Every resource you could need on 360 feedback coaching
Making Sense of the Numbers
I’m frequently asked – How do you make sense of the detailed feedback/ read ’360 feedback numbers’?
Regardless of the numerical format used – The following provides a framework for identifying some of the most common feedback scenarios and how they can be interpreted.
Nasty Surprise – I think I’m good at this, but others do not agree
Nice Surprise – Others see me far better than I see myself
Nice Confirmation – I think I’m good at this and others see it
Nasty Confirmation – I know I’m not good at this and others see it too
Unseen Behaviour – I’m doing this but some people don’t see it
I hope these are useful? – Bye for now
Dealing with negative feedback
Receiving negative 360 degree feedback can be upsetting, especially when it differs from your own perceptions and/ or is echoed by several people. But how you deal with it, is far more important than the content.
Below are some practical steps for handling unfavourable feedback in an objective and constructive way.
- Take a ‘time out’ – Give yourself time to ‘mull things over’ – allow the initial surprise, high emotions, your intuitive defensive reactions time to calm down and for the feedback to settle in your mind.
- Avoid going in search of the guilty(!) - Don’t waste emotional energy and time on witch hunting ‘the guilty’. Let the feedback remain anonymous (as it was intended) – What was said, was said – it is what you do with the information that counts.
- Talk it through- Share the feedback with someone you trust and who will be honest, supportive and constructive – talking things through provides an opportunity to vent out any frustrations and verbalizing issues is a great way of making sense of things and finding solutions.
- Deal with the important stuff-Trying to process and work on every piece of feedback can be overwhelming and also ineffective. It is far better to pick out one or two pieces that really matter, have some substance and that if you address will make the most positive impact to your approach/ style the future.
- Make a plan for change- The decision to change is the most important part of converting negative 360 degree feedback from a mental and emotional drain into a positive development tool. Identify the behaviours to change, what the new approach will look like and start living them.
Concluding thoughts … Things to ponder …
- If you choose not to make changes based on the feedback, you are inviting more negative perceptions.
- The feedback is others perceptions at that point in time. It does not define you, but what you do with it, will!
Bye for now
360 feedback masterclass - coaching
In our experience the biggest differentiator between organisations that lever the power of 360 degree feedback and those that simply go through the motion, is the support participants receive to convert their feedback into meaningful development actions and how those goals are subsequently delivered against.
360 Feedback Coaching – To get 360 coaching right, follow this sequence:
- Place the initial coaching emphasis on supporting the participant to ‘really listen’ to what is being said, drawing out the key development messages and their current perceived strengths
- Cluster/ group key feedback messages together to gain a clear picture of the underpinning developmental themes
- Steer the participant towards identifying no more that 3 development areas, and one key strength that they should leverage further
- Shape the outputs of the conversation into a clear (dare I say SMART!) development plan
Following Through – Measuring development and holding participants to account for implementing their development plan is the step that most organisation talk up but rarely do well(!) – Those that get it right …
- Ensure participants development plans are shared with their line manager
- Insist on key messages (not the whole 360 report) and development objectives being shared with the participants team/ direct reports
- Use 30, 60 and 90 day implementation measures and diarise ‘catch ups’ for each of those dates
- Seek further feedback to gauge changing perceptions
For further reading on 360 degree feedback coaching – follow the article links below.
- 360 Degree Feedback Coaching – Why is 360 feedback coaching so important? What do people expect? How should the process be structured? What are the underpinning coaching principles? How does a 360 coach and their coachee get it right?
- Making the Most of 360 Degree Feedback – Feedback into Action – This article explores the transition steps involved in successfully converting feedback into performance improvement.
Read earlier blogs in this series:
- Part 1 – The Foundations
- Part 2 – Questionnaire Design
- Part 3 – Inform and Engage
CHALLENGES LINE MANAGERS FACE WHEN COACHING 360 FEEDBACK
The Line Manager-Direct Report relationship can create additional challenges for coaching 360 feedback. In addition to having the core coaching skills, being comfortable with the 360 reporting format, reading the numbers etc., it’s also important the following have been considered:
- Quality and consistency – Whist some Line Managers have the coaching knowledge, skills, experience and personal development ‘know how’ to construct really good development plans. Many don’t, and therefore the challenge is how to ensure all 360 feedback conversations are conducted in a quality way
- Lack of a positive picture of success – If Line Managers haven’t been previously coached through a 360 feedback report, they don’t have an ‘experiential picture’ for what success (or failure) looks like and therefore struggle to visualise and measure their success
- Difficult conversations – Regardless of whether they are triggered by differences in perception, expectations, personality, performance etc., 360 feedback can, by its very nature create the triggering environment for difficult conversations and it’s important Line Managers have at least considered how to manage those occasions
- Line manager blindness – Line Managers (as opposed to external feedback coaches) inevitably bring their ingrained/ fixed perceptions (good, bad and indifferent) to the conversation, which can frequently be different to those of others. Supporting / enabling Line Managers to step into the conversation with an open/ learning mind-set is very important
- Participants feedback maturity level – Some 360 participants don’t have the feedback maturity to listen to, reflect on, conclude and develop positive outcomes to critical feedback and a key role of the coach is using 360 feedback conversations to grow that maturity level, a skill most Line Managers will not have developed/ previously considered
- Drowning in the detail – Because of the Line Manager- Direct Report relationship, it’s too easy for both parties to chase and get lost in the detail, as opposed to focusing on the development of feedback themes and overarching style and behavioural shifts
Whilst there are many ways of supporting Line Managers to become 360 feedback coaches the lumus360 line manager as 360 coaching workshop is a great first step.
Let me know if I can provide any more information.
Bye for now
All the best
Making the most of your 360 feedback report
Eight steps to endure you get the most out of your 360 feedback report:
- Take time to reflect and absorb your initial impression of the feedback
- Summarise the themes and trends that you have identified
- Share your initial ‘takeaways’ with someone who you trust to act as a neutral ‘sounding board’
- Identify what you do well and decide how you can build on and maximise those strengths
- Identify areas to improve and decide what you are going to do to make changes
- Thank respondents for taking the time to give you feedback and maybe ask for further clarity if required
- Identify which actions will have the most positive impact on your leadership, 3 or 4 is a realistic target
- Share your conclusions with your manager and team
Bye for now
Line Manager Support
One of the most effective ways of making sure that 360 feedback results in performance improvement, is to ensure that post 360 survey action/ development plans are monitored through line manager 1:2:1’s.
Involving line managers in the ‘follow through’ of actions has the following benefits – It:
- Brings the whole 360 feedback process back under the line manager/organisational umbrella
- Provides line managers with a ‘voice’ and opportunity to influence/steer development objectives and their importance
- Enables line managers to provide appropriate support and resources
- Provides opportunities for line managers to take an active role in their peoples development – Possibly through coaching, the provision of experiential/learning opportunities etc.
- Provides a structure for validating the whole 360 feedback process and evaluating impact in relation to individual growth and enhanced organisational performance
Whilst the utilisation of line managers in this way sounds obvious, our experience indicates that it is not common practice.
From a pragmatic perspective, this approach works particularly well when the expectation that post 360 development plans will be shared with line managers, is established at the start of process.
Bye for now
Learning from New Years Resolutions
What can we learn about converting Personal Development Plan (PDP) goals into long-lasting change from research on keeping New Years resolutions? ….
Last year, psychologist Prof Richard Wiseman tracked the lives of over 700 people as they attempted to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Only 12% of participants achieved their resolution and by comparing the techniques used by successful and unsuccessful participants, Wiseman identified the following as key components in effectively achieving personal objectives:
- Break your goal into a series of bite-sized steps – Focus on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable, and time-based
- Tell your friends and family about your goals, thus increasing the fear of failure and eliciting support
- Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim
- Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time – Treat any failure as a temporary set-back rather than a reason to give up altogether.
- Make only one resolution/objective, your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour
- Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress
360 Feedback - Emotional Awareness
360 degree feedback can provide the powerful insights and perception truths that make people sit up and really think about how they come across. As a 360 degree feedback coach, I’ve always been consciously aware of its potential negative power, particularly when feedback recipients start their feedback coaching session from a vulnerable/unstable emotional place.
A couple of weeks ago I was coaching a senior manager through what was an above average report and it became apparent very early on that every line of the report was being read with a negative/emotional and unbalanced eye which wasn’t healthy. I drew the feedback session to an early close and afterwards it became clear that they had a lot of other things going on in their world and if we’d have continued at that time, the 360 degree feedback report (even though it was very good) could easily have been the ‘straw that broke the camels back’.
On reflection, the experience reinforced the need for 360 feedback facilitators to apply core coaching skills including:
- The importance of taking time to find out ‘where the feedback recipient is’ on an emotional level before looking at the report and ‘tune in’ to them
- Remembering that initially, feedback recipients typically read their reports though an ‘emotional/heart/eye’ as opposed to their ‘logical/head/eye’
- The need to make regular opportunities to ‘check in’ and to have a mechanism for capturing how the feedback recipient is feeling about the feedback (both the nice and no so nice stuff)
- Recognising the emotional journey that is change and that for most of us our initial reaction to critical feedback can be to deny, defend or justify it.
- Having the courage to stop a feedback session when things are not right
Annual DEVELOPMENT GOALS REVIEW – THE KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK?
As year end closes in, and life seems to get faster, don’t forget to make the time to look back on this year’s development in order to draw 2010 to a close and start considering where you should use 2011 to take you.
I’ve found the following key questions a great way of reviewing development progress and overcoming barriers to success in the future:
- Successes – What are the areas I believe I have developed in – and why was that development successful?
- Celebration – How shall I celebrate my successes?
- Disappointments – What areas were I hoping to develop but things did not go as well as expected? – and why may that have been?
- Carry forward – Which development goals (if any) do I need to re-instigate in 2011?
- Learning about me – What have I learnt about me and how I learn/develop – How might I improve my learning/what will I do differently next year?
Bye for now
How to respond to feedback from my team?
I’ve just read an interesting blog from Marshall Goldsmith on turning 360º feedback into positive change.
He suggests following-up with your team using the following guidelines:
- Thank them for participating in the feedback process. Take the time to acknowledge the value of their time. Express gratitude for their input.
- Review strengths. Personally commit to continued effort in these areas of strength and express gratitude for their positive recognition.
- Openly discuss desired areas for development. Sincerely apologise for any mistakes that may have made in the past and commit to improve.
- Solicit ideas for the future. Ask for specific suggestions that can help ensure his improvement in targeted areas for change as well as general suggestions that can help you on your journey to become a more effective leader.
- Make realistic commitments. Avoid over-promising. Commit to listen to all ideas. Consider every suggestion and make a ‘good faith’ effort to do the best you can to improve.
- Ask for their continued support. Let them know that you plan to follow-up and get ongoing ideas and suggestions. Communicate that positive, lasting change is a process – not a program.
He also says that after your initial response to feedback, follow-up with your team every couple of months or so. For example, if your area for improvement is listening, just ask, “After receiving my 360º feedback, I committed to becoming a better listener. Based upon my behavior over the past two months, can you please give me a couple of suggestions that might help me become a better listener over the next two months?”
Listen to their ideas. Thank them. Keep learning and following-up. Our research is very compelling. Leaders that follow-this process can greatly benefit from receiving 360º feedback. So can you.
USING 360 DEGREE FEEDBACK REPORTS TO MEASURE DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS
The experience gained in providing 360 feedback for consultants, suggests that simply comparing the numbers of a past 360 report with a recent survey in order to monitor and measure development progress doesn’t really work.
In order to maximise the benefits of doing a 360 degree feedback survey for a second/ third time, Lumus™ suggests you take the following approach.
Pre-work– Look back at the key messages and PDP from your old 360 and consider:
- What are the areas I believe I have developed in – and why was that development successful?
- What areas was I hoping to develop but things did not go as well as expected – and why may that have been?
- What have I learnt about how I learn/develop?
New report – In order to avoid the temptation of doing a direct number comparison, we suggest that initial you work through your new report on its own (not in conjunction with your previous survey). Your key aim should be to gain clarity about how your current leadership behaviours are received as opposed to focusing on how you have been ‘scored’.
Work through your new report in order to identify the key messages:
- What are my current perceived strengths? (the top 10% of ratings)
- Which of my behaviours do people believe I could further improve? (the bottom 10% of ratings)
- What are the biggest differences in perceptions?
- Are there any surprises?
Monitor/ measure progress – Having drawn your key conclusions from the second report, it is now possible to make some high level comparisons, answering the questions:-
- How have my world and responsibilities changed that must be recognised in the new 360 degree feedback?
- Where have people noticed my development improvements?
- How have perceptions changed in relation to those areas I have consciously been trying to develop (including my own)?
- Are all of my original perceived strengths still seen as such?
- Which (if any) new development areas have appeared?
- Where are the current gaps in perceptions?
Celebrate your successes – In addition to giving yourself a ‘pat on the back’ also think about how you can share those successes with others in order to further build your brand/reputation; reinforce how you now work and demonstrate your commitment to continued development.
Where next? – The aim here is to pick out several areas for continued development and convert them into a set of specific development goals which include:
- Capturing how you will apply your learning about ‘how you learn’.
- Identifying what you would like to see in a 360 degree feedback survey in 18 – 24 months time?
MAKING THE MOST OF 360 DEGREE FEEDBACK – FEEDBACK INTO ACTION
360 Feedback providers and project managers spend a lot of time and effort designing and implementing their 360 degree feedback tools. Typically, this involves making sure their project is widely communicated, key stakeholders are engaged, questionnaires are fit for purpose, implementation processes are piloted and refined etc. However, significant and sustained performance improvement requires far more than good preparation, a well-managed implementation process and comprehensive feedback report
Based on our experiences over the last 10 years, we believe there are 3 clear steps in suporting 360 feedback reciepients to convert their feedback reports into positive and sustained development action – these are:
- Accepting feedback in a positive way
- Action planning
- Followng through
The ‘Making the Most of 360 Degree Feedback – Feedback into Action’ article explores these transition steps in more detail.
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