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Consultant Proficiency Resources: 360 Feedback

CPR's Art of Communication series continues as we delve into feedback vs. criticism. CPR contends there is a difference between criticism and feedback. In today's post, we will consider 360 feedback, 360-degree feedback, or multi-rater feedback. 360 feedback is a popular technique for generating honest performance reviews within Corporate. As a former executive and manager, I've completed hundreds of evaluations. If applied effectively, a leader can glean significant insight into the organization.

Wikipedia defines 360 feedback as a process through which feedback from an employee's subordinates, peers, colleagues, and supervisor, as well as a self-evaluation by the employee themselves, is gathered. When relevant, such feedback can also include feedback from external sources who interact with the employee, such as customers and suppliers or other interested stakeholders. What is the figure referenced as 360? That's right; a circle goes around until it meets. Similarly, 360 feedback collects data from every corner or interaction within the organization. So what does that look like? It is feedback from your colleagues, managers, and peers. It can also be depicted as vertical "downward feedback" or "upward feedback" delivered only by subordinates to supervisory or management employees. Finally, it is horizontal from peers and other titles that interact with the division, organization, and external sources.

360 feedback is effective when participants know it is anonymous, which will likely increase honest responses. As a result, this may also increase the response rate. Indeed 2022 article provided a few benefits of applying a 360-feedback process. Let's consider the benefits of 360:

Benefits of 360 feedback

  1. Anonymity

  2. Gather a lot of information from individuals with different relationships with the individual in question.

  3. It is sorted into groups-useful because it can help you determine someone's skills in different scenarios.

  4. Help with team cohesion and accountability,

  5. It can also be good for motivation, as 360 feedback allows you to praise the individual in question.

  6. Gleans important information

    1. Behavior and competencies: These two aspects of your performance are primarily subjective and, therefore, best ascertained by asking several of your colleagues to ensure a minimal likelihood of bias.

    2. Workplace perception: This can be harder to determine accurately, so using an anonymous survey ensures that you can get a clearer idea of how you're thought of at work. This can be particularly useful for managers whose teams might be wary of openly criticizing them.

    3. Soft skills: You can assess essential workplace skills like collaboration, communication, teamwork, and goal-setting can 360 feedback techniques. These can focus on leadership, character, and organizational skills.

    4. Unresolved issues: There might occasionally be some workplace conflicts that you have difficulty addressing or openly discussing, possibly because of personal reasons. Anonymity can allow people to openly present these concerns, making them far easier to resolve.

The following post will provide the limitations of the evaluation process.

Warm Regards,


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