A widely believed myth about 360-degree feedback is that simply conducting the survey will completely open the lines of communication between leaders and those they work with. The truth is that what happens after the 360 survey is conducted is more critical to continuing dialogue and open communication than the survey itself.
Typically, when using 360-degree feedback, the leader is coached on the results and then left alone to change their behavior. Often this leader will have a discussion with his or her supervisor, but rarely do they seek additional feedback from their raters. 360-degree feedback is a process where communication can begin flowing and continue even after the survey is completed.
Here are some simple ways to continue the feedback process
- Meet with a supervisor to discuss the 360-degree feedback report. This should be an easy step because the supervisor ratings are singled out on the report. This discussion should address what is going well, what needs to change immediately, and what steps should be taken to address development opportunities.
- Discuss your takeaways with other raters. After the 360-degree feedback report has been delivered, create a list of strengths and areas for improvement. Share this summary with peers, direct reports, and others and ask for their recommendations on how to improve.
- Use peer coaching. Often, other peers who are going through the 360-degree feedback process can be the most effective coaches. Peers act as a sounding board for ideas, challenge perceptions, and offer practical advice.
Remember that 360 degree feedback is a process that will open communication and create a personal feedback system as long as you reach out to others after the survey.