In an earlier post, we described why we believe it is best practice to give people their 360 feedback report a day or two before a feedback coaching session.
Since 2007 we’ve been working with part of a large government department. They are using 360 feedback as part of a development programme, and they give all individuals a personal coaching session on the 360 as well as some other tools (eg. MBTI).
They had previously been in the habit of giving people their 360 report just before the session, then talking them through it. This is, after all, recommended practice for hard-to-interpret psychometrics like OPQ and the like. However, at our recommendation they tried switching to sending the 360 report to the individual a day or two beforehand. At the end of the year they did a rigorous review of their programme, asking individuals how they felt everything went. Here’s the results from their section on this question:
“I found it helpful to receive the 360 report in advance of the feedback session:”
Strongly Agreed: 56%
Strongly Disagreed: 2%
Pretty conclusive, I think! Here are some quotes from the individuals:
“Although much of the insight for me came during the feedback, getting the report before allowed me to prepare properly.”
“Being able to analyse it and prepare questions or responses was excellent and also meant there was no fear of the unknown.”
“Not to have had time to examine the report and digest its content would have limited the effectiveness of the feedback session.”
“Value would be severely diminished without the opportunity to read and reflect upon the charts and specific comments.”
And here was their final conclusion from their ‘experiment’:
The vast majority agreed here, with some going as far to say it was essential to have the report before the feedback session, to allow sufficient time for preparation.
So if you’re considering doing any coaching of 360 feedback, we would urge you to send the report out beforehand, and hopefully the comments above will give you the confidence to do it!