I recently read this interesting blog post that had the author sharing their 360 feedback which was part of a qualification process to the position of Principle/Head Teacher.
It was a clear example of the value which can be derived from such feedback and I noted two key points:
1. … “However, the real value of this type of exercise is thecomments that are left by the respondents”.…this is always in our opinion where the true value of 360 feedback can be found – ratings point to where there is an issue to discuss, but the narrative provides the rich detail that allows you to explore what is actually happening.
Which brings us on the second point, which is:
2. Averaging really can lose the truth within the feedback given.
I posted last year on this practice, and it’s worth citing the joke again to highlight why averaging doesn’t really help:
Three mathematicianswere off hunting in the woods one day looking for pheasant – as they saw onenearby, the first mathematician took aim, fired and missed just to theleft of the bird. The second mathematician then took aim, fired andmissed just to the right of the bird.
At that point, the third mathematician put his gun down, and exclaimed “Well done gentlemen! On average, I think we hit it!”.
As I looked at the table of average ratings in this post, it showed the ability for one rater to skew a result and show a seeming ‘downturn’ in performance.
Much better to see what each different relationship group rated, and ideally how each individual rated, so that you can see if there is consensus, polarisation, etc.