Field Discovery: Seven Words About Me

I've had the opportunity to work in human resources and talent management with some large organizations - companies with what felt like an endless supply of resources, and I've worked with small organizations where it felt like we should start buying our own ink pens if we really wanted to keep the lights on. My present role has me in an organization that's a mix of the big and the fiscally prudent (being publicly funded really encourages keeping an eye on the bottom line), so it makes sense that when I develop tools, programs, or engage in vendor relationships I'm often looking for options that are A) awesome and B) highly cost effective.

A recent - we kicked it off in July 2012 - initiative I was fortunate to launch is a six-month cohort based leadership development program focused on our newest managers (either to the organization or to that type of role). The program is a mix of classroom training, online training (we're fortunate to have a robust online training portal), guest speakers, and group interactions/activities. The first cohort was outstanding and based on the feedback we received they seemed to both enjoy the experience and feel like there was value to their participation. That said, it wasn't perfect and I started looking for some ways to improve on the program (while keeping costs in mind) and one of the options that soon became clear was looking for a way to let our participants solicit 360 degree feedback in an informal and fun way.

We didn't want to use something that felt like a performance appraisal or was too stuffy or gave anyone a sense of insecurity.

And then just as we were about to start brainstorming the idea of developing our own tool - something we may still do at some future point - I found out about Harry S. Campbell's amazing little feedback tool that could through a colleague: Seven Words About Me.

The site/tool's name is pretty self-explanatory, it allows users to solicit anonymous feedback from a group big or small, and the feedback comes in the form of seven words. No long diatribes or rambling thoughts on someone's ability to get to work on time or manage this project or that person - just seven words (or short string of words) that describe the person requesting feedback. Simple, straight to the point, made of pure talent development kung-fu! Or maybe even better, to quote the site itself:

"Seven Words About Me helps you Get Real about your leadership style and skills."

To that end, I just sent the instructions - though, I should point out the interface is easy-to-use and ridiculously intuitive - on how to use the tool to my latest cohort of trainees and I'm looking forward to the dialogue it generates and maybe a few fun surprises as well. So check out Seven Words About Me, maybe you'll have found a new talent development resource of your own.

 Header Photo Credit: > sëbastián < via Compfight cc

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