomplishments. It is important that you don't omit strengths or accomplishments exhibited early in the year of evaluation.