Alignment Performance Results

Going Beyond Fear… Why the 360-degree Assessment Is a Game-Changer

Posted on 02/11/2016 in Featured Articles, Promotional Post by Jack Speer

Should you and your team do a 360-degree assessment this year to ramp up your team’s ability to deliver results?  It could be of utmost importance.

If you have a team whose performance can mean your success or failure this year, research consistently shows that 360’s can align teams, solve team issues, and achieve goals.  We have clients who have  boosted their revenues by 10-fold.  These teams attribute their success to the 360-degree process.  They were at the point of imploding.  These teams came from working at cross-purposes, effectively neutralizing each other, to maximizing the magic of individuals and teams working effectively together.

A 360-degree assessment is not something you’re going to want to do alone—you need expertise.  It can drive individuals and the team to peak performance.   However, assessing individual performance and team dynamics through a 360-degree assessment can be daunting.  And if it’s not executed skillfully, the results can be destructive–like giving yourself heart surgery.   Whether your outcome is successful or not will be determined to a great extent by the expertise you choose.  Because of this, it is worth your time to walk you through the process, and we can be a resource for you to do that.

In my own case, at first the 360-degree assessment sounded like a really bad idea.

It sounded like giving yourself Ebola or putting a target on your back and a weapon in the hands of people who might use it.  If my team and I tell each other what we really think, what will actually happen?  If we rate each other on how we’re doing, will the process give us tools to work together better—or will it tear us apart?

I already had a real idea of what kind of 360-degree feedback people who knew me would give about me.

Early in my career, as an executive for whom getting results was the only game in town, I knew I had left significant tire tracks on the backs of the people around me—bosses, peers, and direct reports.   I was a classic Myers-Briggs ENTJ.  I believed you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.

Asking questions of those I worked with about my interpersonal skills or being a team player seemed like a disastrous idea to me.  I pretty well knew how that would turn out, and it wouldn’t be good for my ego.  I was effective at getting results, but the niceties of getting there didn’t come up on my radar screen.

I also thought that 360-degree feedback was just as bad an idea for my team.  I thought that asking feedback questions could at best bog us down in internal strife and at worst begin WWIII. 

Fast forward the story a couple of decades after seeing hundreds of executives experience the 360-degree assessment.  Here is why we recommend that you budget for a 360 and make it a priority goal in 2016.

  1. 360-degree assessments catapult careers.  It is often true that “the truth will set you free, but it will depress you in the beginning.”   Yet those who participate in a 360-degree assessment receive a developmental plan, and with coaching they commonly become so much more effective that they get raises and promotions and go on to better jobs. 
  2. The 360-degree assessment is a key component of the high performance team.  In 2016 a high performance team needs a high performance coach—the team leader.  This team leader must have the kind of feedback system sports teams do with video feedback.  The most effective feedback in organizations is the 360-degree assessment where team members tell us how team members are performing.  With the proper feedback, high potential team members improve…just as top athletes improve by “watching the films.”
  3. Team members value their 360-degree assessment feedback.  Most team members receive positive feedback that surprises them, and they value the feedback on points to improve because they now know specific ways they can perform better.
  4. Teams exponentially improve their performance after 360-degree assessments.  When individual 360s are integrated into a team process in which each team member writes a developmental “Game Plan” and shares that in the team, both individuals and the team are catapulted forward.  Suddenly each team member understands what everyone needs to achieve their goals, experience less friction, and improve morale.
  5. Team output and revenues increase.  We have clients who have increased revenues 10-fold in two years.
  6. 360-degree assessments improve organizational culture.  Because dialogue has begun with the 360-degree feedback, daily feedback, openness, and transparency have led some of our client leaders to say “our organization is literally not the same” as it was before.”

Research has shown the 360-degree assessments are most effective when re-administered on a regular basis, usually annually.   They should be specific to the industry and the job levels of the participants.   360-degree assessments should be administered by an organization that has qualified and trained debriefers who can help the participant through the process of growth and change.

360-degree assessments can be game changers for organizations.  They are especially effective in organizations that are in the process of high growth or scaling.  As the organization scales, its leaders must also scale in their skills and capabilities.   

In order to move forward on the 360-degree assessment as a game changing strategy for your team, follow these steps: 1) Analyze how well your team does in aligning behind goals and execution 2) Choose the players who are key to your success  3) Talk to your team about the importance of the 360-degree initiative and 4) Contact us to see how this 360-degree initiative can be done with a minimum of time and team bandwidth to achieve an outstanding outcome. 

Want to find out more about what a 360 Assessment can do for your team or organization? Contact Carol Kallendorf, PhD.

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