360 Degree Feedback for Leaders
We all know how important leaders are to a business. Their ability to inspire and motivate their teams is an essential ingredient of business success.
Often in leadership development the focus is on what we want our leaders to improve, what we see as gaps in their knowledge and the results we want them to achieve.
If our leader’s success is achieved through their people, doesn’t it make sense to turn that around and ask what their team want from their leader?
360-degree feedback surveys are a powerful tool for figuring out exactly what a leader’s real development areas are. Every team is different, and every organisation is different, so leadership skills need to be adapted and developed continuously to achieve great results.
Making this a meaningful exercise can be challenging, so here are a few of our top steers:
- Let you leader choose the feedback participants alongside you
Typically, you will have 8 to 10 team members complete the 360. Choosing a balanced group is essential. Working together to select this group will ensure that the leader is engaged and receptive to the feedback.
- Brief the participants well
Sometimes the feedback in a 360 can be tough to take, so making sure your participants understand how to provide this feedback constructively is important. Phrasing questions so that they feed forward can help, using questions like “What would you like to see your leader do more of?”. Participants should also focus on skills and actions, not personalities. A personal attack in a 360 will never achieve good results.
- Have the leader rate themselves too
It’s always interesting to compare how we think we are doing against how others see us doing. This opens the conversation about why there may be differences in perception. Often leaders will establish an environment which motivates them but may not work for their team. Seeing these differences will help leaders realise that their team may have different needs from them.
- Make the feedback session a safe space
Its normal to be nervous receiving 360 feedback, and this can make your leaders defensive. The best way to approach this is to let them work through it in stages. Provide the report for them to consider, meet to help them work through it and discuss their thoughts on it. Then meet again to agree development areas. Having time to process the feedback can make it more meaningful. It can pay to use an external person or your HR Manager for the feedback session, as they can discuss the results dispassionately and the leader can respond honestly.
- Agree the development areas together
Just like any goal setting exercise, if your leaders have development areas chosen for them they won’t completely commit to them. This may mean that there are some compromises in their development plan. However, any development that moves them forward and improves their skills will benefit your business.
“If your actions inspire people to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams
Positive People have 24 years’ experience helping medium sized business’s develop great leaders. Contact us today to discuss how our 360-degree feedback surveys can work for you.