7 Ways to Use 360° Feedback to Improve your Organisation


By Stacey Wallace – General Manager, At My Best, 10+ years professional and career development experience.


You will no doubt have formulated a view of 360° degree feedback and development planning. Either you’ve been a participant yourself, collecting feedback from your environment and using the data to grow your leadership skills. Or perhaps you’ve inputted into a 360 survey for a supervisor or colleague. Either way, your perception will be based on your personal experiences of the process.


As professionals who deliver this process, At My Best has learned that some people still have a narrow view of how 360° feedback can be used to improve organisational performance.


To debunk some myths, and take a broader development oriented perspective, we’ve outlined seven ways that you can harness 360° feedback in your organisation using the At My Best approach.


1 – Start with the senior leaders


We recommend that senior leaders ‘go first’ to model a culture of openness to feedback. The senior leadership group experiences the 360° feedback and development planning process with the support of an At My Best coach to facilitate a two-hour confidential one-on-one coaching conversation. The coach helps the participant reflect on their progress and satisfaction as well as make action plans for growth. A key deliverable of this process is the development of a personalised and targeted professional development plan.

2 – Teach coaching skills to all your leaders


To facilitate powerful professional conversations, leaders need a set of core coaching skills and processes. This will form a ‘common language’ of professional learning and enable them to conduct high-quality professional development and performance improvement conversations with their team members generally and specially after they have completed the 360° feedback survey.

3 – Include the wider leadership team


Cascade the 360° feedback, coaching and development planning program to next layer of leaders then to all staff. The follow-up 360° feedback and development planning discussions are facilitated internally by senior leaders using the core coaching skills they acquire in the At My Best Coaching Skills Accreditation thus creating a powerful ‘whole business unit’ approach to development feedback, planning and coaching.

4 – Aggregate data for team development and strategic planning


We aggregate data sets for leadership teams and business units. Leadership teams and individual managers can see where the development needs of their team lie. The insights gained can inform strategic planning and capability development efforts. In one recent example, we aggregated and analysed data from almost 2,000 360° feedback survey responses to present the data at a system level.

5 – Provide follow-up executive coaching


Executive coaching is a powerful way of supporting leaders to achieve the professional goals that are set out in their development plan. Leaders are paired with a professional At My Best coach with whom they can have focused coaching sessions. The coaching process helps people build on their strengths, grow their confidence, and acquire new insights.

6 –  Check progress


The evaluation of the impact of professional learning is a key component of a capability development strategy. We’ve developed the Progress-Check Survey so that participants can see how they are going as they implement their development plans.

7 – Make 360° feedback an annual process with regular check-ins 


We recommend that leaders receive feedback on a regular and ongoing basis. Most of our clients opt for an annual 360 to help them to continue to grow and finetune their leadership. This coupled with regular conversations with their supervisor to keep focused on the execution of their development plan makes for a powerful, impactful and evidence-based approach.


More about At My Best


The At My Best suite is a complete system that helps people gain high-quality feedback on their work practices, have open and constructive coaching conversations, set goals and plan actions, and track their professional learning and development activities.


For more information about At My Best and how we can help you improve your organisation, contact info@atmybest.com.au or phone 1300 099 938.


Why Strengths-Based Feedback Motivates Real Improvement


The way we frame feedback matters, especially if our goal is to support the ongoing learning of our teams. So how might a strengths-based approach make feedback motivating, rather than demoralising?


Feedback in the traditional mode


There’s no denying that, in many professional contexts, ‘feedback’ still retains connotations of evaluation, judgement and being told that ‘you’re doing it wrong’. In the education sector, this is perhaps due in part to the sometimes isolated nature of classroom teaching; feedback conversations have tended to be part of an infrequent, often bureaucratic ‘review’ process. It’s no surprise that feedback tends to be seen as an ‘end point’ for teachers, rather than as an integral part of an ongoing learning process.


Yet, we know that feedback is indeed crucial not only in improving individual performance, but also in fostering motivation and engagement. When it comes to our students’ learning, high quality feedback has become a central priority for improving outcomes, thanks in part to John Hattie’s finding that feedback is the most powerful single factor that influences learning.


The power of a strengths-based approach


Perhaps the most important consideration when giving feedback is the affective dimension – am I being praised or criticised? Research suggests that the ideal ratio of ‘positive’ to ‘negative’ feedback is 6:1 – that is, for every point of criticism, there are six points of positive reinforcement.


This suggests that a strengths-based approach to feedback is much more likely to have positive motivational effects. A strengths-based approach focuses on helping the individual to:


  • identify areas of specific strengths and how these have led to positive outcomes; and,
  • suggests ways of leveraging these strengths to further improve performance.


The research suggests the benefits of this approach in terms of both motivation and performance: a strengths based approach increases an individual’s desire to improve their performance, as well as being correlated with measurable performance gains.


So, it makes sense that schools are now looking to adopt strengths based approaches to improvement across the board. Indeed, with what we already know about the impact of feedback on student learning, it makes intuitive sense for educators – as individuals, and as institutions – to prioritise a strengths-based approach to their own learning. By recognising and developing the skills and capabilities that are already producing positive outcomes, schools can go from strength to strength.