This post is about how to read a 360 degree assessment and not on the usefulness of these assessments or how they are being used in the industry today. I have been on both the sides of these assessments; I have gone through one myself and I have done it for others as part of the programs I run for organizations. You have to be conscious about what you do when you go through a 360 degree assessment at the various stages:
Stage 1 – While doing your own self assessment: It is important to remember while doing your own self assessment that this is truth about yourself that you are telling yourself. Nobody else is ever going to look at what you have reported in this assessment. It is for your self awareness, inference and accepting some truths without fear of anybody else peeping into it. So be truthful, open minded and in an acceptance mode when you are doing this.
Stage 2 – While selecting observers for feedback: This stage is as critical as being truthful to yourself. It is again important to remember that this feedback is only visible to you and nobody else. So selecting the right set of observers will provide you a perspective to things that you have never thought was possible. You are able to know about perceptions which you were not aware of till now existed in your world. For some people this feedback comes as a huge surprise and shock. To find, that people around them can actually see through the facade they thought was working perfectly. So while choosing observers keep these points in mind:
Stage 3 – Reading the assessment report: For some people this stage can be really scary! They are aware of what kind of feedback they might get and they are actually not prepared for it. So some points to remember before you start reading:
There is never anybody in the “other boat”. This journey is yours and only you can make this better. So using the assessment to become a better person and leading a better life is up to you. Always remember, “You have the choice!”
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