If you are going to build a business which creates a culture where team members are encouraged to make their own decisions about their own development, how can you help them along this journey to understanding what they can improve? For someone to understand where they are deficient in areas they must first of all develop a self awareness to allow them to be honest about themselves and their weaknesses. The best method for this is to create a feedback process that gives an individual a full view of how all the people they work with see their abilities. It is important to understand how your work, capabilities and skills have an effect on and are perceived by everyone you work with.
Getting feedback from all around you allows you to have a full awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. The importance of feedback cannot be underestimated, it provides two key functions. Firstly, the fact that an individual knows that feedback will be taken in certain areas focuses a person’s attention on those areas. Secondly, once this feedback has been taken, structured self reflection will lead to internalising the feedback, learning goals and the actions to achieve those goals.
Another key feature of a successful feedback process is when it is recorded. It is used to focus an individual’s attention. However a person’s attention is limited (a biological fact). So gathering 360 degree feedback all at the same time can overload that attention and become counterproductive. That is why the key to successful 360 degree feedback is to gather it over a period of time which allows the individual to reflect and concentrate more effectively upon the comments they receive each time.
The final key aspect of a feedback process is how the findings are delivered to the individual. The information must be kept private to the team member. This allows that person to not feel judged by anyone else as they know no one knows what has been said. This allows them to confidently assess the findings themselves and come to their own conclusions as to how to take it forward. A person’s commitment to improvement is much stronger from within as opposed to being dictated to by someone else.
So how does this tie in with people making their own decisions about their growth within the workplace? A full 360 degree feedback process allows an individual to build a strong self awareness around what they need to improve on to grow. Taken over time and making it private to the individual also enhance the effectiveness by giving the team member the confidence that they can deal with it and know that they are not being judged. For someone to truly grow effectively self awareness is key; this is the greatest outcome of a successful 360 degree process.