Monday, September 10, 2012

360 Feedback Tools Can Help or Hurt Leadership Development

360 multi-rater feedback assessments are now used by more than 85% of Fortune 500 companies. They’ve become a foundation of leadership development efforts because they’re like a GPS unit showing leaders their current leadership effectiveness (“you are here”) and mapping a route to increased effectiveness. 360 feedback tools derive their name from getting feedback in all directions; boss, peers, direct reports, and others working with that leader.

Another reason 360s have become so widely used is outlined in Zenger Folkman’s new book, How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths:

” … very few people have an accurate perception of either their strengths or their weaknesses. This is why we often comically read such facts as “80 percent of American drivers consider themselves above average” and “65 percent of people surveyed believe they are better than average looking in appearance.” Indeed, our research shows that self-perceptions tend to be only half as reliable as those from either peers or direct reports.“
BUT, we’re also seeing a growing backlash against 360 survey feedback tools. Like any tool, the design of the tool and how it’s used makes a huge difference in its usefulness. Traditional assessments and needs analysis look for gaps. And most 360 feedback tools focus on finding and fixing weaknesses.
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Author: Jim Clemmer


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