If you're running a review programme, and you're preparing for the 360 degree review discussion and feedback conversation, how do you create an environment of openness and understanding so that action will follow and a change in behaviour or competence will arise?
We may all approach these feedback sessions differently but below is a summary of some of the key points that we find most useful. Those attending our Feedback Facilitator’s Course do, of course, receive a full set of guidelines.
Step One - Outline the context for this 360 degree review discussion
The initial few minutes are about scene setting. Much of this will have been covered in the initial stages of the 360 review programme – but it is worth reiterating and reminding the recipient of this.
Areas you may like to cover are:
- The purpose and benefits of taking part in the 360 degree feedback process.
- A reiteration that this is the start of the process, rather than the end of it – and that the real benefits will only be seen if he or she makes changes and acts on the feedback and uses it to inform personal development, to make clear plans and to stick to them.
- How he or she could approach the session; that is it important not to accept or reject feedback too quickly, that taking notes may be beneficial – and to remember that this is a snapshot of the recipient and to look at it alongside other feedback.
Step Two - Explain how the feedback will be used, and about storage and confidentiality
You may like to cover:
- Who gets hard copies of the report, and what you will do with your copy after the programme and any notes you take.
- What will happen to all with all the results from all the participants. Will you be collating or combining them? With they inform broader learning and development initiatives?
- Where the storage facility is, the level of security and encryption and how long the data will be stored. If you're using our system then you can also explain that the system is also used by a number of organisations who are subject to public scrutiny and interest, such as a number of UK police forces so we know it meets strict control standards.
- How the report sits within the HR record.
- If a soft copy is available.
Step Three - Look at the feedback report
- Briefly explain what the report contains and how it is structured.
- Different reports will be structured differently and, if you’re using the Talent 360 tool, you may like to draw attention to the section at the end of the report – the PAPU-NANU – as this analytical tool helps to show where there is most agreement, and where there is greatest divergence in views. It is a good place to start because it helps you to identify clear strengths as well as development needs, and to focus on priorities for change and action.
- Look at the detail of the report and, if time allows, leave him or her to read the open-ended comments more fully.
- Start the discussion. Perhaps ask for overall impressions and immediate reactions. Ask them what they would like to look at or explore first and do this.
- After discussing the report, you may want to talk about what support is needed to move forwards on the development plan.
Step Four - Closing and following up
- Commit to following up the session with an email to you, citing some strengths to use more and some areas for further work.
- Ask the participant about his or her feelings about the process (the feedback, and the programme more broadly).
- Finally, thank him or her.
How do you choose to structure your feedback sessions?
You may also be interested in two of our articles. The first looks at how to make sense of the information the reviewers have provided and helps in the preparation for the facilitated feedback session.
The second article suggests some ideas of questions or prompts to help discuss the 360 review as you facilitate the review session.