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Avoiding Common Mistakes in 360-Degree Reviews: Insights from Forbes Coaches Council, Including Stephan Lendi



In a Forbes Coaches Council article, published on Sep 12, 2023, 18 experts, including contributor Stephan Lendi, discuss the common mistakes coaches make when facilitating 360-degree reviews in organizational coaching. 360-degree assessments are powerful tools for evaluating performance and fostering leadership development, but their success relies on finesse and expertise. The experts share insights to help coaches navigate pitfalls, ensuring a seamless and productive assessment process that contributes to organizational growth.


Key Points:

  1. Letting Leaders Own Results and Analysis: Avoid analyzing results on behalf of leaders. Leaders should own the results and interpret them in the context of their personal brand and company expectations.

  2. Starting with Improvement Needs: Begin sharing 360-degree assessment results with positive aspects first to create a constructive conversation before addressing improvement areas.

  3. Miscalculating Change Needs: Understand the level of change needed and the organization's readiness for it. Strong executive champions, diverse stakeholders, and effective communication are crucial.

  4. Using Assessments Punitively: Prevent the 360-degree assessment from being used punitively by employers. It should be constructive, focusing on professional development and advancement.

  5. Neglecting Stakeholder Expectations: Manage expectations by addressing concerns of different stakeholders. Provide guidance on navigating uncomfortable situations during any stage of the assessment process.

  6. Failure to Position Feedback Positively: Position feedback as a starting point for constructive conversations, making feedback receivers more receptive to improvement suggestions.

  7. Avoiding Definitive Terms and Personal Judgments: Report data without making personal judgments. Coaches should interpret rather than act as judges.

  8. Not Preparing Clients for Assessments: Ensure clients are prepared for the 360-degree process. Set expectations, articulate how data will be used, and validate mutual understanding.

  9. Neglecting Data Processing Education: Educate individuals on how to read, process, and use the information before supplying the data to avoid shock and mistrust.

  10. Ensuring Confidentiality and Anonymity: Emphasize confidentiality and anonymity in feedback, using trusted third-party platforms to maintain individual response confidentiality.

  11. Focusing on Behavior Over Beliefs: Shift the focus from changing behaviors to uncovering underlying beliefs triggering behaviors for more effective and lasting change.

  12. Prioritizing Data Over Relationship: Prioritize building a relationship over data. The relationship with the person being coached is essential for constructive dialogue.

  13. Not Incorporating Qualitative Interviews: Include qualitative interviews in 360-degree assessments to gather insights that quantitative tools alone cannot provide.

  14. Summarizing Themes Without Client Alignment: Avoid summarizing themes that may not align with the client's beliefs. Focus on strengths and opportunities, and ask how the client can be supported specifically.

  15. Ignoring Cognitive Diversity and Cultural Norms: Consider cognitive diversity and cultural norms when interpreting 360-degree assessments to understand the context of feedback.

  16. Assuming Everyone Understands Feedback: Ensure everyone is comfortable giving and receiving feedback. Clarify the process and output to create a climate for open and honest feedback.

  17. Doing Assessments Without Action: Beware of assessments that don't lead to action. Focus on identifying behaviors and mindsets requiring change for individual or organizational improvement.

  18. Focusing on Lowest Scores Instead of Story Behind Data: Shift focus from lowest scores to understanding the story behind the data. Explore strategic topics, strengths, career paths, improvements, and stakeholder needs.


For a detailed understanding of these insights, visit the original article here.

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