I’m often asked ‘Should Feedback include Self-Assessment by the ratee?’ is a question
Now some organizations don’t feel that a self-assessment is important or necessary. They’re more interested in the feedback from other people to provide insights and suggestions for the ratee.
My view is that a Self-review is very important in any feedback activity. Here are 3 reasons why:
An opportunity to reflect
Firstly the self-assessment gives the individual an opportunity to do some self-reflection on their skills and behaviours. It’s an opportunity to think about where they’d like to develop. It’s not often people get a chance to reflect and think about their own skills and behaviours. Feedback gives people the time and space to do so.
A two-way discussion
A second very important reason for including the ratee is that feedback should be a two-way discussion. Research shows that people are more open to listen to feedback if you allow them to to have their say. This is a key concept in coaching, and makes a lot of sense. Giving the ratee an opportunity to air their views on how they think they are doing gives them the opportunity to engage with the feedback. If you don’t include self-assessment, they may feel that the feedback is being ‘done to them’ . They may also feel excluded from the outcomes of the feedback. This works both for face to face feedback and more formal activities.
Finally when it comes to the feedback report, e.g. in a formal 180 or 360 degree feedback, the ratee’s perceptions as compared with those of their colleagues can provide a great deal of insight. Where there is a strong correlation between the self and others, there is a clear path to improvement and development, as well as strengths.
Where there is a big gap between the self and other’ perceptions, the feedback works like the Blind Spot of the Johari window. Now this may be good news if the ratee has underrated themselves. They may be pleasantly surprised if their ratings are better than their self-assessment in some areas. On the other hand, if the ratee has rated themselves higher in some areas, they need to think about these, and talk with their coach or line manager. The self-assessment provides a good benchmark of the ratee’s self-awareness versus their colleagues’ views.
So in answer to the question ‘Should Feedback include Self-Assessment by the ratee?’, my answer is a definite ‘Yes!’. Whatever feedback you’re doing, make sure that the person getting the feedback has an opportunity to give their views and to make their voice heard. This will add certainly add value and engagement to the feedback.