Pros and Cons of Using 360-Degree Feedback with a Personality or Style Assessment

October 5, 2016 by Sandra Mashihi

“I have become intrigued with the combining of seemingly unrelated ideas or images, or the drawing upon the many, sometimes dissimilar, meanings a word might have.” -John Barton

In general, skill or competency based 360-degree feedback assessments provide data on how participants are perceived by others, while personality and style assessments provide insights about why people might behave as they do. Including a personality-and-style-based tool along with a 360-degree feedback assessment is common for many coaches, consultants, and organizations involved in leadership and talent management training or development interventions.

Most coaches have their own favorite personality-and-style-based tools as part of their coaching toolkit. Together, these two types of assessments can help facilitate a deeper awareness, an understanding of the participant’s strengths that can be leveraged, and blind spots to focus on for further development.

Coach’s Critique:

In my coaching interventions, I actually prefer to use a style assessment along with the 360 as it allows me to match strengths and weaknesses based on personality tendencies. The 360 answers the question of “What” an individual is doing? A style of personality question answers the “Why” they are doing what their doing.

I often like to utilize the DiSC Profile in addition to the 360 as a way to help my client understand his/her personality and behavioral style. My colleague, Ken Nowack, prefers to use either a style based assessment like the Strengths Deployment Inventory or a newer generation five factor personality inventory such as Facet 5, Hogan Development Survey or Innate Index.Utilizing the 360 of one of these types of tools can be very beneficial in how individuals interpret their 360.

Say I have a client that is a high “D” on the DiSC, or a higher tendency to control, problem solver, and high achiever. I often see behaviors on their 360 that correspond to that personality type, like making micro-managing, or demonstrating high productivity, being a decision maker. As they become of aware of their personality type, they are better able to process and make sense of the results of their 360.

Do you recommend using a personality/style assessment alongside a 360? If so, what do you recommend?

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.

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  • Hi Sandra,
    To your question regarding use of additionsal assessments with a 360 – YES! – we stronly recomend this – and preferable a Big5 = Facet5 – mainly due to tje folowing reasons/arguments; DISC or MBTI (just to take to common and well known) shows a self perception of various behaviors – not nesccerarely the “why” (as you mention the 360 shows the what – if it is based on descriptive behaviors of the “what?” an individual is doing)
    A 5 factor like the Facet5 go deeper into the personality and is much more accurate (0.50 vs 0.76/0.86) mainly due to the fith factor.
    A Facet5 will still deliver behaviorial insights BUT more distinct to the “why” as these behaviors will be a part of the personality – may be even adopted to handle certain situations

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