The gift of feedback

It’s officially "Gift of Feedback" month here at work.

Which means online 360 degree evaluations. We’re supposed to get a minimum of 5 gifts from supervisors, colleageus and direct reports. 10 gifts is the magic number. We’re ranking each other on 15 attributes like leadership, respect, commitment. Rating each other from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

Meant to be anonymous. But I’m putting my name to all of my comments. And I’m only accentuating the positive. Because who am I to judge? And I work with really great people.

When it comes to 360s, my views don’t necessarily reflect those of my employer. I’m sure there are many good and legitimate reasons to do it. I’m curbing my enthusiasm for 4 reasons:

  1. In a previous life, I worked for a boss who got cruxified with a 360. Was left demoralized and soon after reorganized out of the organization. And morale took an across-the-board hit even among folks who didn’t get brutalized. Brought out passive-aggressive tendencies.
  2. If you get 10 compliments and one suggestion for improvement, you’re only going to remember that one suggestion. And if you think I have an area for improvement, pick up the phone or drop by and tell me personally and do it sooner rather than later. I won’t break down in tears or throw something at you.
  3. I have a very good idea of what I’m good at, what I’m bad at and where I’ve screwed up. And I’m far tougher on myself than anyone I work with and for will ever be.
  4. And at the end of the day, the feedback I care about most comes from my kids and my wife. Am I a good dad? A good husband? A good person? Are my priorities straight or screwed up? (right now, I’d be getting mixed reviews). I’ve yet to read an obit that said the recently departed scored well in his last 360 performance appraisal at work, with 80% of colleagues, supervisors and direct reports saying they strongly agreed on 10 of 15 attributes.

Published by

Jay Robb

I've reviewed more than 500 business books for the Hamilton Spectator since 1999 and worked in public relations since 1993.

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