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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...

spinach in teeth

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:

  • Feedback helps you see something you cannot see, literally!  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 can save you from major embarrassment, again, helping you see something you don't, 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 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 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 can help your loved ones stay safe by helping them learn when they've crossed boundaries that could hurt themselves or someone else. It's when a police officer gives your teenager, a new driver, a ticket for driving too fast and without a seat belt.

What is 360 Feedback, and Can It Be Your Friend?

  • 360-degree Feedback is when 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 impacts others. It also helps you leverage strengths and address perception problems and skill gaps quickly.
  • It can be varied, contradictory, confusing, and helpful. (For example, celebrity judges on shows like American Idol, all see the same performance, and yet they often rate the contestants differently!)
  • It's a time and place for people to share their opinions. It's a time for you to listen to those opinions by focusing on trying to understand how others 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, skills, and knowledge about yourself.

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.

Feedback CAN be your 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 say, behind your back, "S/he just doesn't get it."
  • less of a chance to reach your most significant potential

Yes, feedback IS your friend! 

While feedback is not always easy to receive, you at least know what others' perceptions are when you get it. When you see, you can improve and impact your effectiveness and success.

new 360 logo 2022

Need 360 Feedback Assistance?  If you are starting or considering a 360 feedback project, consider 20/20 Insight software SYSTEM that makes it 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: Survey Software System  

If you would like to discuss your project in a complimentary consulting call or if you think you need survey administration and facilitation assistance, contact Suzie Price.

Contact us to schedule a Complimentary Consulting Call

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