Peer Reviews

Written by Michael Federico
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The mere mention of peer reviews can cause an unbelievable amount of anxiety in some people. If someone feels she is being judged, she can become defensive or block out what is being said. For peer reviews to be successful, everyone involved must understand the goals of the process, and everyone should enter the procedure knowing that he or she can take something positive away from it.

In a way, peer reviews can be far more effective than those given by bosses, teachers, or others in a position of power. Comments that come down from "on high" are rarely debated openly. The two parties involved are not on equal footing to begin with, and they do not often reach any sort of understanding that can be mutually beneficial.

Using Peer Reviews as Part of 360 Degree Feedback

Peer reviews can be a major part of a full-scale team building program. 360 degree feedback takes information from a number of people and written sources to better understand how a particular person works within the structure of a department or management group. A large amount of information in 360 degree feedback can be garnered from a DISC Profile. Results from the DISC questionnaire can be broken down into several categories. A person's value to a team, possible weaknesses, greatest fears, motivations, and style of personal interaction can all be explored using a DISC Profile. Also, tips for communicating effectively with the person being evaluated will be offered.

Something as simple as a good peer review can make the job seem exciting again to someone. On the other hand, if a peer review points out shortcomings, a person can be motivated to work a little harder so as not to let anyone down. It should always be pointed out that 360 degree feedback and DISC profiles are not report cards--they are simply training tools.


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