Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Search for Identity

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 0
Pune has been a city of contradictions for long. Being situated a mere three hours drive from Mumbai, it has remained a shadow of India’s financial capital. It has been known for decades as the Oxford of the East (at least Pune-ites have always believed so!), the hub of engineering and automobile industry in India, the cultural capital of Maharashtra, and so on. In the recent years, it has attempted to vie with Bangalore and Hyderabad to become an IT-city, but has remained on the lower rungs.
This curious phenomenon extends itself to occupy the mentality of several organizations of Pune. Just like the city that they are based in, they have remained on the threshold of becoming big. But there is a difference in being Big and trying to be Big.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What is 360 degree feedback?

Friday, April 9, 2010 1
I recently conducted this feedback exercise for an organization, starting with the head office staff and then expanding it to the entire field sales managers. During the briefing for the exercise, I asked them what they understood by the term '360 degrees feedback' and received varied answers. Some examples - 

1. Getting feedback about all the aspects of my work and my personality.
2. Giving feedback to everyone in my office.
3. Getting feedback from everyone in my office.
4. Getting feedback from all those who I interact with at work.

The system for 360 degrees feedback (also called multi rater feedback) has been in use for several years and has steadily increased in its popularity. Fundamentally, it involves receiving developmental feedback about yourself from three levels of people in the organization. Your subordinates, your peers and and your superior(s). Hence the term 360 degrees, denoting the fact that you would stand to receive feedback from 'all sides.'
It all sounds very good, but implementing it without sufficient care and preacution can have disastrous consequences. It is important to find the answers to these questions before embarking on the exercise.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What do 'your folks' say abut you?

Saturday, April 3, 2010 0
How do you decide if a good psychometric instrument is actually good? Its creators will tell you how many validity and reliability tests have been done for the test. When it comes to taking these instruments, one oft-heard remark is "can it really tell me something about myself?" It is a valid question and deals with validity and reliability of the instrument. On the other hand, most self-respecting  and honest psychometricians will also tell you this - "nobody can claim to know you better than what you know about yourself."

Which means that if I lie through my test, I would already know this fact when looking at the results. If I can thus delude myself, what is the next best way of telling me that I am a liar? Ask others! But then, it won't be that easy, will it? If there could be a way of taking a psychometric instrument all by oneself, but generate data about 'how others would describe me' then that would be wonderful. Like having a cake and eating it too. 
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