How Does 360 Degree Feedback Help Leaders?

The 360 degree feedback approach includes a list of behaviour questions, categorized into different competency areas. These questions are answered by not only an employee’s manager but also their peers and other employees that directly report to them. These people have to answer these questions on the basis of their experience of working with a particular employee. The names of the employees who share their feedback are kept confidential and only the average score is shared for every group. The 360 degree feedback report shows how the perception of working with an employee changes from one group to another. 

The 360 degree feedback approach is a great way for employees to identify their strengths and work towards improvement. It is often the first step of leadership development programs and other such engagements. This approach has several benefits for individual employees, teams as well as organizations. 

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It has been often seen that leaders who continue to move up the ladder in an organization, begin to develop an immunity to feedback from almost everyone they work with, especially those that work under them. There is a very small group of people that feels comfortable in telling leaders what they did right in a particular time period and the areas that they improve upon. There are leaders who can’t stand criticism. They are of the opinion that 360 degree feedback gives others the opportunity to undermine them. However, there are others as well who take the feedback process as it should be. They are open to criticism and see this as an opportunity to identify and work on things that can prove to be a stumbling block to their success in the future.

360 degree feedback provides leaders a comprehensive way to learn more about their way of working while keeping everything confidential at the same time. The advantages of this approach go beyond the usual personal development ones. It helps leaders in building stronger relationships with peers and improving the dynamics of their team. On the other hand, it allows an organization to deliver their employees with a consistent manager experience. 

The biggest benefit of 360 degree feedback for leaders is that it helps them to become more self-aware. According to normal human psychology, a person thinks that everyone around them sees a thing in the same way that they do. 360 degree feedback exposes leaders to perceptions about their behavior and way of working that may be similar or different to how they see themselves. The feedback is usually consistent with a leader’s expectations but throws in a few surprises as well. The surprise could come in the form of low scores in a behavior or area that a leader considers to be a strong point. This allows them to retrospect and improve on things that they have been doing wrong. 

360 degree feedback is a great way for organizations to improve performance and increase engagement. This approach can work as a foundation to good leadership. 

Reference: The 360-Degree Feedback Tool and How It Benefits Leadership | Talent Culture | Ben Wigert | August 17, 2021

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