Making sense of 360 degree feedback information

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 14:33 PM

Not surprisingly, we firmly believe in the power of 360 degree feedback.  But we also recognise that real value is only gained when the feedback is understood, accepted and acted upon by the recipient.

The role of a feedback facilitator is therefore pivotal and indeed, anecdotal evidence from our clients strongly points towards a face-to-face feedback session as being the most valuable part of a 360 review, a critical element in enabling subsequent behavioural change.

But one of the key challenges can be how to make sense of the information you get from a 360 and how you, as a facilitator can organise this both in the preparation session and in conversation with the individual.

Our Facilitator Training course introduces facilitators to our ‘Head Light Lenses’. As there are a number of different models you can use to evaluate or make sense of the feedback contained in a 360 degree feedback report and each gives a slightly different way of looking at the feedback or serves a different purpose, we use the term lens – much like the different lenses for a camera.

One commonly used model for evaluating and using the outputs from a 360 degree review is the ‘JoHari Window’.  The JoHari Window is an excellent tool for helping people to build their self-awareness and understand how they can interact more effectively with others, but it does have its limitations.

In our article below we introduce you to our version - PAPU-NANU (not named after a Polynesian island – it stands for Positive:Aware, Positive:Unaware, Negative:Aware, Negative:Unaware).

It’s included as standard in our Talent 360® tool as we’ve found it to be so useful when reviewing a 360 degree feedback report, either in preparation for a feedback conversation or during a session, helping a recipient to understand their data.

PAPU-NANU uses deliberately positive language and aims to highlight the most useful parts of feedback and ways of responding to these.

It is essentially a way of categorising, prioritising and distilling 360 degree feedback; a good 360 will provide you with a wealth of rich data, which can either be hugely insightful and helpful, or totally bewildering!

PAPU-NANU gives you a structure which will help you to ‘organise’ the feedback into four categories, which then focuses you on your likely development needs and key strengths and initiates thinking about what you could do differently to operate more effectively and make use of the feedback.

It views areas where there are differences in perception as ‘opportunities’ – that is, areas in which you could make people more aware of your behaviour, intentions or thinking processes. These differences are also opportunities to increase your self-awareness and understanding of your impact on other people. PAPU-NANU is similar to the JoHari Window, but it focuses on these perceptual differences and uses slightly different axes to sort the information:

  • Whether the feedback was a surprise, or whether it was expected by yourself (aware vs. unaware)
  • Whether the feedback was positive (or motivational) or negative (developmental, or constructive) – this is often most easily identified by the strength of others’ ratings (relatively high or relatively low)

You can read more about PAPU-NANU in our We think... article  but we see the benefits of our model over others as:

  • It highlights the ‘clear strengths’ which can be overlooked in other models in a rush to focus on the development aspects
  • Emphasises the ‘good news’ – this highlights the areas that others see a person as being more effective than they see themselves  and this can be a counterbalance to the ‘hidden talents’
  • The positive language adopted in the model can make for a more valuable conversation.  When people have given themselves higher ratings than others have, these ‘hidden talents’ can be positioned as opportunities rather than having a more contentious conversation about why this is.
  • It provides a strong visual element.

To read more about PAPU-NANU, read the full article.

Making sense of 360 degree feedback

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