Top tips for individuals going through the 360 feedback process

Published: January 28, 2024

Helpful hints for individuals to follow to get the most out of your 360 feedback exercise.

We have dealt with top tips for Employers carrying out a 360 feedback exercise, both at the planning and feedback collection stages and after the feedback.  Now we are going to look at how you, as an individual undertaking 360 feedback, can maximise the benefit of your 360.

Here are our top tips for individuals going through the 360 feedback process:

1) Believe in the process!

Approach the 360 feedback exercise with a positive attitude.  Treat it as a learning experience to help you improve and grow.  If you have taken on the 360 feedback yourself, you have made a good start and clearly want to gain something from the process.  If your employer has put you forward for this, take it as a compliment.  Your company is investing in your learning and development. 

If you don’t want to take part, you won’t put your all into it, and if you don’t believe in the process, how can you expect your colleagues to buy into it and give you good, meaningful feedback?  It might be that you are afraid of the negative feedback.  Change your mindset; its not criticism, it’s a learning opportunity. 

This is not easy to do. If your employer has followed our tips, they will have provided guidance on how to give feedback (don’t make it personal, include examples, balance positive and negative feedback, phrase feedback as suggestions for how things could be done better rather than criticism). 

It’s all about improving yourself, both for you and for the benefit of your employer.  The key is to believe that the process can help you.

Believe in the 360 feedback process

2) Consider who to ask for feedback

Select your respondents carefully; don’t just pick your friends.  Choose those you work with most and those who can give you the best feedback on your role, even if you don’t get on with them.  It takes guts to ask someone for feedback if you don’t like them, but if you work closely with them, they may raise some good points.  They are unlikely to sugar coat their opinions, and may surprise you.

Select a wide range of people from all different levels of the organisation, but make sure you have contact with them in your job role.  If you don’t have fairly regular contact with a person, there is no sense in asking them for feedback as they won’t have anything meaningful to contribute.  You are looking for real comments that can add value, not just meaningless platitudes.   

3) Make a personal request

When you enter your colleagues’ details into the 360 system, they get an e-mail asking them to provide feedback.  As well as this automated e-mail, send a personal request to your colleagues.  This could be a personal e-mail, or an in-person (or over the phone) request.  Taking the time to ask each colleague personally makes them much more likely to respond.  They know you are taking the process seriously and really do want their feedback. 

4) Complete your self-assessment

The self-assessment is an important part of the 360 feedback process. You are asking colleagues to consider your performance, so you should also consider how you have performed against the same criteria.  Only you know why you do what you do; your comments add context to the comments of your colleagues. 

The comparison of your views to those of your colleagues can be enlightening.  Your confidence will receive a boost if your colleagues thing you are doing something well, when you are not sure.  Likewise, if you think you have nothing to learn in an area, your colleagues can show that there are still improvements to be made.

5) Follow up with colleagues

Colleagues chatting - follow up with your colleagues; make a personal request for them to complete your feedback.

Your 360 set-up page allows you to check the progress of your 360 feedback, who has provided feedback and who has not.  During the feedback collection period, check which colleagues have responded to the feedback request.  Follow up with those who have not yet provided feedback.  “I’d really appreciate it if you could fill in my feedback questionnaire” takes a few seconds to say or type and might gain you some more great feedback. Your colleagues will receive automated reminders from the 360 feedback system, but the personal touch is always more effective.

6) Read the report with an open mind

When you receive your 360 feedback report, don’t rush to read it.  Make sure you have time to go through the report and that you tackle it with a positive, constructive mindset.  Take pride in every compliment and highlighted strength.  Don’t take things personally, even if your colleagues have been less than tactful wording their feedback.  See every criticism as an opportunity to improve. 

This may be easy to say but is not easy to do.  We suggest talking through your report with your line manager or a coach.  They can help you to pick out the key points, focussing on a few key elements to help you learn and grow.

7) Action

After the 360 process, you must take action.  Create a set of SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) objectives from the main learning points identified from the feedback.  Decide what you are going to do to address them and the timescale you need to implement these improvements.  Review your progress and keep adapting your action plan to keep enhancing your performance.

Wake up, Set goals, Take action!

Follow these tips to get the most out of your 360 feedback.  Use it to help you learn and grow.  Approach it with a positive mindset and believe that the feedback, and those who have provide it, are there to help you get the best that you can be.  Reading difficult feedback can be an uncomfortable process, but you can choose to react in a positive way. Reframe any criticisms as opportunities for development. 

Good luck on your 360 feedback journey.  If you would like our help to guide you through the process, please contact us or take a look at our Business Coaching package which includes both a 360 feedback, Persona Profile and supporting coaching sessions.