How to run a 360 degree feedback process

Once upon a time in a distant place there were two HR Managers. Odile from the land of Futile and Odette from the land of Talent. This is a tale of their 360 Degree Feedback processes…

The Land of Futile …

Princess Odile

Odile talked about an upcoming 360 Degree Feedback process with some senior people in the land of Futile. In her haste, she assumed they would tell their managers and teams about what was coming up.

They didn’t.

The people of Futile had no idea what was about to strike them. And when it did they were fearful. For they did not understand what a 360 Degree Feedback process was or why they were doing it.

It was all left to their imagination.

Once the fearful people of Futile had given their feedback, Odile dutifully distributed reports to participants.
But alas, no support or coaching was offered to them.

The people of Futile read their feedback reports with trepidation. Some were dismissive and some were brave enough to think they might try some things differently. But the poor people of Futile received no support.

Nothing really eventuated.

Odile did not educate her elders on the outcome of the 360 process. They all went about their daily drudgery unaware of the golden opportunity they had missed.

The words ‘360 Degree Feedback’ were not heard again in the land of Futile.

The people of Futile had spent valuable time on a process that led to nowhere. They grew ever cynical.


The Land of Talent …

How to run a 360 degree feedback process

Odette so loved her people that she understood they might find giving and receiving feedback challenging. So she held a town meeting with the good people to tell them all about 360 Degree Feedback and help them prepare. Here’s what Odette shared with the people of the land of Talent:

  • What 360 feedback was about
  • Why the land was undertaking 360
  • When the process would commence
  • How participants and respondents would be chosen
  • How feedback would be collected and presented
  • What participants would do with the information
  • Who to contact with any questions

She also knew the people may be fearful, so she made sure they knew that 360 is confidential.

The people of Talent felt a warm comfort knowing what was about to happen. When it did arrive they knew what to expect. Indeed they looked forward to the opportunity to give and receive feedback.

They took comfort knowing that the 360 process was confidential and secure.

When the good people of Talent had given their feedback Odette was busying herself (cue the fluttering bluebirds). She loved her people so and made sure they were coached and assisted with their reports.

Action plans were created all across the land. Some did training courses, and some did e-learning. Others did on the job activities like shadowing someone with more experience.

Managers gave plentiful feedback and encouraged ongoing development. They celebrated the people’s strengths long into the night.

Odette spent time with the elders celebrating the great feedback they had collected. They marvelled at the ways they could save their gold reserves by bringing the people with common needs together.

Like an annual festival, Odette went on to plan many more 360 processes. The people of Talent were inspired when they heard the process had been a success. They worked hard on their development and felt confident their time and effort was well spent.

And the people of Talent rejoiced for they could feel in their hearts and see on their reports they were getting better and better all the time.

Magic wand

The moral of this story… there are three golden rules for 360 Degree Feedback:






Continually improve

Remember these and the people in your land will love you.

The End


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A critical component for every kind of manager is being able to give feedback. At the end of the day, all you want feedback to do is one of two things:

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  • Correct poor behaviour
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