Multi-rater Feedback 360° Performance Feedback in Action

Multi-rater 360°

Self-awareness is defined as knowing self-behaviors as others see them.  Most individuals have an incomplete view of how they are perceived by their peers, subordinates, and superiors which creates miscommunication that corrupts the synergy and climate of the working environment.  The main goal of the multi-rater 360° is for the improvement of overall organizational performance which is derived through skills, competencies, and behaviors of its associates.  The 360° tool collects behavioral perceptions from trusted associates usually from different ranks within an organization and measures components of leadership effectiveness.  The extracted action-based feedback is leveraged to implement goal setting to improve leadership abilities by identifying weaknesses and illuminating strengths in regards to executive decision making, strategic planning, communications, and corporate management to name a few. The multiple benefits of a multi-rater 360° improve the organizational climate by creating leadership awareness as well as providing necessary feedback about behavioral processes that negatively impact company output.

These tools are integral for providing immediate change to adverse behaviors and positively influence the work atmosphere by directly improving organizational communications.  The multi-rater 360° tool’s anonymous structure provides a platform for honest feedback that is extremely valuable which targets important areas of concern and improving these areas exponentially provides a return on investment for any organization.  Implementing a multi-rater 360° is a flexible process that provides a clear view of overall behavioral self-performance which includes an array of associate perspectives as well as the self-perspective.  The multi-rater 360° is used from top to bottom in most organizations and not everyone receives glowing reviews of behavioral performance which causes dissonance for many affected associates.

The common denominations of results are organized as follows: Top twenty percent (20%), bottom twenty percent (20%), and middle sixty percent (60%).  The top twenty percent of participants are satisfied with the results and excited to find out that they have been perceived by others as they recognize themselves.  The bottom twenty percent are confused and upset about receiving terrible results – They feel horrible for taking part in the assessment and are at odds with the results.  These emotional feelings direct participants to search for alternative reasons or excuses to explain the unwanted outcome.  The middle sixty percent of participants have received a mixture of positive and negative feedback, and are unsure about how to direct their energy to improve their work perception.  This is a valuable resource for the organization to leverage because increasing the leader behaviors in the middle sixty percent of the organization can create an overwhelming momentum that will turn an average organization into the number one (#1) or number two (#2) organization in their respective fields.

 Multi-rater 360° Executive Coaching

Several different research studies have shown that professional executive coaching has improved the outcomes associated with multi-rater 360° tools and the control groups without professional coaching received no improvement (Luthans & Peterson, 2003; Seifert, Yukl, & McDonald, 2003; Smither, London, Flautt, Vargas, & Kucine, 2003).  Executive coaching provides direction and clarity around feedback and removes the false underlying beliefs that are created when receiving unfavorable results.  Executive coaching provides a sounding board and a professionally skilled support system for the participant to express their true feelings associated with the 360° feedback in real-time.  This coaching experience improves the ability to understand the positive and negative feedback because the emotional connection is addressed and removed which empowers potential leaders to make considerable change for correction.  Research has shown that the alternative to this solution is doing nothing about the results which leaves an unresolved gap for the participant.  The multi-rater 360° tool is the catalyst that starts the sequence of change, but action-based coaching that focuses on strategic goals supported by a coaching relationship are the foundation for positive developmental change.  The executive coach co-creates action plans to implement change that addresses the feedback and provides a platform for the leader to address their development over time.  The coaching platform creates a safe confidential zone for the client to identify hidden elements associated with the feedback and to understand the dynamics pertaining to the work environment.

Multi-rater 360° tools are most successful when used for developmental purposes rather than performance evaluation because the latter introduces incentives that create confounding variables that produce null and void feedback that is free of non-basis perception.  This learning opportunity that exponentially supports the participant and the organization will then be transformed into a strategic moment to target perceived competition and create a toxic working environment.  Alternatively, multi-rater 360° tools can be applied to selection and development of high-potential leadership candidates because these tools are ideal at identifying important leadership competencies that have been shown to make dramatic differences between success and failure at the highest levels.  Furthermore, multi-rater 360° tools are strategically effective for implementing positive team-building.


Clear communication concerning the desired implementation and expectations associated with a Multi-rater 360° tool are imperative to the success of the operation.  Uncertainty about the motivation behind this assessment can lead to false positives and negatives which ultimately confounds the results.  A presentation concerning the success goals and the impact will greatly aid the organizational buy-in which creates an atmosphere of trust.  This will lead to greater participation and satisfaction associated with the experiential experience.  Team members become increasingly aware of their responsibility to provide honest actionable feedback to help support their organization’s overall success as well as the individual they are responsible for rating.  A well planned Multi-rater 360° experience improves group efficacy and collaboration that leads to greater synergy.


Receiving feedback that is unexpected or does not align with firmly held beliefs about how pointed behaviors and actions are perceived causes cognitive dissonance.  The feelings and emotions that are stirred up during this process causes mental confusion for some participants and can be handled poorly during the wrong situations.  Leaders know how to handle adversity and understand how to control their reactions.  Confident Leaders use their intellect to take everything into consideration and collect their thoughts concerning the feedback process.  Leaders then respond accordingly through their positive actions to improve the circumstances that caused the unfavorable feedback – leaders lead by example.  The multi-rater 360° tool is a measure of leadership competencies, and most importantly, accurately measures the competency of self-awareness.  The multi-rater 360° tool’s accuracy involves multiple layers of perspectives which are honest by way of anonymity.  The gift of the Multi-rater 360° tool is that of actionable goals for personal and professional development in relation to the related work environment.

Feedback should never be given in malice, but rather, in a supportive fashion that benefits overall development.   The ideal feedback would support the individual competencies in relation to company strategy, vision, and mission.  A proper Multi-rater 360° debrief should include professional coaching that aids in the development of the individual in regards to expanding their role in the organization through additional training and job rotations.  Participating in a Multi-rater 360° exercise is a privilege and identifies the commitment that the organization has to progressive development.  These tools are designed to improve leadership competencies and provide individual data for improving the unlimited potential that truly exist in everyone – The goal is to discover strengths, face reality concerning behaviors, and exploit the learning experience to improve personally and professionally.

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I’m Keith Lawrence Miller and I approve this message.   We provide Certified Professional Action-based Coaching and Consultation services to Maximize Opportunity through Innovative Communication and Goal Setting by using Strategy in Leadership, Business, Career, and Life. Optimize your Strengths and Achieve Success in Less Time with a motivated Focus – Visit: or for more information…

Keith Miller

Keith Lawrence Miller, Organizational Psychologist, Board Certified Coach (BCC), Professional Credentialed Coach (PCC), with subject matter expertise in executive career & leadership coaching and management consulting supported by a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

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