The end of the year means colder weather, holiday parties, and the dreaded annual review. And while you might be excited about securing a salary bump, the odds of you landing a raise will likely plummet if you say the wrong thing during this crucial meeting. Here are some conversational tactics to avoid during your next performance review:

Defensive Comments

Annual reviews can be stressful, and it’s only natural to feel like defending yourself when someone levels an accusation against you that feels unfair. However, resisting this temptation may help you achieve a better outcome. Rather than list off reasons that a mistake or negative outcome wasn’t your fault, thank the reviewer for her time and say that you’re planning to work on the issue moving forward.

Rejecting Compliments

Just as it’s a bad idea to get defensive during a review, rejecting compliments can negatively affect how employers perceive you. After all, the goal of this interaction is to showcase all that you’ve accomplished throughout the year. So, accept any kind words that come your way with grace and be sure to mention those team members who helped you shine.

Requests for Raises

While there’s nothing wrong with discussing salary in an annual review, the way you raise the topic of a raise can affect the likely outcome. Rather than starting off by saying you want to earn more money, take time to build a case for yourself by listing off key achievements and accomplishments. Whenever possible, use facts and stats to add weight to your argument. If you increased speed on your line by 30 percent, be sure to share this information with your supervisor.

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