When, Why and How: 360 Assessments for Business Leaders

by | Nov 2, 2016 | Blog, Fulfillment, Leadership

A 360 Assessment is a tool coaches, consultants and hr professionals use to facilitate learning and development.

There are many different types of 360 assessments, essentially it’s a survey or questionnaire designed to elicit feedback and reflections from a diverse group of stakeholders around the person.

It’s called a 360 because it’s intended that you get input on how you show up from people above, below, beside you and everywhere in between.

Here are my quick hits on when, why and how to use a 360 Assessment as a Business Leader.

When to use a 360:

  • You are either looking to become a better or effective leader
  • You’ve just been promoted to or taken on a larger level of responsibility
  • You are noticing a plateau in your results or effectiveness
  • You are preparing for or hoping to grow into a role with larger responsibility

Why use a 360:

  • 360 assessments provide diverse, uninhibited feedback. The higher you ascend in an organization, the less likely it is that people will provide you direct feedback or challenge your leadership
  • 360 assessments catalyze coaching and mentoring engagements by providing a reflection that has more gravity and less bias than the reflection of the coach or mentor
  • 360 assessments help to illuminate changes in behavior amongst different constituents, i.e.- customers, direct reports, supervisors, peers. Having information from multiple stakeholders can help uncover leadership opportunities

How to use a 360:

  • 360 assessments should be used to reflect your strengths just as much as they illuminate opportunities for growth and development
  • 360 assessments are not to be taken as the truth about the client, simply a hazy reflection, that the coach and client interpret in service of the client’s growth and development
  • 360 assessments aren’t likely to make a difference unless they are used to create a renewed, inspiring vision of the leader’s future and an action plan to get there, complemented by coaching

For an in depth look at the power of a 360 assessment for a business leader, I strongly recommend checking out the latest podcast episode of Startup. In the episode, the CEO of Gimlet Media takes on a 360 assessment to look at what’s next with his leadership and how it’s currently impeding progress for the organization.

Startup Podcast Episode on 360 Assessment