Checking-Out Your click-360 Feedback
I’m Colin Newbold, the founder of TLC Online and the chief architect behind the click-360 brand.
It’s been a while since I recorded a Vlog, business has been all-consuming these past few months, plus we’ve been involved in bedding in the new click-360selfdrive platform.
In addition, we’ve started a campaign to recruit click-360 coaches in the USA in readiness for a PPC campaign to get our product better known there.
So apologies for the break in transmission, I’m back now!
I wanted this vlog to be short but highly impactful. Over the last few years our coaches have developed a process for helping participants to get more clarity and depth from their click-360 reports. We call this process ‘Checking-Out’ and it takes place between the first feedback coaching session, where the participant gets to explore their click-360 report, and then the second coaching session, which is all about building a robust development plan to build on the strengths that come out of the report as well as to minimise or eradicate any behaviours that have been getting in the way.
The report itself is never definitive enough to produce clear development actions - in our experience it actually raises more questions than answers! To this end, we encourage the participant to go away from this first ‘Explore Your click-360 Report’ session with an outline plan of at least one Strength (S) and up to 3 Development Priorities (DPs) and with a commitment to undertake further exploration, using the Checking-Out process. Checking-Out is about gaining further depth and clarity via verbal feedback from a representative proportion of the rater network – those are the people who contributed anonymously. This is also an opportunity to check out any items that don’t make sense (are unclear or confusing) and any areas of conflict (where different raters appear to think the opposite of each other). We coach them how to do this by first selecting the relevant areas (1xS & up to 3xDP) from the report that they wish to check out with each rater category.
Each S and DP should be described in as short a sentence as possible, e.g. “To continue asking each team member for their input” or “To catch people doing things right” or “To improve my monthly report”, etc. We then ask them to use the Golden Question: "If I was performing at my peak in this respect, what would I be doing/not doing, and/or saying/not saying?" or “If I was the best I could be at this, what could it look like (what would I be doing/not doing, saying/not saying)?”
We advise that Checking-Out is done in different ways depending on the rater category and the first one’s going to look at Checking-Out our feedback with the Line Manager. This session should be relatively easy for the participant to arrange face-to-face and we recommend making this a stand-alone appointment where Checking-Out is the only item on the agenda. They shouldn’t need to gain permission as this is most definitely part of the line manager’s responsibility to their direct report and should be expected. Coach the participant to explain the purpose of the session (they’ll probably have done this already in setting the appointment).
They start with the key Strength and should explore with the manager ways of leveraging this (especially if there was a way that could minimise or even eliminate one of the Development Priorities). It doesn’t matter whether the manager personally highlighted this S or not, the fact is that a majority of the rater network did – there’s a clear trend or message coming through (although if the manager didn’t agree there would automatically be a useful discussion point there).
They should move on to the key Development Priority next. Once again, it doesn’t matter whether the manager personally highlighted this DP or not, the fact is that a majority of the rater network did (although, again, if the manager didn’t agree there would automatically be a useful discussion point there). Encourage the participant to use the Golden Question (plus supplementary questions as appropriate) to gather more richness around their DP. Repeat for all DPs. Coach the participant to practise modelling any of the DPs (where relevant) during this session. In other words, and as an example, if there is a DP around ‘listening better’, here is an opportunity for the participant to practise that, to demonstrate that.
If there is/are any area(s) of ambiguity or conflict, now is the time for the participant to raise it/them. In asking the Line Manager for clarification, the participant could ask “Could you share an example/describe an occasion when you observed me doing/not doing/or saying/not saying xxx)?” In other words, the feedback should be something that the Line Manager has experienced first-hand, not heard about from a third party(!).
Lastly, they should go back to each DP in turn and ask if the manager has any development suggestions. Especially important is what the manager can do personally to support them. The participant ends the session by thanking the manager sincerely and committing to return with a comprehensive action plan once the Checking-Out process is finished.
What about Checking-Out feedback with Peers and Stakeholders? It’s the same process as with the line manager. Depending on the overall number of raters that completed in each category, they don’t necessarily need to go back to each rater in each of these categories. A representative proportion is all they need (2 out of 2, 2/3, 3/4, 3/5 etc). This time though, the participant needs to gain permission from each rater they approach (if the original invitation conversation went well, the rater should already have been set-up for this). Sometimes – especially where the geography is complicated – these sessions are best conducted by ‘phone. One advantage of using the ‘phone is that the participant can keep on track using a ‘script’ which is unseen by the rater, or certainly some key notes.
What about when it comes to Checking-Out feedback with Direct Reports? It’s kind of the same process as before EXCEPT that this time the participant should be doing the Checking-Out as a group event. They need to allow appropriate time for the session and diarise it in advance. Once again, it really ought to be a bespoke, stand-alone meeting just for this purpose. Here are the recommended timelines:
10 mins intro
45-60 mins for the direct reports to do the work
15-20 mins for the direct reports to feed back to their manager (including discussion around development suggestions)
As you can imagine, and you can say this to the participant, this session will dramatically improve or build on relationships (depending where they were before) with the team members. This is a significant trust building exercise when conducted with complete authenticity.
So there you have the Checking-Out process in all its glory. I hope that will be helpful. It has made a big difference to the results that we’ve achieved with our click-360 implementations – all of our accredited coaches use this approach – in fact we’ve even gone so far as to offer an automated version of this, it’s actually built into the software now. We can demo that if you’re interested but right now I’d encourage you to give Checking-Out a try, just see how it works. It may sound difficult to do, it may sound as though you’re breaking the whole confidentiality contract but in our experience it works really well. It’s not difficult to do, the participant gets a lot more richness and depth and clarity in the data they bring back to that second feedback coaching session, which is based on developing the action plan. It truly does make a wonderful difference to the way in which that 360 impacts the organisation. So, have fun with it and, as ever, I encourage you to offer your comments below…please let us know what you think of that process or don’t hesitate to ask any questions.
Thanks for watching.
Colin Newbold, CEO, TLC Online