A minimal Friday entry

I don’t have very much to talk about today — I had an early phone call, and, as often happens on such days, I wound up spending the day working from home instead of driving to the office. This saved me from another exposure to the world’s saltiest sauce; on the other hand, it’s not clear that microwaving a frozen entree is much better for me (even if it did come from Trader Joe’s, so it was low in fat).

Turnabout is fair play

I’ve just finished providing “360-degree input” for four of my fellow employees. This is an exercise in which you are asked to answer two simple questions (slightly paraphrased):

  • What behaviors has this person exhibited in support of Win/Execute/Team and what effect has this had on others?
  • How can this person improve their behavior and what positive effect would there be?

The results are sent to the employee’s manager, who then consolidates them into one document which is made available to the person with the attributions removed. This is supposed to provide perspective for the manager’s year-end evaluation of the employee; since I’m not a manager, I can’t say whether it works or not.

The first question is usually pretty easy to answer — in general, no one is going to ask you to provide a 360 unless they expect you to be able to say good things about them, and I like giving praise (especially when it’s deserved). I’ve always found the second question to be much tougher — even when there is something I’d like the person to do differently, this doesn’t seem to be the right way to get the point across. So I find something to write, but it’s usually inconsequential (along the lines of “Fred would be more effective if he didn’t include the entirety of every e-mail in his responses”), and I feel like I’ve wasted my time.

Do other companies have this particular ritual?

Shabbat Shalom!