We the Partnership

How to maximize your 360 assessment experience

By Christina Schiavone
August 6, 2021

As an executive coach, I know that 360 assessments are critical tools that help leaders gain holistic insights into their performance. These tools help leaders understand how to capitalize on their strengths and reflect on opportunities for improvement. Yet as a leader myself, I know that receiving a significant amount of feedback from others can be overwhelming and difficult to process. So how might you use your 360 results to take a constructive look at your performance and support your professional development?

Here are four tips for making the most of your 360 assessment results:

  1. Take the right assessment. What competencies are you looking to develop? Are you focused on your technical skill set? Are you looking to learn more about your leadership abilities? It is important to have answers to these questions so that you can select the right 360 assessment. For example, the Partnership’s Public Service Leadership Model 360 assesses effective government leadership. Participants are rated against distinct competencies that public servants need to succeed, including stewardship of public trust and a commitment to public good.
  2. Read it twice. I often tell my coaching clients to read through their 360 assessment results once, set them aside and then review the feedback again—this time with a deliberately objective and open-minded approach. Be open to both constructive and positive feedback without judgement. Ask yourself:
    • What did you notice about the feedback (and the report more broadly)? What reaction did you have when you read it?
    • What patterns did you notice? Was there anything that surprised you?
    • What aspects of the feedback align with how you envision yourself as a leader? Where is there dissonance?
  3. Partner with a coach. How many times have you taken a leadership assessment, received your results and then put them away on a shelf somewhere never to be revisited? A 360 assessment requires an investment of time—both from those who receive feedback and those who provide it. A coach can help you understand the nuances of the 360 tool and objectively assess your feedback. More importantly, a coach can provide support as you create an action plan based on your 360 assessment results.
  4. Take meaningful action. People from all areas of your life—managers, direct reports, peers, family and friends—took the time to share their perspectives in your 360. They want to see you succeed and grow as a leader.

Be intentional with your next steps. Do you have a particularly strong competency that can help you address a new challenge? Is there an area that would improve your leadership effectiveness? The old adage “don’t try to boil the ocean” is true when it comes to addressing your 360 assessment results. Small, intentional behavioral changes can have a significant impact. And in my experience, clients who share their plans to address 360 feedback with their raters receive ongoing support as they experiment with new strategies, actions and behaviors in the workplace. 

As we approach the last quarter of 2021, find some time to do a quick self-assessment. What skills would enable you to have a greater impact? What strengths would help your team achieve its goals in the months ahead? A 360 assessment might just be the answer to help you elevate your leadership game.

For more information about how the Public Service Leadership Model 360 assessment and executive coaching can help you or your team, please contact Rachel Klein-Kircher at [email protected].


Christina Schiavone

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