Discussing the 360

Doing a 360

Revisiting expectations

Beginning the day the participants were asked to split into pairs and revisit their “how successfully did I?” expectations that they created in day one. Each person in the pair took their partner’s expectations and asked a series of questions designed to find out how their partner was progressing against their expectations. This was repeated for each person in the pair with seven minutes given for each.

Following the discussions in pairs Jonathan asked the group to think about what was good about the way their partner questioned and engaged them.

How to build the perfect trio

Next the group were asked to consider the 360 trios where their individual feedback could be discussed and reflected upon. The participants needed to consider what different things should be used as criteria to form a trio but at this stage not to make any specific decisions on what the criteria should be.

The group felt that level of training experience, personal preference, needs of individuals, common trainings or experience together and knowing each other might be criteria for formation. There was also discussion around whether trios could take place online or face to face and whether this might be a factor in formation of them.

It was suggested that there could be a simple matching system, possible using nominations for individuals who you would like to have in your trio, or the opportunity to opt out of the trio you have been assigned.

There was also discussion about the length of time that a trio would form for, would it continue over a year or for some other amount of time. Full members would be asked to volunteer time to take part in trios – and maybe you could be in more than one if you wanted to. Some suggested that one person who knows about the guild and 360 method should be within the trio to ensure that newcomers can easily understand and take part in the system.

Everyone agreed that today should be used as an opportunity to prototype, pilot and then refine both the formation of the trios and the 360 process.

What is feedback?

Next the participants were asked to consider what feedback is for and how this should be thought about in the context of the trios and the 360 process.

They decided that feedback is an opportunity to evaluate, raise awareness, get different perspectives  and make progress and improvement. It can also be a time to challenge your inner critic and your inner laziness.

Jonathan shared the definition that he found for feedback…

Feedback is to raise awareness and to inspire or promote action.

The 360 Process

The 360 Process

The 360 process

Jonathan went on to explain that the 360 process was about getting a range of perspectives from a variety of people who you interact with through your trainings. He broke these down into four categories:

  • Colleagues
  • Consumers
  • Contractors –
  • Collaborators

At this stage the 360 process which is being used does not breakdown those giving feedback into these categories but in the future this is something that could be developed. If this did happen it would be important to get the right amount of people responding in each of these categories, this would need to be four or five of each. Having a high enough number of respondents would enable there to be a meaningful collection of feedback from each category.

Jonathan went on to explain that all of the feedback is totally confidential to the person receiving it and that no third party would see it without that individual choosing to share it. The group discussed the timescales for collecting the 360 feedback, if some is collected at the start of the year and other parts much later some of the competences or techniques used by the trainer may have changed. This could lead to feedback through the process being very varied and not giving a clear picture.

Jumping into a 360 trio

Finally before lunch the participants formed themselves into groups of three and went away to start testing the 360 trio process, sharing and discussing the feedback they have received. When they returned to the group they shared with the whole group how they felt about the experience.

The group felt that it was a very positive experience which was an illuminating way to unpack their feedback. The conversation both helped to consider the feedback which was received but also about techniques about how to positive receive feedback as well. It was observed that while working in the trios it is important that relevant questions are important so maybe there could be some preparatory sessions or a guide to be given to people in advance.

A 360 Trio

A 360 Trio

Unpacking how 360 trios worked

Overall the group felt that the 360 trios were really positive and a good space to have conversations about the feedback they had received. Most people agreed that there was not enough time but it was a good opportunity to start unpacking their feedback.

It was suggested that ahead of the trio time there could be some prep time for participants to help them consider what relevant questions could be and how to dig deeper into feedback.

There was a conversation about getting the balance right for the guild to ensure that the 360 process worked for professional development whilst also remaining a safe community space. While many felt it was comforting to receive positive comments they also recognised that there needs to be challenge within the process.

The group also recognised that there was a need to get a good number of responses to make the process worthwhile. Sometimes people experienced having comments at two opposite ends of the spectrum (one very positive and the other negative) and without other feedback to compare, it is difficult to decide which is more accurate.

All in all the group felt that the trio discussions had helped to bring the 360 feedback to life and dig deeper into it, in order to ask questions of yourself. It was felt that the feedback and the trios should be seen as a good way of raising awareness of things to think about rather than a magic solution to personal development.


One thought on “Doing a 360

  1. Pingback: Revisiting the 360 | International Youth Work Trainers Blog

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