The way forward to help remove anger from 360-degree feedback responses.
Training for 360
The implications for 360-degree feedback are unmistakable. It provides an anonymous space for people to assess each other. Like the angry driver, they can’t be traced.
That’s why, in today’s climate, effective training of responders is more important than ever. To be useful, their assessments need to be both honest and kind.
Here are some reminders to include in your training sessions.
Don’t be cruel
Acknowledge the general mood of anger in the air.
But remind them that extreme statements are generally ignored or discounted. Abusive language won’t make you feel better, nor will it motivate the other person to change.
So lower the temperature, speak the truth kindly, without rage, and you’ll likely get a hearing.
Vague complaints provide no clear path for development.
Statements like “You’re a terrible leader”, are worse than useless.
Instead, provide an alternative: “You’d be a lot more effective as a leader if you focused on setting clear assignments and getting us the resources we need.”
Set reasonable goals
When a person is reminded of shortcomings over which they have no control, they’re likely to shrug and move on.
For instance, “Your accent is annoying,” will not miraculously change how a person speaks. But it can be helpful to say, “I wish you would speak more slowly and clearly when you’re giving instructions.”
If you’re upset about someone’s behavior, describe an actual scenario, and suggest how it could have gone better.
“When you yelled at me for being late, I totally shut down. Please simply talk with me about what’s upsetting you.”
That provides the person being assessed with data and alternatives, instead of simply scaring them.
At any time, 360-degree feedback is a powerful tool for developing better leaders. But in this age of rage, how you train responders is crucial for its success.