Developing Leaders and Teams

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360 Feedback Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected a number of 360 degree feedback Frequently Asked Questions here.

The 360 Feedback process can raise some concerns and questions for participants. That’s why a full briefing is so important for everyone involved. Meanwhile, the answers below should be helpful.

If you have an other questions please use the form below and we will answer them and post them to help everybody.

How many organisations are using 360?

Many major organisations now routinely use 360 degree feedback and it is commonly used in training and coaching. It is viewed as a very powerful and effective way for people to gain insights about themselves and their impact on others.

Who gets a copy of the report?

Normally, it is just the participant and their coach who have a copy of the report. We recommend that the participant receives their report during or just before (if it is done via the phone) their feedback meeting. Although we encourage participants to share their report with their line manager, we recommend that this is not mandatory. If it is, the quality will be negatively impacted and will become much more bland or positive.

What is the ideal number of respondents?

It is important to strike a balance between having enough respondents to give representative feedback and making too much work for not enough benefit. The minimum number of colleagues and direct reports is 3 of each to ensure anonymity. We recommend 4 – 6 in each category as ideal and usually there is only 1 manager. However, what’s more important is that they are the right people

What is the best way to select the respondents?

This is an important part of the process and requires some thought in order to involve the right people.

We provide all participants with a practical guide about “How to select the right respondents.”

What about confidentiality?

This is crucial and everyone involved needs to feel reassured about confidentiality. This reassurance is strongest when the whole process is managed on-line by an external 3rd party, the administration is also done by the external partner and the feedback meeting is conducted by an external consultant.

So what is it exactly?

This is a process that enables the participant to get feedback from all directions, their boss, their direct reports and their colleagues. It is therefore far more detailed than informal feedback. It gives clear messages about where a person is being particularly effective and where they could improve.

Can it be used for performance appraisals?

We strongly recommend that 360 feedback is not associated with appraisals but is used as a development tool only. Therefore, it may form an important part of a development plan but not an appraisal. Many clients suggest 360 as part of a development plan to be done at some point after the performance review


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