Modern personnel management demands performance review. There is a vast literature on the topic. And so I write nothing new or substantial here.
I have always hated undertaking performance reviews and I have always hated having my own done. The best boss I worked for hated them too and on the anniversary of my engagement with the company took me out to lunch and we chatted about other things. Then I joined a consulting company that simply did not believe in performance reviews—their only criterion of success was hours billed and client satisfaction. Find such a company if you concur with my opinion.
To the extent that it is unavoidable, take the review with good spirit. It is mostly a bunch of lies told to keep human resources happy. If you are billable and can continue so, your job is secure. If you are not billable you may be terminated tomorrow no matter what is said in the performance review. Do not believe that the review is for your good. It is so the company can act as it will when it wants to—it at least has a file of documents to back up any unhappy actions it takes.
Keep in mind that not everybody is cut out to be a consultant. The most difficult thing one has to do as a boss in a consulting company is tell those who cannot and never will that they cannot and never will. I have had to do it three times in my career and each time it was an agony for both. Looking back, however, it was for the best for those folk have gone on to other careers better suited to their talents.
Do not delay if you realize you are not cut out for the company or you have a staff person who is not cut out for consulting. In particular, do not wait for the performance review. Take the bull by the horns as soon as is clear and act fast and humanely.
PS. The picture below is Narcissus. Don’t do what he did in performance reviews. It can be fatal.