How Good Leaders Use 360 Degree Feedback to Become Great

business strategy leadership leadership 360 Sep 25, 2019


Have you ever wanted to get honest feedback about ways you could improve your leadership abilities? Do you often wonder how people really feel about the way you conduct business, connect with others, or give direction? Although the idea of being reviewed by your peers might sound intimidating, it isn’t uncommon for loan officers to wish that they had mind-reading abilities in order to maintain close relationships and a collaborative workplace.

However, obtaining honest feedback can sometimes feel as impossible as reading minds. If you confront your team members directly and ask them for advice, they’re prone to minimizing or sugarcoating the full truth. To open up a truly honest discussion between you and your team, Tim Braheem has a fool-proof solution that he has personally benefited from.

How 360° Feedback Works

Tim implemented this system of feedback during a Leadership 360 retreat in Austin, Texas, and he recently revisited the technique with his own staff. He had each originator choose three people from the various teams they had worked with before. For example, a mortgage loan officer like Craig Strent might select his business partner, a loan processor, and a marketing manager.  These three people would be sent a survey asking them to share any feedback and constructive criticism they have for the originator.  The survey is kept completely anonymous so people can feel free to express themselves without worrying about possible repercussions. 

Once the anonymous reviews came in, each loan officer was given the raw feedback. Tim even went through the process himself and received constructive criticism from his staff!  After reviewing the results of the survey, he was grateful for the insights. “It’s not always easy to read,” he admits. But he stresses the fact that he would much rather know now instead of when it’s too late.


Taking It One Step Further

If you want to take 360° feedback to another level, one of the Leadership 360 originators has a suggestion for you. As Tim states in the video, “This is always the benefit of our L360 family: People are always coming up with brilliant ideas!”

The brilliant idea includes sending these anonymous surveys to your referral partners and real estate agents you commonly work with. Tim mentions that this could provide incredibly valuable advice that will improve your ability to form long-lasting relationships with your partners. 

What You Need to Do Next

So, after you receive the anonymous feedback, what do you do with this information? To truly improve your personal development skills and ensure lasting changes in the ways you conduct business, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t get defensive. As you’re reading through the responses, you’ll likely feel the urge to defend yourself. If someone addresses an area of concern that you’re particularly sensitive about or writes something that seems unnecessarily harsh, make an effort to stay calm and identify the underlying message. For instance, if someone complains that you “never listen,” they might really feel like their input isn’t valuable to you.
  • Ask questions. Try to get all three respondents together to further discuss their surveys. Encourage them to clarify their suggestions, and tell them how you plan on altering your behavior. They will appreciate the fact that you genuinely want to take their advice to heart.
  • Develop actionable steps. Trying to achieve a vague goal, such as “become happier” or “manage stress,” can feel impossible to conquer. These aspirations can cover a wide range of factors in your life, so breaking them down into smaller pieces is crucial. Let’s take the idea of stress management, for instance. You can start by creating daily to-do lists about small things you can do to reduce stress, such as avoiding caffeine or trying a guided meditation exercise.
  • Identify what support you’ll need. If you’re one of the many people who tend to “fall off the wagon” whenever you try to make a major life change, you should strive to find an accountability partner. Just be sure to choose someone who will check in with you frequently and remind you of your commitments to your team.
  • Plan to follow up. Krishna Powell, an executive coach and HR consultant, says that, “After 30 to 60 days, I always recommend people follow up on the negative feedback they have received.” Be prepared to give examples of what you have done to improve the areas they critiqued. If you’ve been dedicated to your personal development, you’ll likely receive far more positive reviews in the future!

If you would like more coaching and life tips from Tim Braheem, click here to view all of our blogs that emphasize personal development!

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