Start Here To Get The 360 Degree Feedback You Crave
Formal 360-degree feedback tools are an amazing way to find strengths to leverage, areas to improve, and maybe even expose a blind spot or two.
If you don’t have access to a formal 360-degree feedback program, there’s another way to get the feedback you crave.
You don’t have to wait for HR. You can build your own Do It Yourself (DIY) 360 Degree Feedback Process to gain important insights to guide your development.
We often include DIY 360-degree feedback in our long-term leadership development programs. Participants frequently tell us they like this approach even better than a fancy 360-degree online tool because it pushes them to have much-needed, real-deal, one-on-one performance conversations with their boss, peers, and direct reports.
The upside (or downside), depending on your perspective, is that it’s not anonymous.
But if you start with a foundation of trust, really listen, and respond well, you will not only get the feedback you need but also build a foundation for future dialogue.
At the end of this article, we’ve included instructions for a DIY (Do It Yourself 360-Degree Feedback) that we use in our programs. But before you go there, here are a few simple foundations to consider.
1. Ask for the Truth
Set up some time with your boss and peers to really ask for feedback. Avoid the generic, “Do you have any feedback for me?” Or letting them off the hook, by accepting “You’re doing everything just right.”
Ask questions about areas you’re specifically looking to improve.
“What specifically do you think I could do to run our project meetings more effectively and efficiently?”
“I’ve been under a great deal of stress recently, and worry that I might be rubbing some people the wrong way. Is there anything I can do to improve the way I’ve been communicating with you?”
“If you had one piece of advice that could really help me take our team’s performance to the next level, what would that be?”
2. Say Thank You
When someone shares a hard truth, especially about you, thank the person for having the courage, taking the time, and caring enough to share it with you.
If you ask for input through DIY 360 feedback, take the time to respond. Even if the ideas aren’t actionable, when you acknowledge that the ideas were heard and considered, you increase the likelihood of hearing more in the future.
4. Never, Ever Shoot the Messenger
If someone has the heart and courage to bring you a difficult truth, even if you vehemently disagree, keep your cool. If you attack them, they won’t bring you another concern.
5. Find Your Truth-Tellers
There are people who understand their team, environment, or processes and are willing to voice their observations. Find these people, keep in regular communication, and let them know you value their observations from the 360-degree feedback.
6. Check Your Behavior
If you suspect you are not hearing the truth from those around you, it is time to examine how you are interacting with others. Be sure your paying attention to the items on this list.
If you are struggling to see it, ask others for input, find a mentor, or consider a leadership coach.
7. Model It
The best way to get people to tell you the truth is to build a reputation as someone who tells other people the truth. Start from a place of deep caring with their best interest at heart. If you want more truth-tellers, be a truth-teller.
How to Get Started: A DIY 360 Degree Feedback Tool
We’ve included a step-by-step approach to completing a Do It Yourself 360 Review below.
Following Up With the 360 Feedback You Received
Once you’ve collected the feedback and consolidated the themes, don’t forget to “respond with regard” by circling back with those who generously shared their insights.
Consider these prompts to prepare for your response.
“Thanks so much for being part of my DIY 360 Feedback Review…”
- My biggest takeaway is ______________
- One strength I’m going to continue to build on is ______________ by doing _________________
- One thing I’m going to work to improve is __________________ by doing ___________________
- I could use your help with __________________________
See Also: Why The Best Leaders Crave Feedback
Your turn. Have you ever utilized a DIY 360-Degree Feedback? What best practices do you recommend?