Feedback – the entire, transparent loop

Every year, I engage in a “360° review” as part of my annual evaluation as a principal. As part of the review, I invite hundreds of faculty, parents, students, and administrators to contribute to a survey which solicits feedback about various aspects of my job performance. In short, I want to learn and grow. I think I do good work with considerable effort, but I hope I am not yet the principal that I will learn to be. When we stop growing, we stop. And more mirrors on the bus provide a deeper, richer view of what’s around us.

Collecting feedback is not unique. However, I always share the results of this particular survey. Certainly, this survey data is not the only feedback I get. However, it is the most formalized way that I collect feedback from a large set of constituents and people who deserve to share a collective voice in my learning and growth. Interestingly, sharing out the results seems to be a rather unique practice. For me, it seems natural to complete the loop…to connect the dots…to round out the circle of community.

This week, I sent the following email to all those I invited to participate in my formal feedback collection (the survey):

On Feb 7, 2011, at 1:03 PM, Bo Adams wrote:
Dear All (BC field):
On Jan. 6, 2011, I invited you to take part in providing me with formal feedback about my job performance as principal of the Junior High at Westminster. Thank you to the many of you who chose to participate. Of course, I welcome feedback from all of you, at any time; the survey was just one method for feedback.
As has been my practice for all eight years of my principalship, I like to share the overall survey results with you. Here is a link to a PDF of all 37 pages – a summary from Dr. Clarkson and 36 pages of the survey monkey results.
[link was here.]
Overall, I found the feedback to be very positive and encouraging, and the various voices all give me good things to think about as I continue to learn and grow in my work to serve the Junior High School and Westminster at large.
Approx. 50% of JH faculty responded [37 of 80]
Approx. 10% of JH parents responded [42 of 400 sampled]
Approx. 25% of Admin responded [7 of 30 sampled]
Approx. 60% of Synergy 8 students sampled responded
Why do I feel so strongly about sharing out the results of my feedback and evaluation?
  1. I believe it helps those who participate to “calibrate” their feedback with the whole…the collective voice.
  2. I believe it shows that I have nothing to hide – I value all the voices who contribute for one reason or another. I am the principal and/or colleague for 100% of the people from whom I solicit feedback…not just the ones with whom I agree.
  3. I think networked (three-way) feedback is stronger than mere two-way feedback.
  4. Sharing solicits more feedback and conversation. Already I have received 12 follow-up emails, 4 phone calls, and 6 drop-by visits. We get to interact with the feedback so WE can continue to understand each other better, each person’s perspectives better, each person’s work better.
  5. I ask my faculty to share their student-course feedback with me. Shouldn’t I model a reciprocal respect by doing the same? Shouldn’t I be cautious – nay, resistant – to doing something to/with others that I would not do to/with myself?
  6. It’s about learning!

1 thought on “Feedback – the entire, transparent loop

  1. Pingback: Formative Assessment and Sharing « It's About Learning

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