Proven strategies for success after receiving 360 feedback

Now you’ve had your 360 feedback, how do you feel about it? Content? Elated? Disappointed? Whatever you feel, hopefully you received it well, meaning that you engaged in thoughtful conversation with your feedback coach and considered what you would do with the data.

Of course, you want to know how people rated you and whether you agree with them. But, what about your raters – what’s in it for them?

Everyone involved has an interest in the outcome, and some will be looking for a payoff from the effort they put into responding to your 360 survey.

  • One person may simply have a genuine desire to help you grow professionally. Another may be hoping you make a change in the way you work.
  • There could be a colleague who wants you to collaborate more with their team, or a direct report who wishes you would speed up your decision making.
  • Then, there’s your manager who has to deliver a business goal and needs you to prioritise your work in support of that objective.

Here are three things you can do with your stakeholders’ expectations in mind.

1. Look as Deep as Possible

We don’t get 360 feedback too often, so look as deep as possible. Explore the data, dive in, and consider every angle.

Think about all the people who rated you. What do they appreciate about you? What would they like you to do differently? If you are not clear on the meaning of anything in your report, take action to understand it:

  1. Start by examining the key messages and write them down on post-it notes.
  2. Sort the notes according to what’s important to address and what’s not.
  3. Prioritise the important items and think who could shed light on what they really mean.
  4. Set up times with two or three people who know you well to seek their input.

Remember you are on a mission to maximise your self-awareness, so overcome any temptation to justify yourself or blame your circumstances. In other words, don’t be defensive!

2. Follow Up with Your Raters

At the very minimum, thank all your raters for completing the 360 survey. Even better, tell them how useful the feedback has been and open up to them on the key themes and what you plan to work on. Being seen to take it seriously has significant benefits:

  • Your raters will feel rewarded for their effort and be likely to support you in the future.
  • People will more easily notice the improvements you make if they know what you are working on.
  • You will be a role model for others in self-development.

Ask those close to you for some suggestions on how you could be more effective. For example, if you have a difficult message to deliver to your new team, check in with someone who knows you (and them!) for ideas for the best approach.

Enlist an unofficial coach or mentor to help you monitor your progress. The colleague who sits quietly while you address the board on your proposed digital strategy could be your ‘eyes and ears’ on how well your presentation was received.

3. Leverage Your Strengths

Look at your feedback for what it is. Check the balance of positive and negative. Think of it this way, the positives tell you what to keep doing, the negatives tell you what to stop doing.

It’s tempting to go straight for negative messages, and even get stuck on them! But go easy on yourself. No one is good at absolutely everything. What matters is having the right balance of skills for the demands of your job. And, of course, managing any weaknesses that could get in your way.

If you want to excel as a leader, you need to fully understand your strengths and use them wisely. A Gallup survey found that simply knowing your strengths can boost your productivity by almost 8%. Imagine what you can do if you really put them to work.

So study your 360 report to identify which skills people have rated the highest:

  1. Make a list of your top ten.
  2. Recall how you used them when you were at your very best.
  3. Make a note of opportunities to apply them in the coming days and weeks.

Why are your strengths so important? We know from our 360 database that the most successful executives have five to seven strengths that rate in the top 10% compared to all other leaders.

Final Thought

A focus on raising your performance in a critical area of capability from talented to outstanding involves a personal vision of excellence and a commitment to continuous improvement… and this takes your development plan to a whole new level!

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Read more about the article Five reasons to unlock the talent in your team
Group of business people brainstorming. They are working with sticky notes on a glass wall. They are excited and enthusiastic. People are pointing and talking.

Five reasons to unlock the talent in your team

Are you prepared to discover and harness the potential talent within your team, to propel your business to new heights of success? Here are five compelling reasons why you should start now:

1. Discover a crucial skill you might not know you need

A well-rounded view of your team’s abilities means knowing their strong and weak points. One of your more vulnerable areas could suddenly become critical for your organisation. A successful leadership team experienced this when a significant customer restructured their business and unexpectedly removed them as a supplier.

This painful setback happened after the team celebrated 360 feedback showing a strong bias toward action, accountability, and results. Sadly, they had overlooked low scores in strategic thinking and innovation. But, on the bright side, they immediately reviewed market trends and connected with customers to align with their short and longer-term plans.

Ensure you take a future-focused look at your team’s skillset to avoid such mishaps.

2. Draw on individual strengths and interests

When people love what they do, productivity skyrockets. Creative ideas and innovations flow. By delving into each team member’s unique capabilities, you can leverage their skills and interests for superior outcomes.

For example, a leader saw an opportunity to revive a stream of business at risk of closure due to competitor activity. This individual was passionately committed to its continuation for customers who would be disadvantaged if it closed down. With a carefully drafted business case and astute planning, the leader won support to deliver an outstanding outcome.

It shows that one person’s vision and talents can make a huge difference.

3. Pinpoint the skills required to round out the team

By recognising the different capabilities of team members, you can identify and fill any skill gaps, leading to a more balanced and effective team. When an executive team reviewed their organisation’s employee engagement survey, they realised that inadequate technology frustrated many employees.

Despite a sizeable investment to enable remote working, the executive team acknowledged they needed to do more to meet the needs of their people and their business. So rather than relying on IT, they took responsibility and educated themselves on how leaders can actively anticipate and support digital and technology solutions to advance their business.

They subsequently rolled out a series of very successful information sessions to all managers in the organisation.

4. Continually track and enhance your team’s abilities

To keep your team at the top of their game, evaluate their skills regularly, offer them growth opportunities, and adapt to changes in the business world. Imagine a situation where you inherited a team that received very little meaningful development in the past.

A newly appointed leader discovered that their team had made promises to customers that the company couldn’t keep. To address this, the team needed to quickly gain negotiation and financial skills. The solution was a skills assessment followed by practical, hands-on sessions on creating win-win solutions to satisfy both the customer’s and the organisation’s needs.

This approach helped the organisation to maintain profitability whilst delivering in full on customer expectations.

5. Embrace the power of curiosity for team building

To elevate your team’s performance, why not foster an atmosphere of curiosity and collaboration? Inspire your colleagues by being the first to share your thoughts, creating a safe space for others to contribute. One approach is to model a new leader who spent the first 30 days in the role having individual meetings with every direct report and their subordinates.

Simple yet powerful questions such as “What were your biggest contributions last year?”, “Can you identify any obstacles that are hindering your goals?” and “How I can improve your experience here?” helped this inspiring leader gain invaluable insight to improve things for their employees and the company.

By focusing on team building activities and fostering curiosity, you can create a strong and cohesive team that works together towards a common goal, unlocking the full potential of each member.

Demonstrate curiosity today and encourage others to do the same for the growth and success for your team.

Continue ReadingFive reasons to unlock the talent in your team