For some, the very mention of feedback makes their heart sink. Maybe they had a bad experience with receiving feedback, or they just view feedback as another word for criticism. In a way, their resistance to feedback is similar to that of a child refusing to eat their vegetables.
If you’re a parent, or remember what it’s like to be a kid, you know that children and vegetables sometimes don’t mix. To them, vegetables are gross, and why should they eat something they don’t like? They would much rather eat fries and chicken nuggets over a plate full of broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It’s an age-old battle that isn’t resolved, in some cases, until the child becomes an adult.
Once children grow up, they begin to learn that their parents weren’t trying to torture them (at least about veggies) because vegetables are vital for a healthy diet and lifestyle. As a result, adults not only begin to add vegetables to their diet, they actually start to enjoy them.
Alright, so what do vegetables have to do with feedback?
The purpose of feedback, and in particular 360 Feedback, is to collect perceptions about a person’s behavior from those around them. The feedback helps paint a clear picture of performance and identifies weaknesses that need improved, and strengths that can be leveraged.
As we mentioned before, some managers are not open to the idea of feedback and can view it as confrontational. However, if you learn to bypass your initial reluctance to feedback, you will see that the purpose is to help you as a manager. And just like vegetables provide plenty of health benefits, receiving feedback will make you a better manager. Feedback encourages self-development, which leads to job satisfaction, and who doesn’t want that in a career?
When conducted properly, a successful 360 process has proven itself valuable to many organizations by providing insight into where people can benefit from development and growth. When it comes down to it, feedback is a great opportunity to see your management style in a new light.
The key is to approach 360 Feedback with the right attitude. Here are some points to remember:
Don’t be defensive. Try not to take the feedback personally. Be open to what you see and hear.
Take the time to process the information and consider specific actions for improvement.
Use feedback to clarify goals and track progress toward goals.
Commit to making a change. When you make a decision, get in the habit of considering the impact it will have on the people affected by it.
Make feedback part of your career development. Just consider it a nutritious way of helping you to become a more effective manager.