360 Review Birthday Edition

Something many companies do at the end of the year (or semiannual) are 360 reviews. Essentially, the 360 review is an opportunity for you to reflect over the past 6-12 months and write a review for yourself, your colleagues, and your manager. There usually is a set of questions to answer and it’s a chance to celebrate wins while providing some (hopefully) helpful feedback. There's a bit of an argument whether these type of reviews actually result in anything useful, but in my opinion, it's one of those opportunities that you get out of it what you put into it.

One useful way of writing any kind of feedback, whether it be for yourself or someone else, is to use the SBI (Situation Behavior Impact) methodology.

An example of this could be:

Situation — We had a colleague going through a difficult time with a sick family member and they've struggled in their day-to-day responsibilities.

Behavior — You sent them a gift and offered to help take some tasks off their plate.

Impact — Our colleague said your gift lifted their spirits and their tasks were completed on time.

This type of feedback is truly helpful because it's specific and describes the entire process for a scenario and the outcome of their actions.

So what does this have to do with birthdays? was it clickbait? Maybe!

Like the 360 review, something I've been doing for a number of years is writing a letter to my kids on their birthday. I have four kids and started writing to them when they turn five. I keep it really simple when they're young and elaborate more as they get older. It's definitely a lot more personal than feedback to my colleagues or manager but it's something I love doing and I think my kids do too!

Example ideas I write to them about:

  1. Awesome achievements they've made throughout the year
  2. How much they've grown (physically, emotionally, and spiritually)
  3. How well they've done in school
  4. If they've taken on any new responsibilities
  5. Various fatherly wisdom bombs
  6. Fun moments I had with them
  7. Overall encouragement, making sure they know I love them and am proud of them, and offer a little alignment where they need it (i.g: remember to respect your ma!).

Like the SBI, I typically try to give specific examples of the situation, behavior, and the impact they made. I don't necessarily call it SBI in the letter, but I try to write it free form from the heart.

My kids seem to really enjoy these letters and typically ask about them on their birthday. One of my kids use to sleep with their letters under their pillow and the other has a little folder for theirs.

Anyways, if you're a parent, I just want to encourage you to do something similar. It doesn't have to be on their birthday, but giving your kid some loving feedback is precious and something they can take with them into adulthood.

With ❤️ Andrew