1 A Guide To Understanding Your 360- Degree Feedback Results 1
2 Table of Contents INTRODUCTION CORE BELIEFS... 1 PART ONE: UNDERSTANDING YOUR FEEDBACK Degree Feedback... 2 Evaluate Your Effectiveness... 3 Survey Design... 3 Calculating and Interpreting Gap Size... 5 Interpreting Your Feedback Report... 6 Key Factors in Reviewing Survey Results... 7 PART TWO: MOVING BEYOND THE FEEDBACK... 8 Identify Strengths and Developmental Needs... 9 Individual Development Plan - Instructions Individual Development Plan Individual Development Plan - Example Discuss Your Feedback with Others Verbal: Sharing Results with Others Written: Sharing Results with Others Benefits of Follow-Up Understanding Feedback from your Boss Discussing Your Feedback With Your Boss Worksheet: Discussing Differences in Assessments Gather Additional Feedback Final Commitments
3 INTRODUCTION CORE BELIEFS The survey feedback you are going to review in this guide is based on beliefs about self-development, change and feedback. Our hope is that you will use your feedback to select the changes that will help you develop to your full potential. CORE BELIEFS: SELF DEVELOPMENT AND FEEDBACK The main purpose of most self development efforts is to improve one s own effectiveness. Efforts to improve begin only after a person learns and accepts that his or her current practices are ineffective, self-defeating or limiting chances for advancement. Receiving clear, specific feedback from several reliable sources helps people understand their true strengths and developmental needs better than any other learning tool or method. Learning experiences that include feedback produce significantly more change than learning experiences without feedback. Page 1
4 PART ONE: UNDERSTANDING YOUR FEEDBACK The first part of this guide will help you understand the information in your Confidential Feedback Report. 360 Degree Feedback 360 Degree Feedback, also known as Multi-Rater Feedback, is when you receive information about yourself gathered from surveys distributed to other people. The purpose of 360 Degree Feedback is to help you develop your effectiveness as much as possible by "seeing yourself through eyes of others." It is very difficult to know exactly how others react to the many things we say and do each day. Yet, 360 Degree Feedback helps people understand their true impact on others better than any assessment method. As you examine your results: Remember it is impossible to satisfy everyone. Some people have unrealistic expectations. Others may expect things from you that are not part of your responsibilities. Try not to feel discouraged if a few people want change. Rather, look for what the majority of the people are saying about your current practices. Feel proud about the practices where the majority are satisfied. This feedback will help you understand your impact on others. This feedback will also help you make any changes necessary to increase your on-the-job effectiveness, if you work to understand what others are saying. Page 2
5 Evaluate Your Effectiveness An important step in benefiting from the feedback is understanding the concept of Gap Size. This section: Reviews the design of the survey Explains how Gap Size is calculated Reviews how Gap Size is presented in your Confidential Feedback Report. Here s the scenario: Prior to today, you asked people who are familiar with you --- such as manager, direct reports, peers, coworkers, team members, and others to complete an on-line survey. You are now ready to review the results. Survey Design The surveys you distributed are beneficial because they ask each person two questions about several important practices and behaviors: Question 1 How Often Does It Occur? This question gives you an indication of what the person believes is currently occurring. Question 2 How Often Should It Occur? This question gives you an indication of what the person expects or needs from you to do their job. The key to understanding how effectively you perform each behavior is to examine the relationship between the answers to these two questions: If the majority of people indicate that you are performing a behavior at the frequency desired your current are practices can be considered effective. If the majority of the people indicate that a difference exists between what you are doing and what they need or expect changing your current practices will normally improve your effectiveness. Page 3
6 In examining your feedback, it is important to remember these key principles: An effective person strives to understand and meet the more important needs of coworkers, team members, and customers. When a person consistently meets the more important needs of others, the results are more cooperation, fewer complaints, and higher customer satisfaction. When a person consistently fails to understand or meet the more important needs of others, the results are lower quality, higher customer dissatisfaction, more re-work and lower morale. It is impossible to meet every need of every person you work with. Some people have unrealistic needs. Some needs are impossible to meet. Meeting the more important needs of the majority of people is what builds effectiveness. Page 4
7 Calculating and Interpreting Gap Size To help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current practices, we have created a measurement called Gap Size. If the concept of Gap Size is new to you, you will likely have questions. Please ask questions of the people who are leading the feedback session or who are assigned to help you with your feedback. People were given five choices for each question. Each choice was assigned the following numeric values. Frequency Numeric Value Never 1 Rarely 2 Sometimes 3 Frequently 4 Always 5 Gap Size is the numeric difference between how often a behavior occurs (Question 1) and how often the behavior is expected or needed (Question 2). How often a behavior occurs (Question 1) How often the behavior is expected or needed (Question 2) Gap Size In both examples, No Gap (Gap of 0) exists between what's occurring and what's expected. Both examples are indicators of very effective performance. In both examples, a Gap of 1 exists. Both examples are indicators that slightly more of the behavior is desired by the person answering the questions. In these examples, either a Gap of 2 or 3 exists. Both are indicators that a stronger desire for more of the behavior exists. In both examples, a "Reversal" occurs; what s occurring is greater than what s expected. Reversal indicates a desire for less of the behavior. Page 5
8 Interpreting Your Feedback Report This section explains how to interpret the information collected by the surveys you distributed. Your Confidential Feedback Report focuses on the Gap Sizes that resulted from the way people answered the two questions. Gap Size is the difference between what a person believes is occurring now and what is needed or expected. Your results are separated on the report to show you: The results for each behavior based on the surveys completed by you (Self) and your manager (Boss). The results for each group that answered surveys; i.e. direct reports; peers; coworkers; team members; others; etc. The Average of the Gap Sizes from each group for each behavior A Graphic Display of the Average Gap Size for the behavior A Distribution Table that shows how many people answered with a reversal, No Gap, Gap of 1, etc., for the behavior If the Self or the Boss responses produced a reversal, the size of the reversal is shown in the Gap Size Distribution table. It is impossible to meet every need of every person. Some people have unrealistic needs. Some needs are impossible to meet. Meeting the more important needs of the majority of people is what is necessary to maintain or increase your effectiveness. Page 6
9 Key Factors in Reviewing Survey Results As you review your results, there are three factors we suggest you consider as you evaluate your feedback. The three factors are: 1 Average Gap Size: The smaller the Average Gap Size, the greater your effectiveness. The larger the Average Gap Size, the greater the desire for change. General Criteria for evaluating the Gap Sizes for each behavior are as follows: SELF/BOSS OTHERS Gap of 0 Exceptional Performance Avg Gap of 0.39 or less Gap of 1 Decent/Normal Performance Avg Gap of 0.40 to 0.79 Mild Desire for Change Avg Gap of 0.80 to 0.99 Gap of 2, 3 or 4 Strong Desire for Change Avg Gap of 1.00 or more 2 3 Number of People: The more people responding to a behavior, the more reliable the feedback. Generally if 4 or 5 people within a group answer a question, that feedback should be considered more valid or reliable than if 1 or 2 people within a group provide feedback. Distribution Pattern: The "spread of responses" or "patterns" that appear in the Gap Size Distribution Table also provide valuable insights. Some common distribution patterns are shown below: Distribution Pattern Interpretation These two examples show patterns that indicate the majority are very satisfied with your current behavior. No change is necessary. These two examples show patterns that indicate the majority are satisfied, but in both examples one person has a very strong desire for change. No change is necessary. These two examples show patterns that indicate the majority of people want change. Providing more of the behavior will increase your effectiveness with the people desiring change. These two examples show patterns that indicate differing assessments by respondents. Some are satisfied, some have a strong desire for change, and one Reversal exists. Providing more of the behavior will increase your effectiveness with the people desiring change. Page 7
10 PART TWO: MOVING BEYOND THE FEEDBACK The feedback you have examined was gathered to help you better understand the impact and effectiveness of your current practices. The majority of the feedback most likely confirmed assessments or opinions you anticipated. Also, it is likely that the majority of the feedback reflected other people's satisfaction with many of your current practices. It is also likely that some of the assessments from others may have surprised you. Their desire for you to change may cause you to become discouraged. In addition, you may begin to feel hurt or angry as you think about these assessments. It is important for you to understand that feeling uncomfortable or disappointed about other people's desire for you to change is normal. Almost every person has some natural initial difficulty accepting feedback that indicates other people's desire for them to change. Yet it is this "feeling of disappointment" that causes people to make plans to improve! There are 3 things you might do when using this feedback to help you improve your current effectiveness: Identify your current strengths as well as identify the changes that are the most important to make to increase your effectiveness. Develop specific strategies or improvement plans that will support your commitment to increase your effectiveness. Communicate your commitment to change to the people who provided the feedback. You can complete these efforts immediately after examining the feedback or at any point during the training that accompanies the feedback. The remaining pages of this guide are devoted to helping you with these important efforts. Page 8
11 Identify Strengths and Developmental Needs The next step in benefiting from the feedback you receive is identifying your current strengths as well as identifying the practices that are the most important for you to improve upon first. When answering the following questions, it is important for you to keep in mind: The specific demands of your job Your own capabilities and limitations The climate or culture within your organization 1. What are the specific practices that your audience --- direct reports, peers, coworkers, team members, and others have indicated you are currently performing the best? (List 4 to 6 current strengths.) 2). What are the specific practices that your audience --- direct reports, peers, coworkers, team members, and others have indicated the strongest desire for change based upon the Gap Size, Gap Distribution and the demands of your job? (List the 3 to 4 practices that are the most important to improve upon first.) Page 9
12 Individual Development Plan - Instructions Filling out the Individual Development Plan on the next page will help you: Develop specific strategies / improvement plans Identify the support or resources that will help you increase your effectiveness Page 10
13 Individual Development Plan 1) One specific practice I believe is important for me to improve is: 2) What payoffs will you experience if you are able to improve? 3) What specific changes will support your desire to improve this behavior? a) I will need to do more of: b) I will need to do less of: Date Date c) I will need to start doing: Date d) What obstacles or barriers could prevent you from making these changes? e) How can you work around or remove these barriers? 4) What workshops, training programs, books, self development activities, etc., will support your efforts to improve this behavior? 5) How could your immediate manager help you to make these changes? 6) Who else within your organization can support your efforts to improve? In what ways? Page 11
14 Individual Development Plan - Example 1) One specific practice I believe is important for me to improve is Express ideas clearly in 1 to 1 communications 2) What payoffs will you experience if you are able to improve? - Save time correcting misunderstandings - Higher respect from others - Less anger about misunderstandings 3) What specific changes will support your desire to improve this behavior? a) I will need to do more of: b) I will need to do less of: Date Date - Make notes before key 3/15 - Waiting until last 3/15 communications minute to plan key - Plan proper time 3/15 communications c) I will need to start doing: Date - Ask more questions 3/15 To check for understanding d) What obstacles or barriers could prevent you from making these changes? e) How can you work around or remove these barriers? - Lack of time - Review time management materials / handouts - Forgetting this strategy - Make notes to self 4) What workshops, training programs, books, self development activities, etc., will support your efforts to improve this behavior? Effective 2 to 1 communication skills (review workbook from nine months ago) 5) How could your immediate manager 6) Who else within your organization can Page 12
15 help you to make these changes? support your efforts to improve? In what ways? - Give critical information sooner Chris Talbot (team member) Get Chris s help on presenting new technical information Page 13
16 Discuss Your Feedback with Others The people who provided you with feedback did so with the intention of helping you become more effective. Without their efforts, you would not have these specific new insights on the effectiveness of your current practices. Therefore, it is important that you let them know this. We recommend your communication take place within 3-14 days after receiving your Confidential Feedback Report. Verbal: Sharing Results with Others It is extremely important that you communicate with as many of these people as possible about your reactions to their feedback. Specifically, you are encouraged to: Strategy 1. Thank the people for taking the time to complete the survey and allowing you to benefit by receiving feedback on your performance. Acknowledge one or more new insights of your behavior that came from receiving feedback. Example I would like to thank you for completing the surveys I distributed a few weeks ago. I really gained a lot of insight from your feedback. Specifically, I learned how important it is to you that I keep you informed. I also learned I need to consider your time schedule before making changes on my own 2. Mention one or two initial changes you plan to make as a result of the feedback you received. (You may also explain why you cannot change other practices you learned people want more" or "less" of.) As a result of your feedback, starting next Monday, I plan to make each of you a weekly summary of my progress on key projects we are working on together. Also, I am planning to make efforts to become a more attentive listener Identify the specific dates you will make each change. 3. Ask them to provide you with "additional feedback" as you attempt to make these changes. "Again, thank you. If you see me slipping back to my old habits in these two areas, please give me some friendly feedback..." Page 14
17 Written: Sharing Results with Others We also suggest that you distribute a written communication with as many of the people as possible about what you learned and what you are planning to change. For example: I recently had the opportunity to review the feedback during a one-day workshop. The workshop was designed to enable me to examine how effectively I am applying critical leadership and management practices with people such as yourself. All of the feedback I received was "averaged," which protected the confidentiality of not only your response, but the responses of all my peers. As a result of the feedback, I was able to identify some changes I plan to make. For example, I learned that and are two areas where people such as yourself suggested I make a change. I really appreciate the feedback. Therefore, I will try to make the following changes starting the first of next month: I would appreciate any additional ongoing feedback you care to make about my practices. Benefits of Follow-Up Your follow-up will produce the following important benefits to the people who provided you with feedback. Specifically, they will... Realize that their feedback was carefully and thoughtfully examined and that some improvements are likely to occur. Better understand why some of your current practices are undergoing change. Be more comfortable in giving you additional feedback and support as you work on changing. Be more open in completing similar feedback surveys from you in the future. More importantly to you, "going public" with your intentions to change puts some healthy and helpful pressure on yourself to improve your performance. Page 15
18 Understanding Feedback from your Boss The feedback from your immediate manager or supervisor is likely to contain several assessments you anticipated along with a few assessments that may initially surprise or confuse you. It is important to remember that your boss's feedback represents his or her honest beliefs based on what she/he has seen or observed. The feedback is also influenced by your boss's values and expectations. If your boss indicates a significant desire for change similar to the data shown above, you should understand that your boss could be trying to communicate one of the following two concerns: Concern # 1 Concern # 2 "I need you to be more willing to change your mind when you and I work together." "I am pleased with willingness to change your opinions when you and I work together, but I am concerned you need to be more willing to change your opinions when you work with others." When your boss's assessment is different from both your assessment and the assessment of others, you may want to discuss this with your boss. The next page presents a Communication Strategy for discussing differences in assessments with your boss. Page 16
19 Discussing Feedback with Your Boss The following Communication Strategy has been designed to help you discuss with your boss the feedback you received from your boss. Showing your boss the part of your feedback report (Step 4) that relates to the feedback that is confusing you is critical. Your boss will not be able to answer your questions fairly and honestly (Step 5) without "seeing what your are saying. STRATEGY 1. Thank your boss for taking the time to complete the survey and allowing you to benefit by receiving feedback on your performance. Acknowledge one or more new insights on your behavior that came from receiving feedback. 2. Mention one or two initial changes you plan to make as a result of the feedback you received. 3. Explain that some of the information you received was confusing to you, and that you would like his/her assistance to understand the feedback better. 4. Display the data. (Use either your actual computer report or a copy of selected portions of the report that is confusing to you.) As you display the data, it may be necessary to explain the format of the computer printout as you identify the data that is confusing to you. This is a key step in helping people understand your communication. 5. Ask questions that attempt to gather additional information. Use a series of "open questions" (questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" response) to discover some specific reasons for the discrepancy. Keep the questions focused on "what more" or "what less" people desire... not "Why do you think I am doing poorly?" (judgmental questions). EXAMPLE "I would like to thank you for completing the surveys I distributed a few weeks ago. It often helps to get other people's perceptions. One thing I learned about myself is that I'm not as good at communications as I thought. "In fact, one specific change I am making already is to organize myself more effectively "However, a few parts of the information I received were confusing to me. I would like to show you some of the data and get your insights as to what it might mean "Specifically, the information about keeping others informed was confusing to me. As you can see on the computer printout, I believe I keep people rather well informed. A very small gap size exists in my self-assessment. At the same time, you have a larger gap size indicating you have a strong desire to be kept better informed "What are some specific situations where you need more information right now?" "Looking back, on what issue would you have liked more information?" "If you had my job, what information would you feel best for me to share with others?" Page 17
20 Worksheet: Discussing Differences in Assessments STRATEGY IN YOUR WORDS USING YOUR OWN STYLE 1. Thank your boss for taking the time to complete the survey and allowing you to benefit by receiving feedback on your performance. Acknowledge one or more new insights on your behavior that came from receiving feedback. 2. Mention one or two initial changes you plan to make as a result of the feedback you received. 3. Explain that some of the information you received was confusing to you, and that you would like his/her assistance to understand the feedback better. 4. Display the data. (Use either your actual computer report or a copy of selected portions of the report that is confusing to you.) As you display the data, it may be necessary to explain the format of the computer printout as you identify the data that is confusing to you. This is a key step in helping people understand your communication. 5. Ask questions that attempt to gather additional information. Use a series of "open questions" (questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" response) to discover some specific reasons for the discrepancy. Keep the questions focused on "what more" or "what less" people desire... not "Why do you think I am doing poorly?" Page 18
21 Gather Additional Feedback As you examine your feedback results, you may experience a desire to learn more about the specific changes people want. For example, your feedback may indicate that the majority of people want "clearer communication." Before changing anything, you may want to learn what "additional communication" each person needs or desires. It is important to remember that it is very difficult for most people to discuss what they want face-to-face. The communication strategy shown below is designed to lessen people's natural reluctance or fear. The key element of this strategy is developing and using a short list of written questions that outlines what you would like to learn. Begin your communication by thanking people for their feedback and then review what changes you will be making (See page 14). Then, we suggest the following: Explain your intentions (to learn what additional changes you should make based on people's individual needs) and give people your list of questions. Allow people some time to think about and develop answers to the questions. Meet with each person separately and discuss the person's responses. Listen and take notes about the changes the person desires. Later, let each person know what changes you will make. Good written questions are critical to having this strategy work. The written list of questions helps people to better understand what you want to discuss. Each question should be: "Open ended," requiring more than a "yes" or "no" response. Focused on a practice or behavior that you are able and willing to change if the person's requests are reasonable. Written to ask for specific examples of "what more" you could provide. A sample written communication is shown below. The feedback from the surveys was very helpful. I will use your feedback to make some immediate changes. I also realize I could make some additional changes if I better understood your needs. It is not necessary to answer every question. Answer only the questions where you would like me to change. I would like to meet with you and discuss your answers before May What new or additional responsibilities would you like added to your current responsibilities? - What department decisions would you like to have more input on before they are made? - What additional information could I provide you to help you do your job better? - On what decisions or issues do you believe I need to be more "flexible" or open minded? - What changes could I make to work more cooperatively with you and others? CAUTION: Do not use the strategy unless you are able and willing to make changes based on what people tell you. Do not use this strategy just to learn "who gave me the biggest gaps." Page 19
22 Final Commitments "Training programs don't make people more effective rather, people make themselves more effective. " What you do after this program will determine the extent to which you will grow, develop, and improve your effectiveness. Putting what you have learned into practice is the next step. Making specific time commitments and then keeping those commitments will significantly influence how quickly you improve your effectiveness. Identify the dates you will accomplish the following critical actions: CRITICAL ACTIONS Complete Individual Development Plans for 2 to 4 important changes. I will do this by COMMITMENTS Place Visual Reminders in places that will help you stay focused on the behaviors you are trying to improve. I will do this on Discuss the changes you plan to make with your immediate manager. I will meet on Communicate with other key people the changes you plan to make that will improve your effectiveness with them. I will send a memo by or I will explain these changes to others by Meet with others in this program to discuss the progress each person has experienced. We will meet on Page 20
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