360 Feedback design

Welcome to our 360 feedback design and 360 development tips.

Best Practice 360 Development

360 feedback is based on the premise that people as well as your boss are able to judge how well you are performing.  If you truly want a snapshot of how you are seen, then the simplest way is to ask those who you work and live with.

The following outlines the process you will need to follow in consulting a selection of people to help you develop a view of “where you are now”.  The number of people you discuss this with is your own decision, but should include at least your boss, a peer and a direct report (where possible).

The situations you choose can be as general or as specific as you wish, but should reflect the spectrum of your managerial role, as reflected by the programme content.  For example, in the area of managing people you might ask the following:

Reasons for Development

For a balanced view you should rece3ive feedback on at least our competencies. As part of your preparation it is important to understand why this event is taking place and in what context.  In discussion with your boss and along with your own thoughts you should think through the following issues:

  • Why am I involved in this particular development process?
  • Why now?
  • What do I want to get out of it?
  • Where should my focus be?
  • How might I apply some of my new learning?

360 feedback design

 Learning Styles

Learning is such a fundamental process that many people take it for granted, conveniently assuming that by the time they are adults they have learned how to learn and need no further assistance with the process.  Yet it is clear that people vary, not just in their learning skills but also in their learning styles.

Learning is conceived as a four-stage cycle.  Immediate concrete experience is the basis for observation and reflection.  These observations are assimilated into a “theory” from which new implications for action can be deduced.  This then serves as a guide in acting to create new experiences.

The four stages, experiencing, reviewing, concluding and planning, are mutually supportive.

None is fully effective as a procedure for learning on its own.  Each stage plays an equally important part in the overall process, although the time spent on each may vary considerably.

Individual Learning Stage Preferences

Most people, however, develop preferences for certain stages over others and these preferences may lead to a distortion of the learning process so that greater emphasis is paced on some stages to the detriment of others.  Here are some typical examples:

  • Preferences for experiencing such that people develop an addiction for activities to the extent that they cannot sit still but rush around, constantly on the go.  This results in plenty of experiences which is not necessarily synonymous with learning from them.
  • Preferences for reviewing such that people shy away from first hand experiences and postpone reaching conclusions for as long as possible whilst more data is gathered.  This can result in a ‘paralysis through analysis’ tendency with plenty of pondering but little action.
  • Preferences for concluding such that people have a compulsion to reach an answer quickly.  This can result in a tendency to jump to conclusions by circumventing the review stage, where uncertainty and ambiguity are high.
  • Preferences for planning in this sense can lead to seizing on an expedient course of action and implementing it without proper analysis.  This can result in a tendency to go for ‘quick fixes.

360 feedback design

Entrepreneurial & Commercially Astute

Is aware the role is crucial to generating income.  Seeks to maximise income and generate new business.  Keeps abreast of new developments in business both local and on a wider scale.

360 Development Activities

  • Try to focus your attention and energy on initiatives that generate income for You. Putting together your own personal timesheet may help you to keep track of the time you spend each day maximising income and generating new business. Consider the percentage of your time that you spend monitoring business targets.
  • Review your current targets against your current customer base. How well are you monitoring your own costs and margins?
  • Read HR journals, such as People Management and Personnel Today. Take out a subscription if necessary. You may be able to apply some of the new developments that you read about in your own office.
  • Develop a network of business people in your local community. Offer to talk about your work and encourage these acquaintances to talk about their own work experiences. Details of local activities and societies that you can involved in are available at your local library.
  • Ask your manager for an opportunity to review your own targets to see if there are any opportunities for developing new business that you might have missed.
  • Take time out each day to stop and question what you are doing; “How does this relate to overall business strategy?”
  • Rather than focussing on a small number of customers; it’s important to recognise the need for a diverse customer base (especially as a means of increasing future business opportunities). It’s just as important to try to extend the number of contacts that you have within your client organisation.

360 feedback design

Customer Focus & Retention

Recognises the importance of maintaining satisfaction for both clients and candidates.  Keeps a keen eye on customer relationships.  Ensures customer needs are being met.  Proactively seeks feedback from clients and candidates.

Development Activities
  • Consider instances of when you have personally received excellent customer service – what was it that really impressed you? Alternatively consider instances of when you have personally received very bad customer service. Which elements of customer service were the worst?
  • Ask your clients or candidates for feedback about how you well you address their needs – especially those clients who you may have lost. Make a list of what you consider the needs to be of either your typical client or your typical candidate.
  • At the end of completing a particular project ask the recipient how they felt about the service that you had delivered.
  • Are any of your friends or relatives particularly influential in social situations. Think about the particular skills that they use to develop and maintain relationships with those around them.
  • Think of a specific client or candidate who you avoided before attempting to handle their dispute. Consider in retrospect whether there were any aspects of your relationship that you could have handled more sensitively. Did you try to put yourself in the shoes of the client or customer who was complaining.
  • Think of one of your team who is very focussed on satisfying the needs of their customer base. Ask them to specify exactly how they go about meeting the needs of their different clients and candidates. Consider what else you could do personally in order to exceed the expectations of your own customers.

360 feedback design


Presents information in a persuasive way.  Sells the benefits and advantages of a given approach and brings others around to own way of thinking.  Handles objections, and ultimately is prepared to say “no”.

Development Activities

  • Before starting negotiations with a new client; evaluate their expectations and aspirations. What can you do for them? What are the most important things that they expect to get out of their relationship with You? What sort of influencing style is most appropriate for this particular client?
  • Be prepared to say no if you encounter demands which are totally unreasonable. Always explain the reasons why you find it unacceptable at that present time.
  • Consider the negotiating style that you tend to prefer using; what are the advantages and disadvantages of using this particular style on a regular basis?
  • Always look for a win-win solution when dealing with either clients or candidates – or even members of your own team. Remember that you may have access to the necessary budgetary resources or be required to give the final authority for them to be able to proceed.
  • Think of your ‘opponent’ as an ally if you are having difficulty establishing what would be a ‘win’ from their perspective. What concessions are you able to make for the sake of negotiating a good deal? Remember that it’s probably not a good idea to lose the relationship just for the sake of this one deal.
  • Review your most recent client or candidate relationships where there has been a large amount of negotiation involved. How did you go about the negotiation process? What would you do differently in retrospect?
Analysis & Problem Solving

Takes account of all relevant information in analysis, assimilating this to arrive at logical conclusions and develop creative and smart solutions.

360 feedback design

Development Activities

  • At team meetings ask your colleagues to restate problems in a number of different ways – to ensure that the correct focus is being used and that you are not basing your own decisions on ‘gut feel’.
  • In order to link different issues or problems effectively it is often worthwhile to ask the individuals concerned for what they consider to be the pros and cons of the issue or problem. Obtaining different perspectives may reveal potential conflicts or incorrect assumptions that you were unaware of previously.
  • Analyse all the information that you send and receive from your team in various formats (team discussions, emails, letters, reports etc). Did you use the most appropriate means of communication or could the information have been conveyed more easily and more accurately using a different medium?
  • Brainstorm with your team the pros and cons of various target-setting models. Or conduct a more detailed SWOT analysis encompassing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • When solving a particular problem; ask yourself if you have sufficient information to make a decision. Avoid making a hasty decision and double check each figure or calculation upon which your decision is based.
  • Think of a particular relationship with a client or candidate that has broken down. Analyse this to establish the exact stage where it started to go wrong. Write down the individual contributions from the different people who were involved.

Plans ahead, considering the impact of changing circumstances.  Is organised and careful not to let details slip.  Pays attention to issues of quality.

360 Design Activities

  • Put together your own personal timesheet to keep track of the time you spend each day completing particular tasks. Total these up at the end of the first week and then at the end of the month to show the total length of time that you have spent on each activity. Prioritise a list of your job duties and then review these against those shown on your timesheet.
  • Ask one of your team to report back to you on how they went about monitoring their own progress on a recent recruitment project. Ask them to highlight what the dangers would have been of missing key deadlines. Did they recognise what the critical path was towards reaching the final project objectives?
  • Some situations that you are faced with at work may appear rather ambiguous with no clear way forward. Consider how these situations could have been improved if some account had been made at an earlier date of the possibility of circumstances changing.
  • Consider how much of your time is wasted as a result of not following the correct procedures and guidelines. Completing an in-tray exercise is useful for obtaining feedback on your prioritisation and planning skills, as well as the usefulness of setting milestones in order to achieve effective results.

360 feedback design

  • Start each day with a list of the tasks that you need to complete that day; prioritise these into 3 categories: those that absolutely must be completed that day; those that are urgent but not so important that they need to be completed that day; and those that are not urgent and not so important that they need to be completed that week. Tick off tasks once they are completed and add to your task list at the start of the following day.
  • Rather than focussing on specific tasks or activities which your team need to complete; think of the overall processes and targets that you need to monitor. Think of how you could implement your own monitoring processes in order to ensure that work is completed in accordance with the deadlines you have set.
  • If you are having difficulty finding sufficient time to work on a major project, then try scheduling all calls and meetings for a specific part of your working day. Break the project up into a number of specific deliverables; prioritise these alongside completion dates and then establish your own schedule by working back from these key deliverables’ dates. Question the details of each subtask and ask yourself ‘What if?’ this doesn’t go according to plan.
  • Use a team meeting to brainstorm with your team those areas where they most often encounter problems and difficulties. Use this as an opportunity to also brainstorm contingencies that could be put in place to try and avoid these problems in future. Were there specific situations where it was clear that there was no contingency plan in place? What initiatives have been tried in the past?
Inspiring Others

Inspires and earns the respect of the team through an open, honest and encouraging approach.  Leads by example to enthuse team towards the goals and objectives of You.

Development Activities

  • Always keep an eye on the morale of your team. Always take any opportunity to remind them of what they are doing well and to provide encouragement for them to work towards their own individual goals.
  • Make a list of all the ways that you could inspire your team. What would be the most effective technique for each individual team member?
  • In team meetings, praise colleagues as a means of giving them recognition for providing good ideas and useful information to the rest of the team. Did you personally encourage everyone to make a contribution? Are they aware that you’ll communicate successes upwards?

360 feedback design

  • Are all your team members kept fully up to date on a daily basis? Try setting up a bulletin board or Intranet or forwarding large amounts of information that’s relevant to the whole team using email attachments.
  • Encourage your team to tell you what’s on their mind; listen attentively and try to understand all the points that they are making without prejudging anything that they say. Reflect back to them in summary form what they have said – once they have finished speaking rather then interrupting them halfway through. Try to promote a culture where small mistakes are tolerated, and the application of new ideas is praised.
  • Think about spending more individual time with specific team members who need a little inspiration. Ask them what their current concerns and aspirations for the business are?
Managing Others

Development Activities

  • Ask your team for a review meeting to focus either on monitoring procedures or work quality standards. Use this as an opportunity firstly to remind them of You monitoring or quality standards and secondly to brainstorm potential improvements. Ask where potential problems have arisen in the past and address each of these issues there and then.
  • Make a comprehensive list of whose targets you should be monitoring. Firstly, put a tick or cross alongside each one to represent whether or not it is realistic. Secondly put a tick or cross alongside those targets that are in line with Your overall objectives.
  • Set aside a specific time each week to deal with any team members requiring a particularly firm approach. Specify in detail Your performance criteria and those goals set; ensure that the individual is accepting personal responsibility for delivery.
  • At each team meeting; make sure that you mention a KPI, or a particular quality standard that your team should be addressing. Ask them to update each other on progress at the team meeting.
  • Remember that it’s important to outline both the positive and the negative aspects of achieving targets.
  • At the start of a team meeting; review with the individuals concerned the action points from the previous team meeting.
  • Set quality objectives for each team member – these could be linked in with performance appraisals.
  • Focusing on a key goal for your team; brainstorm ideas with your team that could be used to monitor the work quality at each stage in reaching that goal. Delegate responsibilities there and then to ensure that the best ideas are implemented.

360 feedback design

Developing & Coaching Others

Works closely with all team members to build their confidence.  Identifies development needs, offers relevant development opportunities and provides feedback.  Develops team members to be self sufficient and to take personal responsibility.

360 Development Activities

  • Develop team members’ self-sufficiency in steps by gradually exposing them to work whose nature is increasingly varied, complex and pressurised. Ask them whether there is anything else that you could do to make them feel more empowered.
  • Make a list of the key development areas for each member of your team. Monitor this list every quarter and keep it up to date with a record of how each individual’s successes and failures over the previous quarter. How do they feel about the development efforts they’ve made?
  • Treat team meetings as an open forum where staff can convey with confidence any concerns or problems that they may have. Remember that others may have had similar experiences. Resolving such issues could represent developmental opportunities for other members of your team.
  • Work closely with individuals who are having difficulty putting together their own self-development plan. Think in terms of the You Development Planner and what the individual’s own learning style is. Make sure that they are aware of the range of development opportunities which are available to them. Whilst listening to their hopes and aspirations; consider how aligned these are with Your business objectives.
  • Think of a specific time when you recognised that one of your team was having problems. What were the signs? Were there any other indications that you could have seen, but missed? How open and honest were you when you feedback your concerns?
  • If you are providing a particularly stretching developmental opportunity for one of your team then you might consider shadowing them to ensure that you can offer immediate assistance to reinforce the correct procedures. Ensure that feedback is specific to their performance and clearly understood.
  • Look out for deeper problems when reviewing individual staff performance or when talking to your team informally. Always try and be both patient and sensitive.
360 feedback design
  • During team meetings, always give individuals their own opportunity to address specific problems – particularly their own – before offering your own guidance. Ask them how they would themselves approach it. Make sure at the end of the meeting that your team are reminded that you are always available to offer support and advice.

Confident Communication competency

Is confident, getting to know people quickly.  Oral and written communication is presented in a clear and enthusiastic fashion, varying how things are said to suit the audience.  Builds rapport effectively with new contacts.

360 Feedback Design Activities

  • After a team meeting, consider how your verbal communication compared with that of the rest of your team. Think about how you probably came across to the others present; could they always understand what you were saying? Did you vary the tone and speed of your speech to help maintain everyone’s interest level? Did you summarise your key points at the end of the meeting?
  • Analyse in depth a conversation that you’ve had with a difficult client. Did you avoid interrupting or over talking them. Did they ask you to clarify issues because you hadn’t expressed these clearly or concisely enough? It may have helped if you’d linked together all the points that needed to be communicated to the client.
  • Make of the list of the obstacles that stop you from listening when you’re on the phone. Don’t carry on with other work or use the call as an opportunity to catch-up on your emails. If you feel rushed, then ask yourself if you should schedule your most important calls for a more convenient time.
  • When talking to clients or candidates try to avoid using jargon and technical terms that they are unlikely to understand. In order to ensure that they have understood exactly what was said, it might be useful to paraphrase/summarise what’s been said.
  • Videotape one of your team meetings and review the tape to look at the different communication styles of each participant.
  • Identify role models who are excellent at tailoring their communication to the intended audience. Ask them how they go about selecting the content and form of their delivery.
  • Whenever you are writing to a client; think of exactly what information it is that they are expecting and would like to know.
  • Compare the different styles of communication of your friends and colleagues. Analyse the structure and content of what they say to see how they make effective use of non-verbal forms of communication (e.g. eye contact, gestures, nodding) in order to build a rapport with those around them.

Passion & Drive for Success competency

Is results oriented, goal focused and self motivated.  Has drive and tenacity.  Maintains high energy levels at work – making extra effort is the norm. Is enthusiastic and passionate about the business.  Takes on opportunities to develop own skills.

Passion Development Activities

  • Identify role models who you know are very proactive and who are very good at using their own initiative.
  • Try to always appear positive and enthusiastic to your team so that you can act as a positive role model to them. You may need to take breaks from difficult tasks in order to continue to remain fresh and alert.
  • A ‘can-do’ attitude is important to show your own enthusiasm and to get good results. Although if it becomes clear that something really isn’t working then it’s just as important to get feedback from those involved on why they think results are not good enough.
  • Remember that achieving a difficult target can be rewarding in itself. Even if the endpoint seems a long way away; focus on the progress that you’ve made so far or on ways of splitting the remaining tasks up to make it more manageable.
  • Set targets each month for your own self-development. These targets should be specific, measurable, attainable and realistic. Create a step-by-step action plan for these each of these targets.
  • Let your manager know that you are keen to take on new challenges, such as learning new management skills.
  • Review specific situations in the past when you have been highly motivated and driven to achieve. Compare this to examples of when you have not been self-motivated to achieve the goals set. What are the circumstances and environments that make that crucial difference for you?

Resilience & Persistence

Has a positive view, staying calm in the face of challenges and bouncing back from setbacks.  Avoids becoming emotional or volatile and remains professional in front of team and clients.  Is confident in own abilities and asks others for help when needed.  Is comfortable in situations of ambiguity.

360 feedback design

Development Activities

  • Try to raise your self-awareness of your reactions to pressure and stressful situations. What behaviour do you need to do more often and what behaviour needs to be avoided?
  • Some situations that you are faced with at work may appear rather ambiguous with no clear way forward. Try not to get too worked up or emotional about dealing with such situations just because they do not have a clear structure or way forward.
  • Do not view asking for help from your team as an admission of your own incapability. They are unlikely to see it that way.
  • Compare your stress resilience in a meeting to that of your colleagues; how do each of them tend to react to negative comments from others or to direct criticism?
  • Ask your friends and relatives for advice on stress management – particularly one that you can identify as being a particularly resilient character. This process helps to build-up a social support network for when you experience specific stressful events that you would like to discuss with someone outside work.
  • Try to think positively by focusing on the tasks that you need to complete today, rather than dwelling on those things that didn’t go quite according to plan yesterday.
  • Avoid giving emotional outbursts in front of your team. Spend a few minutes counting numbers, walking around the office or visualizing a positive event from your past.

360 feedback development tips

  • Try to maintain an objective viewpoint rather than becoming too emotional. Set aside your own agenda for a minute. To keep things in perspective, seek an alternative solution; rather than focusing on any potential obstacles or problems that you may or may not be able to overcome.
  • Keep your confidence up by remembering an important personal goal and the problems that you needed to overcome in order to achieve it. Make a note of difficulties that you encountered and specify how you dealt with each one.
  • Consider exactly what it is that has kept you motivated in the past when you have been faced with a particular challenge. You can then keep a list for future reference of what your main motivators are.

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360 feedback design