360 degree feedback is a process for providing a person with structured feedback from a group of people who have a range of different perspectives.
For example, a manager can receive feedback on their leadership, communication and planning & organising capabilities from their direct reports, peers, their own manager and possibly internal and external customers.
Now what I think about 360
It is a gift. It’s like asking people to help you become more successful and them saying, OK sure.
You know how you can always see things in others that they can’t see themselves. You can see things that they’re good at and sometimes you wonder why they don’t put them to better use. Other times you can see things in people that are holding them back. You wonder why they can’t see those things themselves. If only they did such and such they would be so much more successful – why don’t they do it.
Well, we have a single perception of ourselves and we can’t see outside that. It stops us from seeing those things that others see in us.
360 degree feedback is all about breaking through that single perception to help you be more successful. It’s about giving you confidence in your abilities, seeing the strengths that other people recognise. And it’s about identifying the areas where you can develop and grow – the things that’ll help you be more successful.
360 degree feedback is like being Mel Gibson in the movie What Women Want. Being able to see himself as others saw him and benefiting as a result.
Getting back to David’s questions
This is the second post in a multi-part article where I’m addressing the questions raised by David in response to my post on 5 tips for writing objectives that produce results.
Last post we looked at the problem of 360 degree feedback becoming a replacement for quality objectives.
In this post I’ve talked briefly about what 360 is capable of doing. What would be great to know – if David is willing to comment on it – is how 360 is seen by himself and the people he’s working with? Is it helping him to be more successful?
When David says “360 has become a crutch because KPIs are almost always vague and unmeasurable” – I suspect that like many organisations 360 is being used as quasi assessment or performance review tool. This is largely a problem of perception. But it isn’t helped by the majority of companies who run it as part of the end of year review. This is the wrong time to use 360.
Coming up . . .
To continue shedding light on the answers to David’s questions, in the next series of posts we’ll be looking at:
- The need for 360 degree feedback and how it works
- What is 360 degree appraisal.
- The best time to run 360.
- Setting SMART objectives when there’s little clarity of business goals.