Updated: Mar 9, 2022
Have you or your team ever received 360° survey results that left you reeling. Left you feeling isolated, frustrated, or confused?
You’re not alone.
And while you initially may feel immobilized from the feedback, now is not the time to take things slowly.
Your first impulse might be to just react. But the most positive, impactful thing you can do is respond thoughtfully and quickly, while doing your best to avoid overthinking or rationalizing things.
Survey results may not always fully portray what is happening, but they are real, so the leader must respond. Responding must not come from a place of fear or defensiveness. This is easier said than done…but it is necessary.
To avoid analysis paralysis, consider the following as you prepare your response:
When responding to survey results, recognize two important points.
First, be aware that you’re having an emotional response. You may not be fully aware of it, but you certainly must have felt it. Don’t ignore your feelings. Allow your emotions to come through. Moving forward is harder when you don’t recognize what you’re feeling.
If this is your first time receiving results that were less than you expected, don't let them get the best of you. Doing your best to understand what the results are telling you and focusing on how you will respond are what's most important now.
The second point concerns your response. If your survey results were not broken into categories that allows you to organize and prioritize your thoughts, do so by hand.
Identify the top 3 categories that need your immediate focus and attention, then create a short list of daily actions for each category. Now you can begin responding.
Much of your response must involve conversation; actively soliciting your team’s thoughts and concerns specific to the category in need of attention. Get comfortable with asking, “How can we get better at this?”
Keep your conversations simple. There is no need to go deep at this point. You want a conversation not an investigation. As much as practical, avoid falling into the trap of conducting meetings or forming committees.
Think of your response actions in blocks of time. Consider quarterly instead of weekly. Meaningful change takes time. Especially if you’re seeking to improve teamwork or trust levels.
And one more thing... ensure your actions match your words. Your team (and your bosses) will notice when there is inconsistency.
Never overpromise, no matter how much you want something to happen. A reassuring, "Your feedback is important to me, so thank you for sharing,” is always better than promising one thing and not delivering, or delivering something different.
There is more you can do that I'll share in additional posts, but right now the most important thing you can do is get started.
Let me know if you have any questions.