7 Reasons Why You SHOULD Be Using 360-Degree Feedback Assessments

February 3, 2016 by Sandra Mashihi

This is the second post of an ongoing series on 360-Degree Feedback Best Practices. Enjoy!

“Amid all your list-making, organizing, and planning your next move, when was the last time you sat down and thought about your reputation?” –Marshall Goldsmith

Multi-rater or 360-degree feedback is the process in which managers, direct reports, peers, team members, and/or customers provide anonymous feedback to others. Despite being around for decades, it continues to grow in popularity.

Some companies bring 360-degree feedback into their organization for the wrong reasons, such as not wanting to be left behind or wanting to stay up on the latest leadership development trends. While implementing 360-degree feedback program for the wrong reasons could result in doing more harm than good, there are plenty of reasons why you should introduce 360-degree feedback to your organization. Here are 7 of my favorites:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Increases self-awareness. It takes more than a single perspective to paint a picture of how a leader is seen by others. By surveying many people, 360-degree feedback provides a fairly accurate snapshot of perceptions from various stakeholders.
  2. Encourages self-development. By becoming aware of how their behavior impacts others, leaders can understand what they need to do more, less, or differently in order to reach their maximum potential.
  3. Increases organizational effectiveness. 360-degree feedback highlights specific skills and competencies associated with job performance. When this information is used to drive goals that are aligned with the organization’s overall vision, magical things happen.
  4. Can foster a culture of trust. When used only for development purposes – not hiring, firing or promotion — 360-degree feedback can increase trust and open the door to further performance discussions.
  5. Increases communication within an organization. 360-degree feedback is unique in that it can effectively measure soft-skills. One of the most important softskill there is communication. Leaders often fail to effectively communicate with the people they work with. By becoming aware of specific interpersonal behaviors, feedback results help leaders understand what they need to do to be a better communicator.
  6. Clarifies supervisory and/or managerial expectations. Based on the results of the 360-degree assessment, leaders often will collaborate with their supervisors to define expectations, develop goals and set up accountability systems.
  7. Initiates individual and team change. People cannot change without first understanding what it is they should be doing differently. A 360-degree assessment is the first step to identifying and understanding what needs to change.

 

Coach’s Critique:

While there are mixed opinions about the effectiveness of 360-degree feedback, I believe that if it’s conducted correctly, the value can be tremendous.

Many of my clients are reluctant to participate because they believe they will lose credibility in the eyes of the people they work with. I can understand why many of these clients prefer to shy away from wanting to understand the perceptions of others, but doesn’t it seem necessary in an environment that requires them to work with these other people?

According to Marshall Goldsmith’s article entitled “Full Potential: Who Do People Think You Are?, leaders need to learn about their reputation and take it seriously.  He states:

“We may have no clue about what other people are saying behind our backs, and therefore no opportunity to correct falsehoods.”

He also says that people’s view of us could actually be more important than our view of ourselves. When my clients are reluctant to participate in being assessed, I usually tell them, “perhaps, it’s better to know what is being said about you anyway”.

Dr. Sandra Mashihi is a senior consultant with Envisia Learning, Inc. She has extensive experience in sales training, behavioral assessments and executive coaching. Prior to working at Envisia Learning, Inc., She was an internal Organizational Development Consultant at Marcus & Millichap where she was responsible for initiatives within training & development and recruiting.. Sandra received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles and received her Master of Science and Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.

Posted in 360 Degree Feedback

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