LEADERS WELCOME 360 REVIEWS 2023-03-29T09:10:54-04:00


Note: Last week I called the UVA basketball coach Terry Bennett. I’m not sure where I came up with Terry. His name is Tony. I thank my friend Steve Pressman for pointing out my error.

When I was younger and starting to study leadership, I read a story about a company leader who was looking forward to a 360 review. The coach who conducted the review advised the leader that he would need courage and perspective to face the unknown results because such reviews often produced surprising data. The young leader assured the coach that he was prepared. When the coach started sharing the data with the leader, he ran to the bathroom and threw up.

So often in our leadership journeys we believe that we are showing up in one way while people around us perceive us in a completely different way. That’s why it is important to maintain courage and a good attitude before agreeing to a 360 process.

I was reminded of the value of 360 reviews last week when leadership coaches with whom I participate on a listserv shared their suggestions for 360 review questions. The context for these shared ideas was a request from a fellow coach for sample questions for a client 360 review prior to a coaching engagement.

It occurred to me that team leaders need not employ a coach for a teammate in order to utilize 360 reviews. If you are in an appropriate position, I encourage you to implement 360 reviews for your leaders or teammates. Whether you use your HR department, a coach or a consultant, I encourage you to consider implementing this proven feedback technique.

With thanks to my coaching colleagues, here are some questions you can include in a 360 review:

1. Describe your relationship with this person. How often do you interact with s/he and/or have an opportunity to observe them as a leader?

2. Describe their style and personality. What five adjectives would you use?

3. When this person is at their best as a leader, what are they doing and what are you observing?

4. If this person sought your counsel on how to be an even more effective leader, what counsel would you give them?

5.To be a more effective leader or manager

-What should they start doing or do more of?
-What should they stop doing or do less of?
-What should they continue doing?
-What actions or strategies should they speed up?
-What actions or strategies should they slow down?
-What actions or strategies should they pause?
-What actions or strategies should they change or tweak?

6. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how do you rate them as a leader?

7.What do they do well as a leader?

8.What might they enhance as a leader?

9.What might derail them as a leader?

10.What words could you use to describe the leader’s presence when they are composed?

11.What words could you use to describe the leader’s presence when they are under stress or pressure?

12.Where does the leader’s attention go when they are under stress or pressure?

13.Do you have any observations of situations where this leader tends to respond less effectively?

14.What if any resources are you receiving from the leader that make your job easier or more enjoyable?

15.What if any resources that could make your job easier are you not receiving from the leader?

Have you ever been the beneficiary of a 360 review? Have you ever helped conduct one for a colleague?

They can be tremendously beneficial if planned and implemented correctly. Is it time you received one? Conducted one? It is definitely worth pondering as you strive to enhance the leadership culture at your organization.

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