My husband is working on a 360* performance review for his boss (who is moving to a different division shortly and my H has applied for & interviewed with the boss for the soon-to-be-open position.)

My H has asked me for some generic feedback items to include.

I'm stumped! I'm not finding anything readily online and my brain's just not in the game. I honestly don't know much about his boss, C, and I wouldn't do my H any favors if I wrote the feedback as if it were going to [i]my[/i] boss! LOL

Ideas? Suggestions? Samples?

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

Lots of praise. As Mike likes to say "Tell the truth, and the truth shall set you free." :)

ashdenver's picture

My bad - I am being torn in too many directions at once right now & my brain is suffering.

He's looking for "Areas of Improvement."

I came up with some generic areas like Organization, Time Management, Meeting Facilitation, Resource Management but I'm drawing a blank on what to write about those things.

jhack's picture
ashdenver's picture

I'm looking to do more than just match "Action Oriented" with "Needs Improvement" or any other rating level. They're looking for a short paragraph each on two or three areas of improvement. This is a more free-form document. (I miss the good old days of checking a box & moving on!

Assuming that Action Oriented would rate Needs Improvement, what sort of politically correct statements could be made to provide constructive criticism?

[quote="Mark"]If I felt I HAD to respond and I couldn't be sure, I would water the negatives down. [/quote]
If the 'genuine' feedback would be something like "You suck at taking action because you're so wishy-washy that nothing ever gets done or off your desk and I'm left to scramble, cleaning up your messes" -- how would one water that down to a cautious level that would be seen by three levels above me?

If the genuine feedback is "You get lost in the details and completely miss the bigger picture which adversely impacts the team because you're off inspecting navel lint instead of addressing the problem we've come to you with" -- how does one make that politically palatable?

If the genuine feedback is "Your speech impediment makes it hard for me to understand you on the phone and emailing with you is next to impossible because we are constantly chasing our tails trying to reach the root of issues" -- again, watered down to what?

If the genuine feedback is "You're a huge micromanager and you're driving me up a frickin' wall, you need to back off before I go postal" -- you get the idea.

These are just examples of harsh, blunt, direct, abrasive feedback. (Stuff that might pass through my brain but I'd never say.) My problem is that I'm not terribly tactful and I find it hard to walk the line between "sucking up, trying to put one over, turning the weakness into a positive" and "politically correct." I tend to lean far in one direction or the other.

For example, the opposite end of the spectrum would be "I appreciate your attention to detail on my work and I'd like to work with you on a plan to allow me to become more self-sufficient." Does that really convey "you're breathing down my neck, now back off!"? Does it really even sound like it's feedback for the other person? (It feels too me-centric to be included in a performance document for my boss, you know?)

Plus, it's dishonest because I really don't want to work with the person on a plan for anything -- I just want them to back off! LOL

rthibode's picture

[code]Hi Ash,

The first thing that came to mind from your original post is the MT advice on answering the "weakness" question in interviews. If your H is forced to write something, then minimize & water down for sure.

Minimize by saying it's [b]infrequent[/b], mostly [b]in the past[/b], and writing about things the boss is already doing to make it [b]better[/b] (or perhaps about a time the boss did it differently). So, for the "micromanaging" boss:

Mr. Boss used to, on occasion, provide me with a great deal of support regarding the specific details of my work. While his advice was always helpful, I've recently benefited from his support with . I learned a great deal from this and look forward to more help with in the coming year.

Good luck!


WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

Ash - Do you get the feeling they're asking for what they're asking for? Does this manager really want feedback on what he/she can improve?

Me, I'm all for telling the truth. But like momma says, sometimes it's best to say nothing at all. I know they're asking for it, and that empty box is calling, but what are the possible outcomes:

1. Piss off the boss - lose job.
2. Annoy boss - don't get promoted
3. Enlighten boss - help boss improve his/her career

Okay, maybe there are more options, but that seems like the basics to me. I guess I'd ask myself what the odds of #3 are (overall, maybe .00001%) and I'd respond accordingly. Your comments in this thread so far don't lead me to change my mind about this particular instance.

I think this must be one of the reasons M&M don't like 360 reviews.

Okay, so, assuming I HAVE to put something in that box. I'd soft shoe like I was Bojangles!

* Sometimes works too hard.
* Cares too much about employees.

I'm not suggesting outright prevarication, but I'd have no problem with a lot of spin. :)

juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

Our reviews are pretty freeform and the section includes a rating and then a narrative justifying that rating.

For those areas that fall under 'needs improvement' or 'unsatisfactory' much of my narrative is focused on 1) the behaviors/instances that brought me to that rating and 2) the behaviors they can use to overcome this rating for NEXT year.

I suspect that they are looking for something similar. I wouldn't lie (they should know if you do). I would DEFINITELY look to place a positive spin and focus on the path to improvement rather than the problems themselves.

ccleveland's picture

Generic Upward Feedback?

[b]Feedback shouldn’t be generic, and upward feedback is extremely risk, at best.[/b] What’s more, because the source of this feedback is 2 & 3 degrees removed from the topic of the feedback, it smacks of being disingenuous.

Why is so much effort being spent on this?


huntbk's picture

I'm of the firm opinion that nothing on a performance review should ever be a surprise...even if the reviewee is your boss.

To avoid the ire of your boss, I'd say to keep everything positive and sugar-coated.

Then, as future individual situations come up, address them at those times using the Feedback Model.

ashdenver's picture

Thanks for the validation about the value of this exercise as well as the suggestions. We came up with things like "sometimes has a tendency to over-schedule herself" for areas of improvement.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I wouldn't put anything down in this case.