360 Feedback – Building on tradition


“The term 360° feedback comes from the analogy to a compass: A circle with 360 points of reference used to determine and monitor direction. 360° feedback provides performance data from multiple points of reference, not just one. Like a compass, it is a navigational tool that more accurately lets us know when we are on or off course. It can fill the gaps that invariably exist between how you see yourself and how others see you. Its’ purpose is, first, to gain deeper insight into how we, and others, see our performance and, second, to reinforce and accelerate the need for continuous development.”

David Lassiter
Performance and Instruction Journal


The traditional approach is to use 360 feedback to identify relative weaknesses and build a development plan that improves those weaknesses. This approach is still valid and useful. We need to be aware of our relative weaknesses and how we compare to others. The strategies to use this information can be two fold, improve (training, effort, practice, etc) or enable others to support you in these areas.3-30-2009-08-55-572

Your feedback and discussion should answer these questions:
1.    What are my strengths and weaknesses?
2.    What should I improve?
3.    How can I improve?
4.    What can I do to have others support me in my areas of weakness?


We have learned and adjusted practices over time using feedback surveys. What might be counter intuitive is to focus and build on your strengths. Like an athlete who needs to be aware and manage weaknesses, the opportunity for greatness is only found in your strengths. To be a great leader and a great business, we must be able to leverage our best attributes.3-30-2009-09-00-384

Applying this view, our development plans should answer two more questions:
1.    How can my strengths be used more often?
2.    How can the business benefit more from my strengths?

In conclusion

Two items should be addressed in a development plan:
•    How do I mitigate the negatives of my weaknesses and/or grow in these areas?
•    How do I exercise my strengths to enhance the performance of our team/organization?

“You will learn the most, grow the most, and develop the most in your areas of strength….Your strengths magnify you.”

Marcus Buckingham
Go Put Your Strengths to Work


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