I’m sure most of you are familiar with 360 degree feedback. Most large companies administer these through their Human Resources to see how well an employee is living up to the objectives of the company and their individual department. It definitely plays an important role in personal and career development if one is open to using it and learning from it.

I use a smaller version which I work directly with my client to formulate the questions that are most important to where the client wants to grow, how he or she is being perceived in the moment and areas for improvement. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have this feedback. Often times we go through life with blinders on, only seeing ourselves in one of two ways: that we’re doing great, based on our intentions (the way we think we’re doing) or we think we’re doing really doing poorly and are pleasantly surprised to learn that others think we’re doing okay. The point I want to make here is:

You don’t know until you ask - you don’t know what you don’t know!

How others perceive us, how we come across to them, is critical information for us to have. For example, I just completed a 360 on myself and as a result I found 3 things:

· there are things I do really, really well and will therefore continue to do

· there are things I can improve (be lighter, have a more focused message on my website)

· some out-of –the-box ideas for new areas of revenue, projects & programs

All of this came as a result of a focused 360 degree profile. Examples of others results:

1. One client found he was not a good listener.

2. One client found that in soliciting her teams opinions (which she thought was a team builder), it was perceived that she was just ‘fishing’ until she got the answer she wanted.

3. Another client found her boss really did like her – much to her surprise.

4. And yet another found that this came profile just in time for him to make the changes needed in order to keep his job.

5. Yet another found that a lack of follow through and follow up likely cost her the last promotion.

How much do you know about yourself? How do you perform? What are your strengths? What do you do that really works? What do you need to understand about the people around you? What kind of environment do you work best in? When people think of you, what do they think of? If you just got down-sized, how helpful would it be to have this information before going into a new job? Would it make a difference? You bet it would!

Author's Bio: 

Judy Irving, Master Certified Coach, works with leaders and professionals from all walks of life to move forward in vision, effectiveness and results. She is in the top 2% of coaches world-wide based on the statistics of the International Coach Federation. To learn more visit movingon.net, click on the What's New section to learn more about 360s.