Knowing the Score: How do you get feedback?

A Motley Group

A Motley Group
Over the past two months,  our team has been forming into what is now considered the Fool’s coaching team.  Our CEO, Tom Gardner, has often mentioned that star employees should be like Olympic athletes: having access to coaching and guidance to be at the top of their game.  You know we already really do have a trainer on staff, but what about another hugely important element of becoming the best? You have to know the score.

That’s where Fool Feedback comes in. Most companies do some version of an annual performance review.  You know, the ones where your manager sits you down once a year and rates you on a numeric scale?  Sometimes people are force ranked, some managers are high graders, and some are low graders. We’ve tried that, and it seemed helpful to nobody.  It was time consuming and stressful.

Our tech team then took it upon themselves to try 360 Feedback, where each individual could review anyone else at the company anonymously.  Then it was summarized and delivered by their managers. But even then, anonymous comments without context seemed to get their messages mixed.

This time, we’re trying something different.

This time, every Fool is participating, and everyone is encouraged to leave their names.  And, this time, the feedback gets delivered right to you by a member of the people team, so it’s up to you to figure out how to improve and then ask your manager for help.  Get some tough feedback?   We figure if you work here, you’re a high performer, and you should be the first to be able to figure out how how to improve yourself, rather than having a manager prescribe it. When you get your feedback, we would encourage you to think about it, then approach your manager, mentor, or Fool Coach with it and some of your own ideas on how to do better.

Here’s the other test:  you have to pay to play.

In order to receive your feedback, you have to have at least left feedback once on someone else and included your name.      We do this so that, now, everyone has a stake. We all want to improve, and we all want to work with great people.

We’ve never done feedback this way before, so it will be interesting to see the results.

What would you do if you could change your company’s performance system?

Self-Awareness and Improvement

Making yourself a better coworker

Making yourself a better coworkerThere are tests upon tests that will tell you whether you are a visionary or a more get-the-task-done person, whether you like to be around others or you like to operate by yourself, and whether you are a person who pays attention to details or you look more toward the big picture, among others.

While some of those are more useful, here at The Fool, we take a few of those tests and use the bigger picture of several test results to tell us more about ourselves and our coworkers.

But why would we do this?

Because we want to know what we are good at, how we learn and interpret information, and how to better ourselves.

One thing we are extremely big on here at The Fool is self-awareness. If you are not aware of more than 3 items you need to work on, then take a good look at yourself through others’ eyes. Step into their shoes and look at yourself from their perspective. Look at how you approach people, how you interact in meetings, and how you solve problems.

You’ve probably heard this before, but I’m going to say it again – sometimes, perception is reality. And you need to know what the perception of you is out in the world, and how you view yourself. If there is a difference there, then there is likely something you need to work on with yourself, or a view that you need to work on changing. And the easiest way to change that is to do more of what is lacking, or do less of what is perceived as a bad behavior.

Starting from the first day as a new Fool, we work with them on getting them immersed in our culture, but also working with them to find out what they are good at, how they learn, and how they perceive their professional environments. We work to coach them on what they need help with and have them takes tests that show us what they need as coworkers to succeed.

At the end of the day, we want to help make each Fool a better Fool, which will in turn, make The Motley Fool a better place.

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Do you have any great stories of self-improvement in your professional career? What has helped you? What has hindered you? Comment below.