I was once running a training session, where the delegates complained bitterly about the temperature of the room; the air conditioning only seemed capable of producing extreme heat or an iced chill. Coats on , coats off…and repeat…I soon realised that more than the odd cursory’ turn it up, turn it down’ routine was needed. At the end of the day, one of the delegates said “The heating sorted itself out, didn’t it?”.
Why am I telling you this? To make the point that others don’t necessarily see what you do – how difficult your job is, or what is involved – if you don’t bring it to their attention. In the story above, what had actually happened is that I had to factor in adjusting the heating every half hour or so. Every time the group were doing an exercise or working in pairs, I was seeking help, changing settings, opening windows….and they hadn’t noticed. they just assumed it had settled down.
One of the real positives of a 360 process is that it does require respondents (those people who are asked to complete a questionnaire about you) to actually think about what you do and the quality of your work. You can use this to your advantage.
It’s a sad fact of life that if you do a good job, for much of the time, no one tends to notice; it’s only when things go pear shaped – a broken link in the chain – that others notice, because it interrupts their own work. A well oiled cog is taken for granted – when the engine explodes, the inconvenience is shouted about far and wide! One of the frequent outcomes from a 360 feedback process is that people realise that they don’t effectively communicate what it is they actually do, and the factors involved. Often an action point identified is to improve their own PR. After a 360 feedback is an ideal time to build on relationships while your role and the part you play is fresh in the mind of others.