Leveraging a 360 Assessment for Professional Growth

Feedback is a great way to support, re-direct and encourage your employees.  But as leaders in local government you can take those 1-on-1 feedback sessions one step further by asking your employee “what can I do differently to better support you or make your work more effective?” This simple feedback question allows the employee to share their concerns, it models your authenticity to them and helps you improve as a manager.

Monthly or quarterly “sit-down” feedback sessions are great, but another type of feedback called 360 Feedback can be even more transformative.

The public safety model

In local government, public safety teams regularly hold “after action” reviews of emergency calls to discuss lessons learned from an event.  In those feedback sessions the group reviews the call and then determines how to reduce errors and challenges in future calls based on what they just experienced.   This idea of getting a broad range of input or feedback on a situation is vital for real change and improvement. 

Why do we need feedback?

The need for more feedback comes from the fact that we are not very good judges of our own performance. Most of us rank our abilities and positive qualities higher than they actually are.   We tend to have a bias to toward ourselves and as a result, we rate ourselves better than we really are.   Yet, we all know we have blind spots that keep us from seeing what we need to see.

A best practice for you as a leader is to conduct a formal 360 assessment to capture feedback from your employees, your peers and your manager on various aspects of your abilities as a leader. 

At LeaderGov we conduct 360 assessments as part of our 12-month Workshop Cohort leadership program.  These assessments allow us to tailor our workshop approach and it helps the participant have a focus on key areas of improvement they need to make.

What do you assess and how?

The personal 360 seeks to get feedback on a range of your leadership, teamwork and management skills or capabilities in areas such as decision making ability, innovation, valuing talent, collaborating skills and interpersonal communication ability.   We'd recommend a series of questions covering a range of leadership areas.

We recommend you have 4-5 of your employees, 4-5 of your peers and your manager complete assessments on each leader.  The result is an output report that provides clues as to areas of strength and weakness in your leadership and management capabilities.  Since the group providing feedback is small, the report will not be scientifically valid, but will certainly provide valuable directional input.   As a result of the assessment, you should be able to clearly see three or four areas of weakness compared to your areas of strength.

We then recommend you share your report with your employees and peers to ask them for their ideas as to how you can grow in those areas of weakness.  You should also share ideas you have for your own growth.  

Conducting a 360 survey can be a powerful and fast way to make improvements to your own leadership.  We hope you make a commitment to the 360 process for yourself and your team.

If you want more information about the 360 Assessment process or our Leadership Workshop Program, please email us at [email protected] or call 678-833-4310.


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