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Safe Peer-Driven Goal Setting 360 Retro

Candor along with giving and receiving feedback is arguably one of the most important aspects of high-performing teams. However, giving this feedback is one of the most difficult things to do for many people. First, there needs to be a universal agreement that psychological safety exists within the team. Two people must then feel comfortable enough to talk to each other about ideas for improvement. The person giving the feedback must feel that they won't be considered rude for delivering the candid feedback. The person receiving the feedback needs to be willing to hear it, accept that there may be a problem, and initiate a S.M.A.R.T. process to improve their performance in that area.

That is a lot to accept from people in an organization where new relationships are being formed all the time and psychological safety can be a fragile, or temporary status.

After having many people ask for advice on a way to give this feedback and make it not seem so scary to do for them I had an idea for an experiment we ended up trying. We created a system to provide anonymous feedback to individuals for their top areas needed to improve and the areas they excel in.

The Process

Retrospective that leads to a safe 360 Feedback Process!
  1. Host the following retro
    • Think of the top skill needed to improve for each of your team members (including themselves). A team of 9 would produce a list of 81 items.
    • Affinity group items to like areas to remove duplicates.
    • Prune this list by asking each member to remove their item if they think there is another one for that same person that is more applicable.
  2. Convert the list to an online anonymous survey for ranking these items for each person.
  3. Histogram aggregate ranking of skills defined by peers for safe 360 feedback!
    • These rankings should get converted to an aggregate histogram.
    • This example was created in Survey Monkey.
  4. Have one-on-ones with each person looking at the top 3 items and the bottom 3 items.
  5. Create goals for these individuals based on the feedback in these areas.

The Benefits

A happy team is one that can give each other candid and respectful feedback about their skills.
  • Feedback is focused on skills, not personality flaws.
  • Team members are protected from retaliation.
  • Feedback curation of the skills is handled by the team in a transparent way, preventing the need to read through every single item.
  • Since the feedback is an aggregate histogram, the person hearing the feedback has no choice but to accept that the majority of their team feels the same way and it is not just one person.

Feedback for me

Do you have feedback for our feedback process?
What do you think of this process? Any questions? Message me on the blog or twitter! 


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