Year was 2004 and I was an instructor in a Military establishment, responsible for the training of officers for a short course of 89 days.
Course was going on smoothly, all the student officers were working hard since it was a career course. As part of the normal working, self-assessment test was conducted and then feedback was given to officers. It was close to Johari table if you wish to understand in corporate terms.
To cut the story short, officers were asked three questions.
What they think about themselves in course parameters.?
What they think their colleague think about them in those parameters?
What grading they expect?
Here comes the contrast between two officers, one of them said that there is no difference between what he thinks about himself and what his colleagues think about him. He expected top grading.
Another said “There can be a gap …I am not really sure but I am trying to find it out.”
“How are you doing that”
“This is official as well as unofficial ...I ask them in the classroom …and in the personal space as well.”
“How can you open up to someone if he is not keen to tell you because people do not want to offend unless they are sure that you do not mind honest feedback …”
“You are right Sir, so many times I have to offer drinks as well.”
Now this was the news for me.
“Sir, this is the easiest way and most cost-effective way. My elder brother is a top HR professional in MNC and he suggested that this is nothing but the consultancy without payment if you can get honest feedback.
“Have you been successful to find out your blind spots and what are these”
He narrated the entire list ...5-6 points if I remember correctly.
Today more than twenty years have passed and the officer who found out his blind spots through honest bribing has made to senior rank while the second one is still not sure if he had some blind spots and that is the irony of life and career.
You can draw your lessons. I have drawn mine.