What is 360 Leadership Assessment?
360 leadership assessment is a process that allows leaders to receive anonymous feedback from a range of people they work with. The feedback collected is used as part of a coaching engagement with a professionally qualified developmental leadership coach.
The feedback is used as part of a coaching engagement assisting leaders to develop greater awareness of how others experience them. The feedback informs developmental goal setting to build greater leadership capability.
When dressing in the morning, we look in the mirror before leaving for work. Why do we do this? To make sure we look presentable and to make a deliberate impression on the world about who we are and what we value.
How we appear signals multiple messages to others about who we are, and what we value, well before we open our mouths to speak.
360 leadership assessment is like looking in the mirror to ensure the leadership we present to the world is compelling and generates the results required to create success for all.
A mirror shows how you appear externally. A 360-leadership assessment creates a reflection of your behaviours as experienced by others. It is the part others can see but that you may not.
Think of 360 feedback assessment as an MRI of your leadership. It provides you with a highly detailed picture and comparison of how you see yourself as a leader and how this compares with how others see and experience you.
What is a Leadership 360 Report?
A Leadership 360 report is only a perception of how you are experienced in your work role. It is not who you are. It is a snapshot of how others experience you during a specific time and place in your leadership career.
Receiving 360 feedback from others can be uncomfortable and sometimes not such a pleasant experience. Nobody wants to feel like they are being critiqued. However, this is the 10-metre developmental wall that great leaders learn to climb with ease. The prize is on the other side.
Learning to manage discomfort of feedback is part of developmental growth in the same way when you are getting fit you push past aching muscles because you understand the benefits far outweigh some short-term discomfort. Like getting fit, after a while its stops hurting and becomes just part of everyday life.
Feedback just becomes part of delivering outstanding leadership. The gain comes from the short-term pain. Eventually we welcome the discomfort of feedback. We see this as indicator we are in the growth zone and being in this zone means we are building great leadership capability. Like exercise if it hurts a little it is doing you good, too much and it is a signal to stop.
How is the 360 Leadership Assessment Conducted?
With deliberate care for the leader and with caution!
The analogy I use when discussing 360 assessment is radiation. Radiation can be used in wonderful ways to help others. Think about X-rays that can be used to see and repair a broken bone, or radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer. Radiation can also cause complete horror and destruction.
This analogy might sound dramatic; however, I use it to make the point that 360 assessment can accelerate and leverage potential for leaders. Or it can wreak havoc when applied incorrectly at the wrong time, in a poor way, with a poorly designed tool, with the wrong leader, by an untrained coach.
Poorly conducted 360 assessment can leave leaders feeling hurt and traumatised and wary of engaging in future development activities. Trust is much harder to repair once it has been broken. Poor use of 360- assessment can leave a trail of destruction.
By using 360 assessment wisely, and with skill, this is avoided. The wonderful benefits 360 assessment provides are leveraged to benefit leaders who are curious and keen to develop their leadership capability.
If you did HSC physics, you cannot run a nuclear power plant. If you have done a 10-day coaching course, you should not be debriefing 360 leadership assessments.
Coaches must have the skills and experience to know when mental health issues arise in a debrief and how to refer to a suitably qualified medical professional. Coaches require a solid understanding of developmental psychology to unlock value and meaning from the process. Without this knowledge and experience so much is left unexplored that could have benefited the leader greatly.
What are benefits 360 Leadership Assessment?
For many leaders getting 360 feedback is the first time they have seen themselves the way others do. Knowing how others experience you can be compared to having access to the thoughts inside other people’s heads. It is the closest thing we have too mind reading.
Armed with these valuable insights we can modify our behaviour, we can increase the use of the behaviour and strengths that support our leadership and stop doing what erodes our goal of delivering effective leadership that does not serve our roles as leaders.
The feedback provides us with a clear map for development. Without 360 assessment we rely on self-assessment, a road made up of the potholes of self-deception and a blinkered view of the way ahead.
Taking a 360-leadership assessment is the perfect way to model vulnerability to other leaders and to demonstrate that great leadership is all about great feedback.
Feedback is the fertile soil that great leadership grows in. What are you waiting for? Go get yourself some feedback and grow your leadership.