360 Degree Feedback Learning Centre - Every resource you could ever need to implement 360 feedback successfully

Do You Need to Implement a 360 Degree Feedback Process?

If so, the following articles, models and snippets will provide the background knowledge to ensure your 360 feedback process is a great success.

If you are seeking to engage a 360 feedback supplier, Lumus360 offer a fully customised 360 degree feedback system build service and wide range of implementation options.


We often see a disconnect between the theory of implementing a 360 feedback process and the practicalities of doing it well. Our experience clearly indicates that there are five key areas that differentiate those organisations that successfully use 360 feedback and the rest!

The watch-outs are:

  • Trying to use your 360 degree feedback process for performance and development purposes at the same time
  • Using a generic questionnaire that’s not aligned to the organisational context
  • Leaving participants to sink or swim – Rather than supporting them to make the most of their feedback reports
  • Hoping that change will take place – Instead of having a ‘follow through’ plan in place
  • Implementing 360 simply because it’s “best practice” / “used by the best organisations” etc- Not because it is aligned to a business/ organisational need

The best bit is, the things that many get wrong are very easily avoided. Take a look at our video – How to get 360 feedback right

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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Knowing the market place very well, I’m conscious that whilst on the face of things 360 feedback suppliers look very similar – when you get into the ‘detail of buying’, we are in fact very different in our offerings.

The following check list is a summary of the key components that should be considered when choosing/ comparing potential 360 partners:

  • Credibility – Pedigree, time in the market place, existing customers etc
  • Service provided – Who will provide the administrative support? Do you require a ‘fully managed 360 feedback survey system’ or will a ‘self-managed 360 software package’ better suit your needs.
  • Usability – Simple, intuitive, one login, mobile friendly, instant 24/7 support if needed etc
  • Customisation – User journey, questionnaires, rating scale, branding, email messaging, number/ type of automated reminders etc
  • Questionnaire design – Off the shelf questionnaires are dead (!) – 360 only works if the questionnaire is ‘fit for purpose’
  • Customer Support – Both in terms of the strategic support needed to ensure the whole process adds value and the ‘day to day’ administrative support needed to ensure a smooth hassle free experience for all
  • Report types – Individual, group report etc
  • Price – The summative (all-in) cost per person
  • Supporting services– Coaching, train the coach workshops etc
  • Data security – Hosting, backup and encryption

If you have been tasked with finding the right 360 feedback provider for your organisation, then our book ‘The HR professionals guide to purchasing 360 feedback services’ is a must read.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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Having chatted to many of our existing clients over the last couple of weeks – it is obvious that the ever increasing world of economic uncertainty has resulted in ‘starved training budgets’ for all, regardless of sector or service. I know I’m talking to the converted, when I say that supporting leaders to be their best and to get the best out of those they lead, is money well spent and even more important in harder more demanding times. But that doesn’t answer the question of how to make the most out of a training budget that has been a major casualty of cutbacks?

An excellent way of getting the most out of a limited budget, is to define what ‘leading in difficult times’ means within the organisational context and then focus managers on those behaviours. A good 360 feedback process is of course an economic and fast way of realigning behavioural expectations to ensure tomorrows success.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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Whilst there are lots of things to consider when designing your 360 feedback model. Our experience of supporting hundreds of organisations to get it right, clearly shows that success comes from the application of the following principles:

  • Get the right fit – Be clear about where 360 degree feedback fits in the organisations strategy, culture, values and future aspirations and then ensure your questionnaire and approach supports and enables those things to happen.
  • Engage the top team and the 'organisations voice' – The tipping point for overcoming organisational apprehension, typically occurs when senior managers and those ‘key voices’ around the organisation, talk it up. Enable the Senior Team to get their hands on, and shape the 360 early in the development process and then support the rest of the organisation to understand the why, how and what, before it goes live.
  • Start at the end – The success criteria for using 360 for appraisal/ 360 degree performance evaluation purposes is a world away from using it to support management development interventions – Be clear about what you expect out of the process and then design your 360 model to meet those needs.

Take a look at our video – How to get 360 feedback right

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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Learning from the mistakes of others is a great way to get your own 360 evaluation process to work well.

The following are the most common pitfalls we’ve seen, yet all of them are fairly easy to overcome.

  • Mistake 1 - Implementing a 360 review process simply because it’s “best practice” / “used by the best organisations” etc. - 360 needs to be clearly linked to a key business / organisational goal or driver. Things like:
    • supporting middle and senior managers to take their performance to the next level
    • changing the management culture / embedding expected leadership, organisational behaviours, values etc.
    • ensuring leadership and management development programmes have a clearly defined agenda based on real needs
  • Mistake 2 - Trying to use 360 for performance and development purposes at the same time - Whilst the basic concept of 360 feedback is similar whether it is used for development or performance evaluation, successfully implementing them requires very different approaches with regards to rating scales, competency alignment, responder subjectivity etc. Use it for either development or as part of the measurement cycle but not both at the same time.
  • Mistake 3 - Using a generic questionnaire - Every organisation we have ever worked with has been unique, each having its own culture, aspirations, challenges, values, people etc. For a 360 feedback questionnaire to work it has to be ‘fit for purpose’ i.e. it needs to clearly define the organisation’s expectations of it managers / leaders now and in the future. Generic 360 questionnaires are dead!
  • Mistake 4 - Leaving participants to sink or swim - Without some form of coaching support, the majority of participants don’t have the knowledge, skills and ‘feedback maturity’ to successfully convert their reports into meaningful action-focused development plans.
  • Mistake 5 - Hoping that change will take plac - Without having all / most of the following in place, it’s likely that no significant benefits will ever be seen from a 360 programme:
    • the use of a post-360 action plan
    • involving line managers in monitoring improvement progress
    • insisting participants make personal development commitments to their team
    • the use of colleagues / peers to support development goals
    • hard measures – such as scheduling a repeat of the 360 process further down the line
  • Mistake 6 - Running before you walk Build ‘feedback maturity’ over time - Building a 360 degree review culture is more likely to succeed if first time participants are given full control and ownership over the whole process – this entails allowing participants to identify the people from whom they would like feedback and to decide who will see their 360 review report. Taking this approach reduces many of the concerns talked about by participants when they use a 360 evaluation process for the first time. For many people this means they can enter the feedback exercise with an open and accepting mind, without feeling the need to self-justify or defend any critical feedback to others.
  • Mistake 7 - Assuming that everyone 'gets it' - Most people have their own interpretation of what 360 feedback is / is not with many assuming a negative reason lies behind its implementation (which is rarely the case). Communicating the reasons behind its use to all key stakeholders, in a way that motivates and engages people is easily done and a key ingredient to its successful use.

Lumus360 provide free consultancy on how to ensure your 360 feedback is a great success. Just call +44 (0)1291 3637380.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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Using a 360 appraisal model to measure annual performance (if done well) can reduce subjectivity and bias, from things like the ‘halo effect’ or ratings that are personality driven (like vs dislike), therefore providing a clearer, more balanced / rounded view of an individual’s performance. 360 feedback as part of an appraisal model can also be of real value in helping to differentiate between the middle band of performers. On saying that, using 360 evaluations software for performance review also increases the potential risk of the activity being viewed as a negative experience and one that de-values feedback and performance management.

If you are in the process of planning to use a 360 appraisal model to score / evaluate / review performance, then you should be aware that whilst the basic concept / process is similar to that used when the system has been designed for development purposes only, successful implementation requires the following to be considered, planned for and applied:

  • Clarity about how the 360 degree feedback process will be used - As a core principle, we would strongly advise that the feedback collected should be used to influence outcomes, not dictate them.
  • Honest communication - It sounds obvious, but clearly and honestly explaining to participants and their respondents the context and how the 360 degree evaluation will be used is essential (and a legal requirement).
  • Alignment of competences - The questions must accurately paint the picture of role expectations. Therefore, the use of a range of questionnaires tweaked to meet the needs at different organisational levels or in different functional areas is key.
  • Develop a ‘weighting plan’ - Different parts of the feedback data, will add different value, to the different aspects of the measured areas – for example:
    • When measuring ‘team leadership’ a team member’s feedback should carry more weight than the perspective of a peer / colleague.
    • There is evidence that peer feedback can be a good indicator of future potential and therefore should it carry more weight in that area?
    • Colleagues’ feedback relating to cross functional working should be worth more than a customer’s perspective.
    • The ratings a team leader recieves linked to supervising others could carry more weight than the ratings received relating to strategic thinking.
    • Should the line manager’s score be weighted more than other populations?
    • In summary, there needs to be a clearly thought out ‘weighting plan’ that cuts across feedback population groups and competency areas.
  • The risk of extreme perspectives - Consider not collecting in feedback ratings from anyone with pending / disciplinary issues.
  • Subjectivity - Consistency of rater responses and how the feedback is used by line managers is very important. Put a process / training in place that enables greater ‘reliability’ of responder ratings and defines how line managers will use the information. This can be achieved by:
    • reliability of rater responses:
      • use of clear / detailed descriptors on the rating scale
      • 360 degree performance review training, focused on developing organisational consistency in the understanding of the rating scale and how to provide great 360 degree performance evaluation feedback
    • consistency in how the feedback is used – through the use of line manager workshops

A final word of warning – In our experience 360 feedback used for performance reviews / appraisals is far more likely to work if the organisation has a reasonably mature feedback culture - Managers and employees should have previous experience of providing, receiving, interpreting and actioning 360 feedback given in a developmental setting.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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The 3 steps that ensure your 360 FEEDBACK process adds real value

This article provide a pragmatic 360 degree feedback process for supporting feedback recipients to convert their 360 feedback into the best possible outcomes. Research carried out by Lumus360, supported by the practical experience gained through coaching hundreds of 360 degree feedback participants, suggests that real performance improvement and personal growth occurs when feedback recipients are provided with the appropriate support to work through the following 3 transition steps:

Step 1 - Accept feedback in a positive way

This first and very important step focuses on supporting feedback recipients to ‘open the feedback door’ and ‘hear’ what is being said, in an open and non-defensive way, so they gain a genuine and accurate picture of how they are seen by those around them. It builds on the belief that to make sound development decisions, people need to start with a clear and factual understanding of the current situation.

This step also aims to address the issues normally associated with feedback recipients working through their 360 degree feedback reports alone, namely that most will instinctively skip over or underplay positive feedback messages and reject, exaggerate, deny or defend feedback that they find difficult to accept. Both can lead to a blurred understanding of what is actually being said.

Accepting feedback in a positive way involves the feedback recipient placing equal weight on positive, developmental feedback, hearing positive feedback messages as strengths to be played to / capitalised on, and seeing disappointing / critical feedback as a good source of information from which continuing development ideas can be drawn. In real terms, this involves providing a safe, supporting environment where feedback recipients can go beyond any initial emotional responses and constructively unpick disappointments, shocks and surprises.

Hearing and accepting the feedback is more than just reading words and interpreting strings of data. It also involves clustering feedback messages together to pinpoint patterns, themes and underlying causes from which a depth of understanding and an overarching picture / set of accurate feedback conclusions can be drawn.

Step 2 - Action planning

Having understood and made sense of the feedback, this step deals with the ‘so whats’, facilitating the feedback recipient to convert their feedback conclusions into a set of pragmatic, forward looking actions that will benefit them and their organisation. In practice, this step works best if a 'mulling over' period of between 5 – 10 days is provided after the feedback recipient receives their feedback report, allowing time for personal reflection and an opportunity to clarify key feedback messages and how they feel about them.

The action planning outputs should not be a ‘wish list’ of courses or an overwhelming and unmanageable set of improvement objectives, but instead should aim to capture 3 – 4 key deliverables that the participant is committed to, and that will make a real and measurable differen ce if followed through on.

Effective post 360 degree feedback action plans should be balanced, aiming to identify:

  • How talents and strengths can be applied to further benefit the organisation.
  • How an acceptable / mediocre area of performance can become a key strength with some behavioural refinement.
  • One or two development goals to address behaviours that are currently hindering or even blocking higher performance.

Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound). We've all heard this a million times before, but only those who take the time to actually do it will reap the benefits. If a goal is missing any of these components, it is far less likely to be followed through on.

Supporting people through action planning goes beyond simply facilitating the development of a logical set of objectives and implementation actions. Action planning is also about building enthusiasm and commitment to change and supporting the feedback recipient to gain the self confidence to give development goals a determined go and building the faith to see them through.

Step 3 - Follow through

Providing ongoing support to enable participants to deliver on their plans and adopt new ways of working is a key step in driving plans into delivered goals and one which most organisations get wrong. When combined, the following four elements play a significant part in converting action plans into improved performance:

a. Line Manager’s Development Discussion

The aim of this meeting is to confirm the alignment of objectives and gain the line manager’s buy-in, signoff and continuing implementation support. Whilst this sounds obvious, our research indicates that it is not common practice. An effective way of raising their importance and steering the conversations to produce the best possible outcomes is to make the Line Manager’s Development Discussion an expectation from the outset and provide an outline meeting agenda.

By the end of the Development Discussion the participant and their line manager should have:

  • Shared the participant’s 360 degree feedback report conclusions – the key messages and how he/she felt about them.
  • Explored any areas of the line manager’s feedback that needed further clarification.
  • Discussed the draft development plan to make sure objectives are clear and aligned to the organisation’s needs.
  • Agreed how success will be monitored and measured.
  • Identified the support and resources needed to enable their delivery.

b. Engaging the team

This can be successfully achieved by publicly recognising the team’s contribution to the 360 process to date, by thanking them for their feedback and acknowledging it in a positive way. This is best achieved by sharing the positive and developmental messages taken from the report (not the report itself). Publicly sharing development plans with the team is an effective way of engaging them and reinforces the participant’s commitment to their delivery. This approach also means the participant’s team are consciously aware of the intended improvement changes, which makes changing their future perceptions easier and provides an opportunity to ask for continuing feedback on progress going forward.

c. Monitoring

It is important to diarise review dates and have a mechanism to track and monitor progress against milestones and overall aims in order to drive accountability. People are far more likely to get something done if they have to answer for it to someone other than themselves. Some key monitoring questions that should be answered early are:

  • What will be monitored and how will it be tracked?
  • How can the measure be made easy?
  • How frequently will it be monitored?
  • How much slippage is acceptable?
  • How will contingencies be identified early?
  • How will corrective action be taken?
  • How will objectives be updated to meet changing circumstances?

d. Coaching support

This includes ongoing coaching to support development objectives and/or to investigate the behaviours and mindsets that are creating barriers and any other issues that are preventing the achievement of performance excellence.

Lumus360 offer a range of 360 degree feedback training and 360 degree feedback coaching services designed to support organisations ensure they get real value from their 360 feedback process.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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360 feedback is viewed as critical components in a wide range of management development interventions. The most common 360 appraisal models/ uses of 360 feedback are:

  • Performance Coaching - Used at the beginning of a coaching relationship, a 360 degree feedback report can be a powerful 'accelerator' and 'alignment' tool. By clustering and prioritising any undesirable feedback results the subject and coach can quickly gain a clear picture of where their coaching sessions should focus, ensuring key development issues are recognised and addressed. This approach to performance coaching ensures a needs driven focus based on valid, factual, accurate behavioural information.
  • Personal Development - Used as part of a 'life coaching' programme or as an annual development tool, 360 feedback can be used to provide genuine insight into an individual's working style across a spectrum of leadership and management behaviours and into how their 'personal brand' is perceived. The feedback report can be used to provide clarity of direction for future personal development and career planning.
  • Performance Management - A common trend is to use a 360 appraisal model to provide an 'all round view' of performance as part of the appraisal process. The feedback is used by line managers to inform appraisal ratings and contribute to the development discussion. Used in this way, the tool can also act as a management strength benchmark, as well as highlighting individual personal strengths and problem areas.
  • Development Programmes - Used at the beginning of a leadership or management development programme, 360 degree feedback tools can be used to:
    • Inform (or determine) programme content - The feedback data from a group of people can be combined into a Group Summary Report that provides an aggregated view of the group's strengths and key development areas. Using 360s in this way enables programme designers to effectively tailor their programme content to meet specific identified needs.
    • Individual alignment - Providing programme participants with feedback against what is expected of them in their role and then supporting them to convert their lower ratings into a meaningful personal development plan for the programme is a great way of making the programme 'real' for them and ensuring that they start their development journey with a clear picture of what success from the programme will look like for them.
  • Talent Management - Whilst 360 feedback provides insight into a manager's past and current behaviour, when the framework of questions used includes those attributes and qualities needed to work at more senior levels they can also acts an an indicator of future performance and growth potential. 360 feedback can be a powerful component within a talent management programme and is often used to:
    • Benchmark / identify the talent strength within an organisation.
    • Identify those individuals who have the potential to operate at the next level.
    • Highlight how ability and potential can be developed.
    • Act as a progress measure.
    • Provide evidence based data for any prospective 'chessboard' talent management process.
  • Team Feedback - Just as an individual 360 provides a snapshot of how the participant is seen by those they work with, a team 360 feedback report collects feedback from groups of stakeholders from across the organisation. This tailored survey provides excellent feedback for use in team development sessions and can be used to help teams gain clarity of purpose and direction, understanding the expectations of stakeholders and providing a clear picture of a team's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Individual Contributor - We are frequently asked to provide feedback tools for individual team members who want to gain development feedback on their personal effectiveness. Questionnaires are typically built around a range of individual skills areas such as planning, use of time, delivery, relationship building, influencing, customer focus, self-confidence, continuous improvement etc.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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360 feedback reports – Who should see what?

When used for personal development, 360 feedback participants are normally given ‘control’ over their report and what they do with it. This typically means that only one report is produced and the participant then decides who (if anyone) gets to see it and what actions (if any) they will take as a result of the feedback.

Whilst this works on lots of fronts, including reducing many of the concerns talked about by participants when they embark on a 360 review process for the first time. It also has the disadvantage of potentially restricting the ability for Line Managers to take an active role in helping to shape the ongoing development agendas of their people - a key Line Management expectation!

This article sets out to explore the practical challenge of how to provide participants with a sense of control/ ownership of their feedback, whilst at the same time ensuring Line Managers have access to sufficient data to enable them to take an active role in supporting development planning and its implementation.

When participants own their feedback data

Allowing participants to be ‘in charge’ of their feedback data provides several key benefits:

  • Uncontaminated responder motives - Knowing that their feedback will only be seen by the participant means there is no pressure on respondents to be anything but honest and candid. They do not need to consider or accept any responsibility for the potential consequences or repercussions (influencing annual gradings, promotion prospects, bonuses etc) for the participant, that could be associated with the organisation having access to the feedback they provide.
  • Participant engagement - Having full control of the feedback data also reduces many of the concerns talked about by participants when they use a 360 tool for the first time. For many people, this means they can enter the process with an open and accepting mind, listening carefully to the messages they receive, without feeling the need to self justify or defend any critical feedback to others.

Why 360 degree feedback should be available to Line Managers

The case for using 360 feedback data within the organisation is based on sound and logical reasoning. After all, given the time, effort and cost of producing 360 reports and the richness of the feedback received, why shouldn't Line Managers be able to use the outputs of the 360 degree feedback process to drive and support the organisation's development agenda? The most common reasons cited for providing organisational access the feedback collected are:

  • Supporting individual development - How can participants' managers provide coaching or appropriate development support if they don't have all of the available information to help paint a clear picture of the person's development needs?
  • Return on investment (ROI) - How can ROI be measured if start and end point information is not available to those who need to account for the success of the intervention?

Whilst the above are sensible justifications for allowing the participant's line manager (and key HR / training professionals) access to the data, taking this approach changes the context in which feedback is given and received, as follows:

  • Feedback can become contaminated - Our research and experience in this area proves that when respondents(particularly colleagues and direct reports) know their feedback ratings and comments will be seen by others within the organisation, their responses to questionnaires become contaminated and diluted. Typically, what happens is that scores go up, because respondents don't want to disadvantage the participant. In addition to the scores rising, the spread (or range) between highest and lowest scores reduces along with the number of critical feedback comments. The reality is that whilst the concept of using 360 data to support the organisational development agenda is conceptually sound, the application of it results in an inconsistent and watered down output
  • Participants can disengage - For many there is a big difference between receiving private and confidential development feedback and entering a process where you think (rightly or wrongly) that the output could be used to score / rate you or influence the judgements of key stakeholders within the organisation. Even if this is not the organisation's intention, there will be those who believe it is, and their attitude and approach to the process could result in participants 'playing the scoring game' in relation to their own self ratings or through the development of scoring pacts with colleagues.

The Lumus360 solution

Adopting one (or several) of the following approaches will enable participant’s to maintain control of their feedback whilst at the same time ensuring Line Managers can play a role in optimising the opportunities 360 feedback provides:

  • Sharing of outputs and drive to action - By making it clear at the outset that, whilst participants have full control and ownership of their report and there is no expectation for them to share actual scores and comments, they will be required to take any key feedback messages and their concluding development thoughts into development discussion with Line Managers.
  • Training Needs Analysis Report - The Lumus360 Training Needs Analysis Report combines 360 degree feedback data from a group of participants into one consolidated report. This is designed to provide strategic insight into management development themes, culture and performance trends whilst maintaining individual confidentiality. The report format is ideal for highlighting current group strengths, blind spots, areas for development and relationship issues between different reporting populations.
  • Manager's Summary Report - This unique approach provides Line Managers with the headline news needed to start a meaningful action planning conversation, without them having to plough through 40 pages of data. This three page summary report uses a development summary scale (key strength - development need) and does not incorporate comments or actual ratings, ensuring that the original context and motives of those providing the feedback are not altered.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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How to respond to feedback from my team?

I’ve just read an interesting blog from Marshall Goldsmith on turning 360º feedback into positive change.
He suggests following-up with your team using the following guidelines:

  • Thank them for participating in the feedback process. Take the time to acknowledge the value of their time. Express gratitude for their input.
  • Review strengths. Personally commit to continued effort in these areas of strength and express gratitude for their positive recognition.
  • Openly discuss desired areas for development. Sincerely apologise for any mistakes that may have made in the past and commit to improve.
  • Solicit ideas for the future. Ask for specific suggestions that can help ensure his improvement in targeted areas for change as well as general suggestions that can help you on your journey to become a more effective leader.
  • Make realistic commitments. Avoid over-promising. Commit to listen to all ideas. Consider every suggestion and make a ‘good faith’ effort to do the best you can to improve.
  • Ask for their continued support. Let them know that you plan to follow-up and get ongoing ideas and suggestions. Communicate that positive, lasting change is a process – not a program.

He also says that after your initial response to feedback, follow-up with your team every couple of months or so. For example, if your area for improvement is listening, just ask, “After receiving my 360º feedback, I committed to becoming a better listener. Based upon my behavior over the past two months, can you please give me a couple of suggestions that might help me become a better listener over the next two months?”

Listen to their ideas. Thank them. Keep learning and following-up. Our research is very compelling. Leaders that follow-this process can greatly benefit from receiving 360º feedback. So can you.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

01291 637380

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The experience gained in providing 360 feedback for consultants, suggests that simply comparing the numbers of a past 360 report with a recent survey in order to monitor and measure development progress doesn’t really work.
In order to maximise the benefits of doing a 360 degree feedback survey for a second/ third time, Lumus™ suggests you take the following approach.

Pre-work– Look back at the key messages and PDP from your old 360 and consider:

  • What are the areas I believe I have developed in – and why was that development successful?
  • What areas was I hoping to develop but things did not go as well as expected – and why may that have been?
  • What have I learnt about how I learn/develop?

New report – In order to avoid the temptation of doing a direct number comparison, we suggest that initial you work through your new report on its own (not in conjunction with your previous survey). Your key aim should be to gain clarity about how your current leadership behaviours are received as opposed to focusing on how you have been ‘scored’.

Work through your new report in order to identify the key messages:

  • What are my current perceived strengths? (the top 10% of ratings)
  • Which of my behaviours do people believe I could further improve? (the bottom 10% of ratings)
  • What are the biggest differences in perceptions?
  • Are there any surprises?

Monitor/ measure progress – Having drawn your key conclusions from the second report, it is now possible to make some high level comparisons, answering the questions:-

  • How have my world and responsibilities changed that must be recognised in the new 360 degree feedback?
  • Where have people noticed my development improvements?
  • How have perceptions changed in relation to those areas I have consciously been trying to develop (including my own)?
  • Are all of my original perceived strengths still seen as such?
  • Which (if any) new development areas have appeared?
  • Where are the current gaps in perceptions?

Celebrate your successes – In addition to giving yourself a ‘pat on the back’ also think about how you can share those successes with others in order to further build your brand/reputation; reinforce how you now work and demonstrate your commitment to continued development.

Where next? – The aim here is to pick out several areas for continued development and convert them into a set of specific development goals which include:

  • Capturing how you will apply your learning about ‘how you learn’.
  • Identifying what you would like to see in a 360 degree feedback survey in 18 – 24 months time?

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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360 Feedback providers and project managers spend a lot of time and effort designing and implementing their 360 degree feedback tools. Typically, this involves making sure their project is widely communicated, key stakeholders are engaged, questionnaires are fit for purpose, implementation processes are piloted and refined etc. However, significant and sustained performance improvement requires far more than good preparation, a well-managed implementation process and comprehensive feedback report

Based on our experiences over the last 10 years, we believe there are 3 clear steps in suporting 360 feedback reciepients to convert their feedback reports into positive and sustained development action – these are:

  • Accepting feedback in a positive way
  • Action planning
  • Followng through

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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Getting 360 feedback reporting right

Our guiding principles for 360 feedback reporting is to ensure all of our standard or bespoke reports:

  • Have a balanced range of data presentation to allow for different cognitive styles; using graphics, numerical data, and text
  • Have a professional appearance, with good use of space, colour and font
  • Provide enough feedback to allow the recipient to draw useful conclusions without tipping into information overload
  • Use well-researched graphic displays avoiding visual biases in order to reveal key patterns in behaviours
  • Provide verbatim comment input to enable insights into the impact of specific behaviours
  • Have a structured approach which provides more detailed information at each level, allowing for greater insight at each step

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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How 360 feedback participants are best supported to convert their feedback into value adding action is a key consideration when planning how to make sure 360 feedback makes a real difference.

Whilst there are many 360 feedback support models, the following is a summary of research we recently carried with over 100 of our existing clients:

The most common 360 feedback support models are:

  • 30% of our clients use internal coaches - This has become far more popular in recent years, particularly when participants sit at middle manager level. The concept being to upskill existing coaches (normally HR/ Trg professionals) to take on the role of feedback coach
  • 26% of our clients use external coaches – Historically this has been the way to go, budget permitting. The approach now tends to be used predominately for senior team members or where there are perceived issues of confidentiality or with those expected to receive particularly bad feedback(!)
  • 14% of our clients let people sink or swim – Leaving participants to work alone works very well in organisations/ with individuals that have a high level of feedback maturity and personal development accountability
  • 12% of our clients use line managers as coaches – With support, line managers can make good 360 feedback coaches, the key advantage being that they take an active role in shaping the participants development
  • 10% of our clients use workbooks – Favoured by organisations whose participants are going through the process for the second time. The aim of the workbook being to provide useful guidance notes and a structure for making the most of the report
  • 8% of our clients use peer coaching – Works very well when the 360 process is an integral part of a leadership development programme or team build event

Lumus360 offer a range of coaching, facilitation and training services to support organisations and individuals make the most of 360 feedback opportunities.

David Cooper
Director - Lumus360

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