360 Leadership – Leadership Development and 360 Degree Feedback

Developing leaders who can steer organisations successfully into the future has long been an item at the top of the executive agenda. As organisations flatten out and become more fluid, leadership development and succession planning remain firmly established on the HR agenda as organisations seek out a range of strategies to help them keep competitive. 360 Degree Feedback and 360 Leadership development plans are a growing example of one of these strategies. To learn more about implementing a 360 Degree Feedback Programme, see our blog: Top 10 Tips for Effective 360 degree feedback projects.


What is leadership development?

Leadership development refers to any activity that enhances the quality of leadership of an individual or within an organisation. Learning to be an effective leader is a combination of character traits and learned skills, and many organisations are working to make high potential staff future leaders.


How can a 360 Leadership Development Programme help?

In a 360 feedback process, insights and opinions are gathered about a manager’s behaviour and performance and its impact on the business as a whole. This information is generally collected anonymously (to encourage honest and accurate feedback) from supervisors, colleagues, direct reports and sometimes clients and suppliers. 360 leadership reviews gather feedback about a range of performance areas including decision-making, planning, conflict management, coaching and many others.


Comparing the results from a self-assessment with the opinions of those around them gives managers a clear idea of how others see the strengths they should be leveraging and the development areas they need to work on. When implemented properly, 360 feedback usually feeds into a personal development cycle and provides the basis for development planning and goal setting. Over time, this process helps to improve individual performance, thus driving organisational performance.


Organisations that implement 360 degree reviews must communicate regularly throughout the process. A 360 process works far better when the individuals receiving the feedback understand why 360 feedback is being introduced and how the information will be used. It’s also important that candidates understand the need to take charge of their own self-development so that they engage enthusiastically with the process instead of simply paying lip service to the feedback they receive.


360 degree feedback can give managers valuable insight into and information about how they need to develop their leadership and management skills. It can be extremely useful for identifying blind spots and potential performance issues before they have become serious problems.


To learn more about how a 360 Leadership Development Programme can be implemented within your organisation, please contact us for a free consultation.

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