Should I do a 360?

If you need or want to know how you are perceived by the people around you and what they would suggest you do as you move forward, a 360 may be of value to you. If you already have this kind of data and it meets the following criteria to make it actionable you probably do not need to collect it again. Just share the data you have with your coach for the two of you to incorporate it with the other data about you and your organization. To decide if the data you have is adequate, apply the following criteria to the existing data:

Current: Usually collected within the past six months or less time
Detailed: With enough specifics, quantitatively and qualitatively, to help you make the decisions you need to make based on the data
Complete: Answering all the questions you need answered
Representative: Collected from people with all the perspectives you need to tap into (people above you, across, and down in the organization, customers, vendors, partners, family members, etc.)
Valid and Reliable: Collected in ways which allow you to trust the information as a true reflection of what's going on and how people honestly see you and the system in which you work

How to Decide to Go Ahead with Collecting Needed 360 Data

If the above criteria are not met or you need or want additional 360 data, you must decide if the potential benefit of collecting such information outweighs the risks. Usually, 360 data can be collected in ways that allow you to get useful information without having significant negative impact on how people view you or their ability to get work done. Sometimes, however, the culture, atmosphere, level of trust, or current work pressures make it difficult to do a 360. When the following situations exist, special care needs to be taken to avoid having a negative impact. In some cases where these situations are in the extreme, it is better to hold off on doing a 360 until a more conducive environment exists.

Red and Yellow Flags for 360's

    •   The culture in which you work places an undue negative stereotype on people asking for feedback
    •   The people who would participate in the 360 would use the fact that you are conducting it against you
    •   The people from whom you are requesting feedback would not be likely to be open or honest
    •   There is nobody with recent relevant experience with you available to be surveyed
    •   People are too busy or distracted right now with unusually high levels of work pressure
    •   You cannot ensure adequate anonymity of the people to be interviewed
    •   You would find it difficult to not use the feedback you receive against the people who provided it
    •   People you would ask to participate have recently been over-surveyed
    •   You don't trust people enough to accept the feedback you would receive