360 Review

Every year I do a 360 degree review where I ask a good number of the people I work with to help me sharpen my skills and check me for blind spots. The way it works is this: I take a list of all the people who are regularly involved in the ministries I serve, and send a copy of a review to all those who serve in a leadership capacity. Then, I have someone else randomly choose the same number of people from that list as I have leaders to send a review to (if there are five leaders, they choose five random other people). That prevents me from choosing only my cronies, or the people who I know will say only nice things. Finally, I send a copy to anyone who works for me as an employee.

My boss does his own review of me every year which is independent of the 360, so the people who complete this review don't have to worry about negatively impacting my family or finances by giving me a negative review. That way, they can feel the freedom to be completely honest.

After each person receives the review, I don't have any more contact with them about it. They print off their responses and anonymously drop them in my administrative assistant's box. Then, she averages the scores and collects the responses before giving the review back to me. The average of scores keeps me from getting discouraged by a particularly low score, or arrogant by a particularly high score. I just get an average. It's also one more step in securing the reviewers' anonymity. Some people choose not to do the review, which is okay... it's why I try to start with a pretty high sample size.

I look at this process like a yearly doctor's visit: Nobody ever looks forward to it, but it gives you a sense of confidence that everything is okay. And if something comes back not okay, the chances are good that you caught it early enough to do something about it.

I've also found that the process is pretty helpful when it comes to dealing with either discouragement or harsh criticism throughout the year. If I've done my job in asking the right questions, and my reviewers think I'm doing a good job, I don't have any reason to be too down on myself throughout the year. Or, when someone accuses me of "not taking the Bible seriously," I can rest assured that theirs is not a majority opinion, and I can search for the truth in their accusation without being completely devastated by it.

All of us have blind spots and struggles. And all of us need a check-up every once in a while. My goal is to be the very best pastor I can be, and these 360 evaluations help me make regular progress.


The Kinley's said...

Dang, sure wish I could still be your admin so I could give ya a review. I feel it's my job to keep pastors humble...hey someones got to do it. Just ask Jerry :-)

Well for the very short time we spent working together I got a glimpse of your leadership style and I have to say that you not only picked the right people to shadow but you used your time with them wisely. I believe your maturity is beyond your years and God has given you "a wise and discerning heart".

Anonymous said...

Willing to share the form you use for that review?