Talk to Me: How to conduct an informal 360

As the year winds down, it’s important to review how you are doing in relation to goals you have set, professionally and personally. A great way to get feedback from others in your environment is to conduct your own informal “360.” It’s a highly effective tool to develop self-awareness and get input on how others perceive you. The tough part is, you must listen fully to get the benefits.

Here’s how it works. Step 1 is to identify peers, direct reports and even clients as well as your boss or board members whose view you respect, even if you don’t always agree with each other. Step 2, select 3 – 5 questions that can help you better understand your impact. For example, you could ask:

  • What do you see as my strengths?
  • What do you see as my blind spots or an area that I might improve?
  • How might I better support your goals?

Step 3 is both the most simple and sometimes the hardest – listen, ask open ended questions and don’t defend. You can ask the person you are interviewing for examples to better understand their feedback. The process will break down however if you do so in a defensive or  accusatory way.

Once you’ve collected the informal data from your interviews, look for trends. Do people consistently point out a similar strength? Is there a pattern to the corrective feedback you hear? Are you receiving the suggestions on how to support others that you know you don’t employ right now?

Smart leaders know that understanding the perceptions of those they want to positively influence is critical. Don’t miss the chance to get focused feedback as you set your growth plan for the upcoming year.

If you would like to have a formal 360 to give you input on your leadership effectiveness, please contact us to receive more information.