A colleague has done a Reflect360 and has asked you for help to process the information and come out with next steps. This is an honor and a chance to be really helpful for them. It's easy to gather feedback and create a report but it's hard to draw out meaning from it and come up with powerful "so what's". Most importantly it's critical your colleague identifies some next steps and things they'll do differently.
We're sure you'll be a big help to them!
Here are a few tips, for you:
Your role and mindset
You're acting in service to your colleague. This isn't about you, or even your company/division, it's about them.
You need to help them emotionally deal with the feedback, seeing the truth of what is going well and poorly without arrogance or defensiveness. They need to both celebrate the good things and recognize that improvement is possible. Help them get energy from both the good things already there and the potential to improve.
You need to think like a coach who'll help them see things in a new light, unearth the why's or assumptions behind the scores they got. You need to have good questions more than smart answers.
If they come out of this energized, with newfound insights and plans to move forward you've succeeded. And you'll want them to come back to you again as they work through the next steps.
The first step for you and your colleague is to read the report. Take note of things that come out as higher and lower scoring, noting things you found surprising and insightful.
The report has a set of 5 recommended reflection questions. The easiest process if if you go through those questions with them.
Were the results what you had expected?
Let your colleague share how the report compared to their expectations. If things came out better than expected you can congratulate them and encourage them to remember the process of asking for feedback isn't that bad. If things came out worse than they expected ensure you get them to a more hopeful and positive place by the end of the discussion.
How do you feel?
Let them share their emotional reaction to the report. You can probe in by asking what they felt at first, as they looked deeper and now that they've had some time to process things. Have the emotions changed?
If the emotions listed are negative ask them what it'd take to get them to a point of feeling more positive.
What made you most proud
Let them pick a single statement or part of the report their proud of. Help them celebrate. Give some encouragement or praise for this achievement. We want in future that they feel proud of much of the feedback they get, so we want to channel this win to give the energy for more wins in future.
To bring more insight ask simply why this makes them proud. What does it tell them about themselves that this is what made them proud. Is there anything special they did that made this a success? Can they channel those things for success in other areas? They may want to write the answers to these questions down.
What was an unexpected strength or weakness?
You can help them dig into the surprise by asking them why something was surprising. What about that thing is important to them? Why were they surprised by it?
Is this surprise something that is interesting or something important enough that they need to take action on it. If it's just an interesting point help them notice it and log it in their memory. If it's important you need to help them figure out what they need to do about it.
What is your top priority to focus on going forward
Help them pick one, and only one, priority to work on. Busy leaders and employees today don't have the bandwidth to improve more than one thing at a time. They should focus on a thing that is both important to their success and for which they are motivated to put in the work to improve on.
Help them understand what's holding them back from doing this thing well right now. Then help them brainstorm solutions to those. The more action oriented and practical the better.
Wrap it up with them committing to a set of actions they'll do. Ensure they setup an accountability and feedback mechanism. It's easy to come up with the ideas and hard to live them over time. So setup that mechanism right now.
Other tips and ideas
Here are a few bonus thoughts for help your colleague:
- Make sure they know you care for them.
- Make sure this is a fun process.
- Keep them hopeful and positive while simultaneously motivating them to achieve more. They can't get down on themselves and it sucks to feel bad. They also can't get complacent that everything is going great and stagnate. So help them hold those two thoughts in their mind at the same time - good things are happening and you're a good employee AND you can and will continue to do better.
- Ensure they keep their focus on what matters to them, not just what others said. For example sometimes we have weaknesses but that aren't that critical, it's okay to leave those be in favor of focus on something your colleague is really motivated by.
- Review the scores in the Full Analysis tab by relationship. See if their manager, peers or reports are seeing them differently on any statement. Have them dig into why this might be the case and see what they can learn from that.
- Check for their blindspots, where they think something is going well but others think it isn't (bottom of Full Analysis tab). Help them understand why they may see things differently and to really understand the point of view of others who think improvement is needed.
- Push them to next steps and commitments. Humans want the easy way out which may mean talking about results but not committing to change. Encourage them to come up with tangible next steps and then to stick with them.
- Tell them the truth if they need it. Your primary role is to ask questions and ideally they come up with the insights and next steps on their own. But sometimes you need to tell it to them straight. If you think they're too critical tell them what and why you think something is great. If they're missing a learning opportunity because they don't get the feedback or are feeling defensive you need them to hear the truth directly.