Feedback For All Employees At All Levels
Feedback For Employees At All Levels
By Marcus M. Mottley, Ph.D.
360 Degree feedback methods help employees at all levels receive performance feedback from supervisors, direct reports, peers and in some cases, customers. According to some experts, the most helpful feedback comes from observers who focus on the behaviors and skills of the person seeking the feedback.
The general purpose of the 360 Degree feedback is to help each individual gain insights of how he or she is perceived by others regarding their strengths and weakness. The goal of course is not just to have many different persons rate another person’s performance… but for that person to use the information to increase their performance, productivity and overall effectiveness.
For the past several years, I have coached many executives through this process and have seen a variety of responses to the feedback they receive. In a significant number of cases, individuals receiving such feedback have problems handling the difficult and sometimes unflattering responses that are offered by colleagues and others.
I was recently asked by someone who is going through this process to advise them on how to handle this difficulty. In response, I have developed a list of guiding perspectives and suggestions.
Perspectives & Suggestions:
- Do not look at the feedback as criticism. These comments are another person’s perceptions about you.
- These are how other people see, hear, smell, taste and experience you as you interact with them.
- Do not engage in trying to guess who said what and why they said it.
- You do not have to be defensive. You do not have to explain. Just take it in.
- Do not see the feedback as malicious remarks from people who do not like you.
- Irrespective of their intentions, they have done you a great service. They have told you what you did not know or what you may have avoided knowing or facing.
- They have revealed their inner reactions to your personality, to your communication and to your interactions with them.
- Understand that what one person has revealed… there may be many others who privately agree. Now you know some of what has been hidden from you.
- They have educated you and opened your eyes. Now you must open your ears. And, you must open your heart.
- You can never again be in denial with regards to how these persons are impacted by you or how they perceive you. You can never again say that you did not know.
- The key is this: What will you do with their gift to you?
- Will you be defensive? Will you draw a line in the sand and say, “I did so and so… because…. I am like this… because you don’t really understand me… because you were not really listening to me… because I did not mean so and so… and you really misunderstood me… blah blah blah…”
- Or will you say… “Well, I have a lot of work to do – to change how I am perceived… to make my intentions more clear and to have a different impact on people.”
- “I will communicate more effectively to reduce how I ‘rub people the wrong way.’” “I will reduce my abrasiveness…” “I will reduce the behaviors that are seen as arrogant, weak, indecisive, favoring certain individuals, contributing to low levels of morale, not holding key people accountable, poor communication, disengaged…”
- “I will enhance my ability to lead, to motivate, to influence and inspire.”
- “I will demonstrate more of my ability to listen and understand others.”
- “I will demonstrate that I can take advantage of these insights and that I can change in positive ways.”
- “I will not hold onto ‘who I thought I was’ or ‘what I thought I was doing’.”
- “I will now set goals in order to change me first.”
- “I have the capacity, the ability and the desire to change to be better… not bitter; to grow, learn and develop – not defend!”
Those are my thoughts on the attitude that is needed to derive the greatest benefit from critical feedback of others.
The 360 Degree Feedback mechanism is one of the best ways to change your level of performance and productivity whether you are in the top, middle or entry level of the organization!
What are your thoughts? Give me some feedback.