WHAT MAKES A 360 DEGREE REVIEW SUCCESSFUL | Nick’s Daily Blog | 22nd Feb 2023

by | Feb 22, 2023


Summary: We continue to use 360 degree process because it works. But is it worthwhile?…….Yes.

Clients here at Nick Roud Coaching continue to improve themselves as a leader (100% of our clients those include CEOs | Executives and Emerging Leaders improve as a leader as rated by his/her stakeholders) once they have completed their RLA360 degree report, developed their bespoke individual leadership development plan and worked on that behaviour change. 

Too many companies are ‘tick-boxing’ when it comes to 360 degree assessment.

I hear the following a great deal from clients; our internal 360 degree assessments are non existent! I am still waiting to have a talk with HR! I haven’t had my results back! No we don’t do 360s! Yes we get feedback in our annual review and then nothing is discussed further!

Not only is this poor practice it’s not helping your leaders do the job they are there to do, ‘lead’. Consider this the very best organisations around the world consider a 360 as the most important aspect to a leaders professional development and if you peel that back a layer and ask ‘why do your leaders leave’ within the very top 3 responses will be because I am not developing!

When coaching and interviewing CEOs and senior executives they share with me that they rarely if ever, receive or get feedback from the organisation that they lead, these leaders are crying out for this powerful insights. They are desperate to become the very best leader that they can be and to serve others better.

We continue to see a global trend of CEs being moved on anywhere from 3-5 years and to be honest I believe this is way to short a time period for any CE to make a difference, no matter what size or shape the organisation is. I question and wonder why therefore do Boards make rash decisions based purely on financial results…….that it must be time for a new CE as we are not hitting our numbers……. If that CE or executive is not receiving feedback then it’s a costly mistake for all concerned.

In elite sports I have witnessed first hand the enormous effort/focus and impact that the coach or coaching team does with that player. At the end of ever day or ever session that player is given feedback (sometimes they don’t want to hear it but 90% of the time it makes a big behaviour change) They are monitored, recorded during match play and questioned on the decisions made. That data is then fed back to the player and he/she now has clarity of direction ‘what to work on’ what to be aware of what to stop doing etc. Why therefore are leaders who run organisations not given that feedback!!!!!!!!!!!!. We are doing our leaders more harm than good. Our leaders demand and want feedback.

Organisations that take the 360 process more seriously, will not only get better results but will retain and attract elite leaders. I doubt very much that a well run professional 360 degree assessment should involve ‘benchmarking’, we need to avoid that at all costs, it should whole heartedly reflect the leaders current strengths, blind spots and observations. No two leaders are therefore benchmarking should be avoided at all costs.

In our coaching practice, we deliver forward focused 360 assessment in every engagement we undertake. Why, because without feedback we have no basis to start from, no one page of truth and without this important insight then the coaching work we do together is ‘just a conversation’ and not evidence based.

Below are some key aspects that a well run 360 degree feedback assessment should include: 

  1. Having a short-mid-long term investment in the leader
  2. Clarity around the process, timeframe and how this 360 will be used in the coaching context
  3. Complete confidentiality
  4. The leader personally communicating with his/her stakeholders, inviting them to be part of their leadership development and what it will entail.
  5. Having the right stakeholders to be part of the 360 process we typically have around 8-15 people for each 360
  6. Clarity on the 360 and what will be asked
  7. A detailed and thorough debrief with the leader on the results and findings of the data (normally 2 weeks post completion)
  8. The leader sharing his/her results to their stakeholders (one-on-one or in small teams)
  9. The leader then creating his/her own leadership development plan that will laser in on 3 to 4 behavioural changes
  10. Follow up! by the leader to their stakeholders to share progress. This will also form part of a mini-360 assessment that gathers insights from those same stakeholders to understand their observation on progress and reviewed every 3 months from completion of their own leadership development plan.

Over the past seven years of helping leaders and organisations we have seen a few specific themes emerge from this structured, evidence based approach

Increased likelihood of change!

Like any assessment without effort put in from the leader then expect no change!

Our 360 degree feedback process is only used with leaders who want to improve and professional develop, we don’t work with leaders who just want to ‘tick a box’. What we notice post the 360 debrief is the leader now has the insight to really drill into certain aspects of his/her leadership: could be the need to improve communication, strategic thinking, listening skills etc. Only when we have evidence can we do something about it!

We have observed that every leader that we have coached will go away and really work on that behaviour change with us in our coaching sessions and I can bet my last dollar that when we re measure that behaviour through our mini 360 survey the results back will concur that the leader has improved in that specific behaviour.

Wider Performance Improvement!

The ripple effect, as we mentioned a little bit earlier when an elite leader is showing signs that they are investing in their own development more people around them will start to consider and work on aspects that they want to develop. They will seek to understand how they are showing up and with the support of their leader a two way improvement bond will typically begin, a report to that leader may say hey John, I am working on my communication skills and would like to share what I have been doing what I am doing and how I want to develop, John will typically get in behind his report and support, encourage and support that behaviour change. Therefore what started out as a single CEO/Executive/Emerging Leader 360 now positively ripples across an organisation. This typically then leads to a shift in culture and behaviour 

More Self-Awareness

One of the most amazing outcomes of our 360 degree assessment process is the leader starts to see himself/herself differently. They start to notice that ‘elephant in the room’ they start to be aware of how they are actually showing up and the impact this has on others, positively or negatively. When a leader is more Self-aware following a insightful 360 degree debrief the light bulbs come on thick and fast…….

The icing on the cake for leaders is they become better leaders and this will impact the organisation as a whole.

This powerful work should never be left in the top draw for another day, the results and insights are far to important for his or her leadership development and an action approach must be taken. 

We have assessed hundreds of executives and emerging leaders and the results speak for themselves. Improvement.

The above is relation to the Roud Leadership 360 Assessment (RLA360) to discuss more about our assessments contact Nick on +6421375630

Enjoy the art of learning and keep sharing your wisdom with others. The world needs you and we will all be better of for it

Nick x

nickroud.com | global award winning leadership coach | +6421375630


For a confidential conversation about your leadership coaching needs, call Nick on +6421375630 or email him nick@roudcareers.co.nz

Nick Roud

Nick Roud

Executive Leadership Coach

Nick is the Chairman of Nick Roud Coaching and a Global Award Winning Executive Coach. Nick holds the highest coaching qualification MCEC. His clients are typically Chief Executive Officers, Executives and Emerging Leaders. Nick’s office is based in Auckland, New Zealand and he travels extensively around the world to coach his clients. You can contact Nick directly on +6421375630