How a manager approaches a 360 feedback meeting will partly depend on who initiated the process. Perhaps a team member requested the review seeking a specific career development path or the manager has sought feedback on a direct report’s performance, or as part of a wider process the organisation may be seeking to identify high potential candidates in a high stakes promotion process. Either way, the line manager’s role in the success of the 360 review process is crucial. So, we’ve put together a list of question prompts to help better prepare managers to get the most out of 360 review meetings.
Before having the review meeting, managers should consider the purpose of the review as this will set the context for reviewing any feedback provided. Enough time should be set aside to go through the report ahead of the review meeting to tease out areas for discussion and possible actions relating to those areas.
It’s a good idea to allow enough time to cover everything in the review meeting, and to meet in a place which is private and where you won’t be interrupted.
With the manager being suitably prepared, it’s helpful to structure the review meeting into these broad themes:
1. Contracting - to gain trust, acceptance and the right to deliver feedback
- What do you want to get out of this session?
- What, for you, would make this a productive meeting?
- What do you want to have by the end of this session?
- Tell me a bit about your role. What are the key deliverables? What are the biggest challenges?
- What is happening in your job at the moment?
- Who are your peers?
- What situations do they observe you in?
- Who are your ‘customers’? What do they see you doing?
- Tell me about your relationship with your manager.
- Tell me about your team.
2. Overall Impressions - to set the tone and depth of issues to be discussed in the meeting
- What overarching themes emerge?
- Is there anything unexpected or upsetting in your feedback?
- Are there any nice surprises?
- What was your first reaction to the feedback?
- What do you take from the summary charts and graphs at the beginning?
3. Detailed feedback
- What seem to be your key strengths?
- What seem to be your main areas for development?
- Which items stand out for you?
- Where are the biggest gaps?
- What patterns emerge in the way that different groups have rated you?
4. Qualitative feedback - to examine and explore written comments from reviewers to see what insight they might offer and how they might add to the numerical feedback
- Are there any consistent or repeated messages?
- How do the comments support (or contradict) your overall impressions, your key strengths or areas for development?
- Do any of the comments provide you with a clearer picture as to why you have been given particular ratings?
- Do any of the comments provide suggestions as to things you could do differently, specific developmental actions, or quick wins?
- From the comments, what seem to be your key strengths?
- From the comments provided, what seem to be your main areas for development?
5. Action Planning - to determine key priorities, resources, stakeholders and specific actions and timeframes
- What changes can you make right now?
- How could you make better use of your strengths?
- How could you use your strengths to develop in other areas?
- How would you summarise your feedback?
- What do you think are the key messages?
- What stands out for you?
- What support will you need to take this forward?
- Which organisational resources can support you in your personal development?
- What are you going to take away from this?
- Which areas are you going to focus on?
- When are you going to collect feedback again? From whom, and how?
- How will you know if you are making progress?
- How are you going to ensure you get maximum value from this feedback?
At the end of the review meeting, schedule a follow up meeting to review the action plan to check progress and to ensure you get back on track if there is deviation from the plan.
Download a copy of the 360 feedback meeting question prompts to support your 360 feedback sessions.