Is anyone excellent?

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About 1 in 10 people that I debrief for 360 degree feedback don’t give themselves a rating of excellent anywhere in the report.

They then fall into a few categories.

  • Lacking in confidence
  • Perfectionists who see excellence as ultimately unachievable for everyone including themelves
  • Accurate

As a debriefer, the lack of scoring in "excellent" or its equivalent isn’t a big deal but it is almost always a good conversation piece and worth exploring.  Does the perfectionist set goals that the direct reports can’t or won’t follow?  Is the person lacking in confidence affected by that, and does the rest of the 360 degree feedback point to where they should draw confidence?

I am often struck in delivering 360 feedback sessions on how rich the information is and how unexpectedly the source of conversation can arise.

My view – if you have a 5 point scale then you should try to judge people across all 5 points.  No need to get too worried about the words and "excellent" doesn’t mean perfect it just means better than good.


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