360-Degree Feedback with a… Mascot?

Mascots make all the difference. With a doll or puppet in your hands, it’s easier to receive constructive criticism from your teammates in a 360-Degree Meeting. Peer-to-peer feedback is important, but it doesn’t have to be painful.

Our Agility Scales team recently organized its first 360-Degree Meeting. We had been working with each other for over a month, and we considered it necessary to learn from each other’s feedback on a regular basis. But how can a team do that without delegating the process to an HR department and then being drowned in forms, tools, and interviews?

I did a bit of digging around and found some common sense tips:

  • Get people together in a room exchanging feedback with each other, rather than asking them to fill out anonymous forms about each other.
  • As the leader or facilitator, be the first one to ask for feedback. It shows courage and openness, and you set an example for others to follow.
  • Make sure everyone gets more appreciation than criticism because compliments motivate us more, while criticism has a bigger impact on our feelings.

I turned these and other tips into several step-by-step guides, available in our Mind Settlers app and published on the Impact Spheres blog:

But the best tip was not mentioned in any of the sources that I explored. It came from Thomas, our agile coach. He told everyone to bring a puppet, doll, or other type of mascot to the 360-degree meeting. Thomas explained that criticism is easier to handle when you receive it together with your mascot. Strong feedback is less likely to blow you away when you can hold onto something. Even if it’s just a wooden figure with a painted face.

Criticism is easier to handle when you receive it together with your mascot.

Bringing a mascot sounded like a silly idea, but it worked like a charm! When it was time to ask for improvement suggestions, each of us held up our mascot. It was fun, and it felt good. Peer-to-peer feedback is important, but it doesn’t have to be painful.

Are you going to organize 360-Feedback Meetings with your team?

Check out the Mind Setters app or explore the guides mentioned earlier in this article.

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