Receiving feedback can be an uncomfortable experience but, to become better leaders, managers need keep cool, take a step back and not take negative comments personally.
While multi-rater management development tools such as 360 degree feedback are capable of providing individuals with valuable information about their workplace behaviors, including their strengths and weaknesses, there are some key points to bear in mind. For example:
- 360-degree reports involve multiple perspectives and it can be easy for recipients to get confused by or refute the feedback.
- Certain behaviors may be viewed positively by some raters and negatively by others.
- To avoid getting lost in the detail, focus on the primary themes that emerge across the data and try to identify common patters rather than isolated comments.
- When considering the results, Focus on strengths first, weaknesses second. Don’t just leap into drawing up plans to tackle perceived weaknesses. Understanding how to enhance your strengths is equally important.
- Look for ‘gaps’ between how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you.
Of course, perhaps the most important step in the feedback process is to create a development plan for the future. This plan should take into account the key messages contained in the feedback rather than concentrating on specific comments.