Whilst we all like to know how well we are performing, receiving feedback can be a bitter pill to swallow if it’s not all positive. Sometimes we are feeling sensitive, or the topic of feedback is personal or upsetting, at other times it may be how the feedback is framed up (or not) or how it is delivered. Ultimately we are responsible for how we take on board the feedback we receive.
This is easier said than done in the workplace; many organisations provide feedback to their employees on all areas of their work by engaging them in a 360 degree feedback process (also known as full-circle feedback, multirater feedback, multi-level feedback, upward appraisal, and peer review). Where ‘normal’ performance appraisals provide us with ‘top-down’ and ‘single-source’ feedback 360 Degree Feedback provides feedback from a variety of sources we interact with like our peers, direct reports, clients and other managers.
Happening People provide our Top 5 on How to Receive 360 Degree Feedback with Grace and Propriety (well it is a wiser career choice then throwing a tantrum!)
Before you begin the 360-degree review process, start with an open mind. It is important to consider that there are no perfect managers, no matter how experienced they are. Susan David, co-director of the Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching, founding director of Evidence Based Psychology LLC, and a contributor to HBR’s The Conversation blog said “The best leaders aren’t those who don’t have a lowest score on a 360. The best leaders have standout strengths.” Use the opportunity to gain maximum feedback.
2. Choosing Who Provides you Feedback
Selecting raters is one of the most important parts of the 360 degree feedback process. When considering quantity, be mindful if you don’t select enough, the feedback will not be as comprehensive and valid and choosing too many, the feedback becomes confusing. When it comes time to choose your raters, consider:
- Your working relationship with them
- Choose raters who have a lot of contact with you
- Look for balance, choose raters who will give both positive and negative feedback
3. Get the Full Story
Do not be too quick to react. A lot of leaders what to rush in and ‘react’ to the feedback. Instead after you have received all your feedback, take some deep breaths and a few days to process the information. Consider with objectivity what has been said, both the positive as well as the negative feedback. A tip here is to focus on the curious and compassionate parts of your mind. Do not consider the feedback in isolation look at it with other feedback you have received, does it ring true or is there areas of the feedback you need clarification on.
4. No Retaliating
As you focus on the curious part of your mind and you feel you do need more information, ask for it but do not treat the process as a witch hunt. 360 degree feedback is intended to be anonymous. For the most part raters providing you with feedback are of the understanding that they will not be contacted to ‘defend’ their review of you. Ultimately what you are receiving is a series of opinions on your performance. If something really doesn’t ring true consider it carefully, and if it still doesn’t ring true then discard it and move on.
5. Look for the Benefits
If the thought of a 360 degree review leaves you cold, consider the benefits coming to you:
- Increased self-awareness, by understanding how your behaviour is perceived by others, and comparing this perception with your own self-assessment of your own work behaviour.
- Identify and build upon the strengths that you already exhibit
- Prioritise areas where you might change your behaviour in order to improve your work performance and effectiveness.
- The opportunity to focus your learning and professional development activities.
At Happening People we know that truly effective leaders are masters in giving and receiving feedback. We can help you develop your skills and that of your people when you attend our Leadership Academy (click here to find out more).
Call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to www.happeningpeople.com