360° Feedback

On the trail of the secret of soft skills

Everyone knows today that soft skills in everyday work are central to personal development, collaboration and performance. Often, these same generic qualifications determine who is hired or promoted. But how do you measure this elusive miracle cure? Is his assessment mostly based on the subjective feeling or gut feeling of the viewer? A 360° feedback analysis is a good starting point.

Appearances are deceptive and our perception is error-prone

One thing is certain: there is no such thing as an objective assessment of soft skills. Psychological research has shown that human perception is always subjectively colored and susceptible to error. So far, over a hundred kinds of so-called “biases” have been discovered that systematically distort our perception.

Source of picture: commons.wikimedia.org

No wonder there is often a discrepancy between the self-assessment and the third-party assessment of soft skills. The attempt to base the measurement of soft skills on an individual’s assessment would be fatal. A less distorted picture emerges when several people are asked for an assessment. And it gets even better when these people experience the soft skills in different situations. Precisely this basic idea is pursued by the 360° feedback, in which a person is not only judged by the supervisor, but also receives feedback from all sides, which means, in addition to the supervisor, from colleagues, employees and customers and additionally assesses himself.

360° Feedback for Executives: Encouraging Confirmation and Aha Moments

With the real feedback platform of Skillsgarden, the implementation of a 360° feedback analysis and thus the possibility to get on the track of the soft skills becomes very easy. Once the focus of the feedback and the feedback providers have been selected, the survey runs online and the feedback providers can, with very little effort, make their assessments on the feedback recipient’s behaviors, including open comments. In the subsequent feedback interview with a Skillsgarden consultant, the feedback recipients receive feedback on how their soft skills have been assessed by the various feedback provider groups. I have been able to discuss positive feedback with many executives, which has provided encouraging, empowering, or affirmative value for esteemed behaviors. However, every feedback review so far also included aha moments for the executives, where certain feedbacks specifically encouraged them to reflect on their own behavior. On this basis, we succeeded in developing measures to further expand our strengths in soft skills as well as to find new ways to tackle and improve the weaknesses.

It takes courage to face the mirror that others hold. In particular, if you dare to look, like in the 360° feedback, in a whole mirror cabinet. But one thing is certain: people who had been in the mirror cabinet, got to know themselves better and found new inspiration for personal growth.

Katrin Hasler