Most 360 feedback assessments search for skill gaps, weaknesses, and training/development needs. We’re running into executives who’ve refused to participate in 360 feedback assessments because they’ve found them negative and often feel beat up by the process — even when they have the counsel of a well-trained coach or psychologist. Some CEOs have banned the use of 360 assessments in their organization.
Like a sharp blade, 360 feedback is a tool that can be constructive and helpful or cause lots of pain and destruction. It depends on the design of the tool and how it’s used. My recent blog on 9 Problems with 360 Multi-Rater Assessments addressed key reasons for the growing backlash and difficulties experienced with this powerful tool.
Most 360 assessments and development processes are focused on finding and fixing weaknesses. In a recent executive briefing I presented these key differences in a strengths-based 360 assessment:
1. Simplified competencies and survey items based on predictive evidence.
2. Ratings compared to extraordinary global norms, not averages.
3. Rating scales that avoid false positives and little differentiation.
4. Measure leadership effectiveness against key performance outcomes.
5. Emphasis on building strengths not gaps/needs/weaknesses.
6. Identify the key competencies most important to the leader’s role.
7. Written comments only focused on flagging any fatal flaws rather than listing weaknesses.
8. An efficient survey process that takes about 15 minutes to complete.
9. Simple, intuitive, and visual feedback reports.
10. Provide insights to leaders on how to build his or her strengths.
You can view my five minute overview of these points recorded in this presentation at Major Differences in our Strengths Based 360.