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What is Feedback?  Why We Have a Love/Hate Relationship with 360 Feedback Surveys

what is feedback

What is feedback? Why do we need it? Why do we struggle with it? How can we survive and thrive in the midst of it?

A colleague once shared her view of feedback and of 360 surveys,  "Imagine standing in the center of a circle of people, naked. That's what a 360 (feedback survey) can feel like. There is an incredible sense of vulnerability..."

Some feedback from some people in certain situations can be downright scary. No wonder we have a love/hate relationship with feedback and the leadership management training tool the 360 Feedback Survey.

Feedback can leave us feeling vulnerable. So why do we need it? Why not just steer clear of it? Why don't we avoid all feedback at all costs?

What is Feedback and How It Helps Us...

What is feedback?  Well, you benefit from it, formally and  informally, every day.  Here are a few examples of what it is and how it helps you:

  • It's when you're at an important networking meeting, noshing on appetizers and an acquaintance tells you, right before you start walking around, "I just wanted to let you know, and I hope you don't mind, you have a little bit of spinach on your tooth, right here..."

    Feedback
    helps you see something you cannot see, literally!
  • It's when you walk out of the restroom and a good friend stops you before you go too far to let you know that your skirt is tucked inside your panty hose.

    Feedback
    can save you from major embarrassment, again, helping you see something you don't, literally!
  • It's when you look down while driving to grab your phone and the car next to you beeps their horn to let you know you're moving into their lane.

    Feedback
    let's you know when you're veering off track - so you can quickly get back on track, BEFORE you're off the road!
  • It's when a police officer gives your teenager, a new driver, a ticket for driving too fast and without a seat belt.

    Feedback
    can help your loved ones stay safe by helping them learn when they've crossed boundaries that could hurt themselves or someone else.

Definition of 360 Feedback:

It's a personal and professional  development process that
involves getting anonymous feedback about specific sales and
  leadership traits and competencies from people who observe
the Subject's behaviors at work on a regular basis.

Raters can include: direct reports, peers,  managers and/or customers.

Results help measure sales and  leadership qualities, and are used to help an employee leverage their strength's and close gaps.

What Is Feedback?  Can 360 Feedback Actually Be Your Friend?

  • 360 Feedback is when the people (peers, customers, bosses, employees) share what they think and feel, what they need and expect and what they experience when working with and for you.
  • It helps you understand how your behavior is impacting others. It helps you leverage strengths and address perception problems and skill gaps, quickly.
  • It can be varied, contradictory, confusing, helpful AND hurtful. (For example on reality shows like American Idol the celebrity judges all see the same performance, and yet they often each rate the contestants differently! Confusing...)
  • It's a time and place for people to share their opinions. It's a time for you to listen to those opinions by intently keeping your focus on trying to understand how other''s perceive your actions.
  • It's a time for listening for themes and new understandings that can be used to catapult leadership and sales success and strength.
  • It's a tool that helps you improve your awareness, your skills and your knowledge about yourself.
what is feedback

My examples of all the different kinds of feedback we receive reminds us that: Feedback can be our friend.

Without feedback you'd have:

  • spinach in your teeth
  • embarrassing 'behind-exposure' stories
  • car wrecks
  • kids with no sense of their boundaries
  • no idea what the people you care about and depend upon, need from you
  • people saying, behind your back, "S/he just doesn't get it"
  • less of a chance to reach your greatest potential

Yes, feedback IS your friend!  And, while feedback is not always easy to take, when you get it you at least know what others perceptions are. And when you know, you can then decide whether adjustments about anything you've been doing unconsciously that has been getting in the way of your success.

Yes.  Feedback IS your friend.


360 Feedback

Need 360 Feedback Assistance?  If you are starting or considering a 360 feedback project consider 20/20 Insight software SYSTEM that makes possible for you to easily measure the performance of a person, a team or the entire organization with customized surveys and done-for-you-survey-templates. 

If you would like to talk through your project with in a complimentary consulting call, or you think you want survey administration and facilitation assistance, contact Suzie Price.




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