360 Degree Review? How about 5 Minutes instead?

Have you ever given or received a 360 Degree Review?
What was your experience with it?

Interested in a better solution?

There is some interesting conversation going on in Blogsville today about the 360 Degree Review/Survey, which started with a story Don Blohowiak shares at Leadership Now. Reading this comment on Lisa Haneberg’s Management Craft caused me to think back to the one and only time I was part of the process:

360s are perfect in a perfect world. In a perfect world, candor and properly timed feedback would preclude the need for a 360, wouldn’t it? Candor is not often found and timely feedback is rarely given. So, we use the 360 crutch hoping to get the results. Unfortunately, 360s are flawed for the same reason. Our culture of being in harmony (or of nailing an enemy) skews any useful results.

Earlier in my career, I asked for a 360 of me. We sent it out to 20 people or so. Shortly thereafter, our VP of HR received a phone call asking, “Should we be honest in filling this out?” Whether that question is asked or not, it is thought.

Brad Respess

However this was another thought offered by Laurence Haughton.

I don’t know that there is anything better than getting and giving 360 degree feedback.

That when they are poorly done they yield poor results only means they shouldn’t be done poorly.

I interviewed a woman who had amazing results from her use of 360 degree feedback (and it wasn’t expensive at all). And there’s some very compelling research that says every leader better be looking at ideas like 360 feedback or something like it.

In our case, we had done them as a one-time deal while the willing victims of a consultant who unfortunately let our leadership get away with not following up on the results — we were left to our own devices to interpret them. The entire situation got a bit ugly; misinterpreted or radically interpreted results, hurt feelings, defiance ” name the emotion and someone on our team experienced it.

In my own circle of influence, I relied on one thing to help with the rifts, and to discover the good stuff that might have been offered: I encouraged my staff to reinvest in their practice of the Daily 5 Minutes. In doing so, we worked on the “candor and properly timed feedback” creation of the perfect world Brad Respess mentioned. We worked on getting more clarity in those results, and building a trusting relationship with those most affected by our actions (or inactions) in our work circles.

With its roots in better listening, the Daily 5 Minutes is an aloha-filled process: It actively builds better relationships in an organization with personal, interactive, and frequent communication.

If you are hearing about my Daily 5 Minutes for the first time, start here with the excerpt from my book, Managing with Aloha. To read more, click this category link for the writing I’ve done since then, and to see the many trackbacks and comments from people everywhere who are finding out how well it works — all year long, and not just at review and survey time.

If you are pressed for time or want a more logical sequence on the D5M Lesson Plan, here’s the reading order I suggest: The Daily 5 Minutes can = your Worklife Reinvention.

Organizational Change and the Daily Five Minutes. Why do it?
The Daily Five Minutes. This is the book excerpt post, and the basic how-to post.
The water’s fine: Take 5 and jump in! Getting started. (Good comment shared too.)
Hey boss, what do you want to know? – Part 1 – Tips for the employee.
Hey boss, what do you want to know? – Part 2 – Tips for the boss.
Logistics of the Daily Five Minutes. How do you fit this practice into your day?
It really does take only 5 minutes! A success story.
5 Minutes Daily = Worklife Reinvention. The evidence keeps building!

2011 Updates on performance appraisals:

  1. Performance Reviews: There’s a much better way
  2. Annual Appraisals: What should I say?


  1. says

    Rosa – I agree with the value of your 5 minute process. I think the best feedback is natural and real time. It is based on a strong and trusting relationship that is all about helping each other succeed. That’s why when you share an observation about what is not working well the other person is more likely to take it in and be coachable and appreciative. The relationship has to be built to handle this. Doing once yearly surveys administered by consultants and accompanied by cover memos from heads of state pale in value.

  2. says

    Mahalo nui for the voice of support Lisa. I continue to talk about the D5M because it works: In my coaching I continually see how this very simple tool achieves management breakthroughs on both sides of the equation, the manager and the managed.
    In addition, it becomes a process that is not more work to maintain, it is very quickly and easily integrated into a work culture. Managers who “get it” continue to do it because not only is it effective, they enjoy it.
    And you sum it up nicely for me with your comment, for the D5M is all about the rewards of relationship investment, the ROA we sometimes mention here: Return on Attention.

  3. says

    Honest feedback, fearless provided is the ultimate goal. If the environment is poorly structured, no amount of feedback whether D5M or 360 will work. Management needs to walk the talk. If they don’t, anything can and will happen.

  4. says

    Steve, I do agree that walking the talk is crucial for any communication process to work, for if there isn’t follow-up with issues that are brought up, communication eventually stops; people begin to think “what’s the use?” and “why should I waste my time?”
    Perhaps the greatest challenge managers face is with their own behavior, understanding that those they manage will always feel “I will do what you say when you set a good example, and when I feel you uphold the same high standards.”

  5. says

    Blown Away

    Everyone seems to hiss at the use of Flash on websites, but here is a killer example of Flash used to deliver content correctly. Mandy Robinson Photography did an outdoor photo shoot of my 2 sons for a Christmas

  6. says

    Mentor Lost. Mentor Gained?

    Possibly the most brilliant mind and best critical thinker in the industry, Bas Hofland has stirred people to action (and some others to fear) for over 25 years. Many key leaders in the industry have spent time under his