Friday, February 18, 2011

Conflict of Interest

Every year, we have to fill out a "Conflict of Interest" questionnaire to make sure we're not participating in activities that could reflect a conflict for the organization. I never have anything to submit, who has the time to engage in anything else? But I was thinking about it yesterday and thought: Yeah, this job conflicts with my interests, especially my interest to spend the appropriate amount of time with my family. I was, naturally, reading the reminder as I headed towards my car, late again.

It made me think of something I'd read recently where a guy decided to ask his family to fill out 360 Reviews for him. 360 Reviews are a silly tool utilized by employers, but overall a bad idea. You never know how many other people will be submitting 360s. Should you tell the truth? Should you hold back? If you're critical, will it be misinterpreted or overblown by their supervisor? Will they recognize your writing style and out you as the reviewer? What if you interact with them in a completely different manner than everyone else submitting 360s and so your answers don't line up with everyone else's? This last one is a big pet peeve of mine because I'm often asked to fill out lots of 360s where I know that's the case. My work touches a lot of the organization, but it's a position that's abused and mistreated, so if I have to be critical of their time management and ability to complete work on time, I'm almost guaranteed to be rating on a different schedule than everyone else.

But back to this guy... he made his family submit 360s for him, and then he took the information, worked from it and had them redo them after a quarter. I think he really appreciated it because it gave him feedback and gave him concrete things to work towards.

I'm not sure I could do that. It's too scary. And I suspect that in many ways I already know my failings. But on the other hand, my six year old would probably just write about how much she loves me.

Guess I need to give more thought to this.
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