Pro Tips: How to Deliver 360 Feedback Results

You’re a member of your company’s HR team and you recently conducted a number of 360 degree assessments for various leaders. Their feedback reports from G360 Surveys have just landed in your inbox. Now what? Collecting the feedback is the easy part; sharing it with the leaders is much harder. Knowing how to deliver 360 feedback results is essential to ensuring the feedback is a catalyst for development and not discouragement. 

To get the scoop on how to deliver 360 feedback results, we turned to Kristen Patel, a certified professional coach. She frequently works with G360 Surveys clients who want some help unpacking the results of their 360 surveys. Together, they review the feedback and brainstorm ways to implement changes. Keep reading for her expert tips on how to deliver 360 feedback results.

Deliver and Debrief

G360 Surveys feedback reports are designed to be read by the leaders themselves. There’s even a section titled, “Understanding Your Feedback Report.” That said, it’s sometimes not enough to send the report to the subject. Sometimes leaders want to discuss the results and address their low scores. Kristen suggests sending the results via email and scheduling a debrief session after they’ve had time to look at it. But don’t let too much time pass between the delivery and the debrief.

 “A couple of days will do,” she says. “They can read it, think about it and begin to process the results, but you’re neither springing it on them nor giving them so much time that they internalize them.”

Get on the Same Page

When it’s time to unpack the results, Kristen always starts with the same question—”What stood out to you as you read the report?” She also asks for permission to share what stood out to her. “I always try to highlight some of the positives as well as the negatives,” she says. 

This exchange can set the tone for the conversation and can clue you into their level of awareness about their competencies, as well as their openness to the feedback.

Be a Good Listener

You may be the one delivering the 360 feedback results, but Kristen says to remember, it’s not about you. “It’s their feedback based on their experiences, so they should be the ones doing most of the talking,” she says. 

Your job, then, is to be an active listener. And that doesn’t mean you stay quiet. “When you listen with curiosity and listen to understand, you might have some questions,” she says. “That’s OK, but don’t just listen to interject.”

Active listening also means you acknowledge, validate and empathize with what they’re saying. Example statements might sound like this:

  • Acknowledge: “I hear what you’re saying. You’re take on this is XYZ.”
  • Validate: “Yes, that makes sense.”
  • Empathize: “I get how that could be hard for you.”

“The key is making sure it’s not contrived, because people can feel that, too,” she says. “Be real and be authentic. Saying, ‘I see what you’re saying and that makes sense’ doesn’t have to mean you agree with them.”

Do a Judgment Check

Your ability to deliver 360 feedback hinges on your ability to be non-judgmental. “You have to create a safe space for this conversation, and that means you have to approach it not from a place of judgment but from a place of curiosity,” she says.

So, how do you know when you’re being curious and not judgmental? A good sign is if you’re asking lots of open-ended questions, Kristen says. In fact, “Can you tell me more about that?” is a great question to ask for further understanding and clarification of the situation.

End on a Positive Note

Kristen doesn’t want to sugar-coat it—receiving 360 feedback can be hard. “It can be really hard to read what people have written about you,” she says. “And no matter how many positives are in that report, our minds want to focus on the negatives.”

So, how do you make sure your 360 feedback recipients don’t leave your office feeling more discouraged than ever? As a professional coach, it’s Kristen’s job to help her clients brainstorm ways to implement changes, set concrete goals and identify possible obstacles to reaching those goals. Even if you aren’t using a coach to help you move forward after a 360 feedback survey, wrap up with, “Where do we go from here?”

We designed the G360 survey process to do just that. Each G360 Feedback Report takes the person getting the feedback through a four-step process that ends with a prompt to set two development goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. That’s SMART. Get started with a G360 survey today.