What is 360 Degree Feedback and How Can it Develop your Leaders?

How do you use 360 degree feedback to develop leaders

In my recent blog posts I’ve mentioned a 360 development programme I’m delivering for a client. It’s prompted a fair amount of interest and questions so in this post I thought I’d answer a couple of those.

In my experience, 360-degree feedback is one of the most effective tools for helping develop leaders as part of a talent management programme. I’ve found it to be a brilliant starting point or addition to a coaching programme. It helps leaders identify their strengths and development needs, develop their performance and progress their careers.

How do you use 360-degree feedback to develop leaders?

Perhaps I should explain what I mean by 360-degree feedback for developing leaders.

360-degree feedback is where a leader receives useful feedback from several colleagues on how they see their work-based behaviour.

Feedback is usually collected electronically and people are categorised into groups to protect confidentiality. The feedback is combined into a report of charts, graphs and written comments.

A specially trained coach (someone like me) reviews the report with the leader and helps them make sense of the feedback and decide what they want to act on.

Why is 360-degree feedback helpful?

This quote sums up the reason it’s so effective:

 “We are measured not by what we are, but by the perception of what we seem to be; not by what we say, but how we are heard; not by what we do, but how we appear to do it.” Anonymous

We may not like it but others judge our performance at work and our potential as a leader of the organisation.

I describe it as “success is through the eyes of our stakeholders”

For a leader to be successful, they need to be able to influence senior people; they need to work collaboratively with their peers and they need to get the best out of the people that report to them.

Talented individuals know that and will work hard to achieve.  But their success results from the impact of their behaviour not the intent behind it.  The biggest gaps in a leader’s performance are often the result of a disconnection between the impact they intended to create and the impact they actually created.

And that’s why 360-degree feedback is so helpful and so powerful.  360-degree feedback can help them discover where they are getting it right and where they can improve.

Success is through the eyes of our stakeholders

So, are there risks associated with 360-degree feedback as part of a coaching programme?  Yes absolutely!  Which is one of the reasons it sometimes gets a bad reputation.

In my next blog post I’ll share some of the biggest mistakes organisations make with 360-degree feedback and how to avoid them.

Want to know more about 360-degree feedback? Drop me an email on antoinette@antoinetteoglethorpe.com and let’s talk.

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