Annual performance appraisals are three-four months away for a large number of employees and it’s time to determine what exactly you want to get out of the process.
Make sure your self-review has data and relevant information, not flowery language. If there was ever a time for active listening, this is it.
Be alert for vague feedback — ask questions, especially where you think the feedback is vague. Vaguely-worded feedback can mask important underlying issues and concerns.
Ask for areas where you can improve and be vocally self-critical yourself. Be upfront about what you missed so that can then be an area you will work on for the future. Try to keep the subject on you, your contribution to the company and your future in a relaxed and non-confrontational manner.
Ask questions to probe and better understand what your manager is really saying, but avoid aggressively arguing because that tends to shut the other person down.