360° Degree Feedback and Development Introduction

360° Degree Feedback and Development Introduction

No one really likes to get negative feedback. However, business managers and executives need honest and specific feedback in order to become better leaders. Yet, all too often this type of constructive feedback is at best sparse and limited in detail. Leaders need to understand how their behavior is perceived by others in order to effectively change their behavior. 360° or multi-rater feedback can help solve this problem. Many companies are now using 360°-feedback to provide a broader, more accurate perspective on leadership competencies and the trend is dramatically increasing.

As a new model for performance feedback and development, the 360°-feedback process taps the collective wisdom of those who work most closely with the business leader. Typically, the leader is provided assessment data from a combination of direct reports, peers, customers and their boss. The collective perceptions of these people can provide leaders with a more clearer and insightful understanding of their personal strengths as well as areas for improvement. Research has shown that participants tend to view this type of performance information from multiple perspectives as being more fair, accurate, credible and motivating than what is provided in the more traditional performance appraisal process done in many organizations.

Possible reasons to utilize 360°-feedback evaluation include the following:

  • Leadership assessment
  • Leadership team development
  • Individual leadership development and coaching
  • Performance appraisal
  • Career development
  • Succession planning

A well designed 360°-feedback instrument and process provides accurate evaluations on observable behaviors and competencies that relate to pertinent areas of leadership performance that are needed to drive organizational success. This feedback system comprised of numerical ratings and narrative comments produces a wealth of information which aids individuals in targeting specific reas of strength which can be leveraged for impact as well as identifying those behaviors which may be disruptive or inhibiting to optimal performance. The feedback may uncover expectations, strengths, or weaknesses that the leader is not aware of. Thus, this type of feedback provides leaders with a picture of their leadership styles, and as a result, serves as a source of information that can help make executives better leaders.


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