Among the feedback tools I've been exposed to, I've yet to discover anything that can top a 360 degree assessment, provided it is skillfully and sensitively debriefed. Since the first one I had completed on me, I've many times reflected how much better we might navigate our lives if each of us were required to periodically ask 10-15 people whose judgment and fairness we trust to anonymously score us on our communication and other critical interpersonal skills. How do you think your self-score (an integral part of any 360 assessment) would compare with how others perceive you on these three sample items?
* Is sensitive to the feelings of others
* Is tolerant of views different from his/her own
* Listens well
What other items would you put on your 360? Who would you pick to give you the feedback? In my last full time job, the high potential employees who were my main customers were all required to submit to a 360 upon entry to the program. Their universe of responders included employees, supervisors, peers and customers. And though many of the debriefing conversations I conducted were difficult, the growth I subsequently observed in these folks was often startling. Many would ask to repeat the experience a few years later.
We get our automobiles tuned up regularly, don't we? My last 360 was about eleven years ago - time for a tune up.