Recently, I was asked to completed a 360 degree eval of a colleague. I’m sure most either know what this type of evaluation is or can make a pretty good guess, but the idea is that everyone around the individual – superiors, peers, subordinates, outside and inside the organization – are asked to evaluate that person.
For the most part, it’s all numbers. 1 = never, 10 = always, and everything in between. Anonymity is very safe.
However, in this case there were also written responses. These were optional, but I feel that, if someone is seeking feedback in order to become a better leader, then something more than just number is necessary. But once I put my own words down…I rather think it is easy to spot when I’m writing versus someone else. Not that I’m Dickensian or anything, but I speak and write a certain way when I’m doing so formally (which I don’t always do in this blog, btw) and I fear that it’ll be obvious which responses are mine.
And thus the problem of the 360 – no one wants to be honest lest that honesty comes back to haunt him or her. I took my chances. But I’m worried, sure. Don’t ask questions if you aren’t ready for what types of answers you’ll get back, but that doesn’t stop people from getting upset anyway…