360 Degree Responses In Developing Leadership Skills Management Essay

There is a superb package of controversy about the relevancy of using 360-degree feedback as an instrument to develop management skills. Some view 360-degree reviews as a collaborative tool, a tool supplying a more balanced group of feedback based on the assessments of superiors, peers, and subordinates. These views lead me to wonder, how effective can this tool be if it generally does not factor in "leadership styles" and the prospect of bias based on "popularity?" Will personality and popularity play a role in the analysis? Though extreme, there is certainly some merit to my position. This realization guided me to my decision that 360-level feedback is an efficient tool to provide self assessment and can also be used to enhance performance actions during annual counseling such as management, communication, and mission effectiveness.


The underlying theory of 360-degree feedback asserts an assessment received from multiple resources provides unique and significant information to the recipient. Rapid progress of its use was fueled by the need to adjust to a changing human resources management environment and by numerous studies that supported the effectiveness of multi-source scores in post-feedback management development.

A significant complaint of the traditional performance appraisal system voiced by services is the fact feedback is normally one-sided and can lack objectivity. Inside the 1940s, the Army implemented a tool called the multi-rater system, also called the multisource evaluation process. The multi-rater system allows someone's evaluation to encompass reviews from not just a rater, but also someone's subordinates, peers, clients, and organizational hierarchy. This enables a reviewer to get a more complete picture of a person and takes away a singular rater from having the ability to determine the fate of a profession. If an officer's supervisor dislikes a subordinate, but he gets top grades from everyone else, it sets the boss's review in context, and would likely create questions from the older rater in the rating capacity of the employer.

In 2006, the Navy examined a prototype model of the 360-level feedback process in the Surface Warfare Community. Comparable to Army results, the Navy prototype showcased a power of the 360-level responses process is its potential to provide differing perspectives of raters. The Navy prototype conclusions also emphasized a supervisor cannot observe all the connections, advantages and opportunities for improvement of his subordinates for evaluation reports, particularly if the period of control is wide. So why if the supervisor be the one person to provide performance feedback?


A major edge to the 360-degree feedback process is that it provides a chance for individuals with whom a person makes frequent contact to offer feedback. That is an important awareness because the rater ought to be the person that has discovered the employee on a frequent basis. It might be unfair and impractical to ask a rater for input when the opportunity to observe an employee's skills, skills and abilities havent been provided on a regular basis.

Let's look at two examples of 360-degree feedback in action; first let's take a look at an Military Captain who assists as a signal officer within an infantry battalion. His rater is the Battalion Exec Official, a combat-arms official, would you not know much about communication other than how to use a radio. In case the signal officer works his job well, the XO will likely give him a moderately advantageous review on a normal Evaluation Review. Now let's use a 360-level opinions process and involve his higher-echelon counterpart, the Brigade S6 Official, who is a significant and a signal officer, who provides Captain a fantastic rating predicated on his technical proficiency. If we involve his section, they can touch upon his command, management style and his capability to explain sophisticated technical issues in basic English. His peers in the battalion, other captains and the company commanders, all give him high grades for dealing with them to resolve communication issues. Now the 360-degree reviews process is directed at his mature rater, the Battalion Commander, who now has a far more complete view of this officer and how he has performed based on additional reviews from numerous sources, rather than the traditional counseling in one rater that would have communicated a universal, but fairly positive review.

Another exemplory case of how this method is effective is to check out an Army infantry platoon leader, a 1st Lieutenant, who consistently sucks up to his company commander, volunteers his platoon for the toughest assignments, results expert in marksmanship and fitness and has impressed the battalion commander in a field procedure. This 1st Lieutenant would normally stand out in the original guidance process, because his rater and older rater have impression that he's far beyond the standard. Utilizing the 360-level process, suppose his platoon sergeant accounts the very first Lieutenant delegates a lot of his work to him and leaves work as early as it can be. Some of his squad market leaders complain that they always get stuck with volunteer duty while the 1st Lieutenant is off somewhere sleeping. His fellow 1st Lieutenants do not like the man and view him as a show-off. When this review hits the senior rater's desk it will give him a very different view and offer more insight than the traditional counseling record would provide.

The above example showcases that when feedback comes from many resources, it's more challenging for a person to brush aside constructive criticism and rationalize that "the supervisor just has it set for me. " If several people suggest that a leader needs to improve verbal communication skills, chances are high that is indeed a required area for improvement. Another advantage of the 360-degree opinions process is that it is made with a leadership concentration at heart. Sometimes it's problematic for individuals to understand the impact that their tendencies may have on others. However, if indeed they receive direct and frequent responses how their behaviors have an impact on others they will be attentive.

Studies show that the 360-degree feedback process is specially strong when joined with an action plan developed by the person getting feedback and distributed to those providing the feedback. The action plan shows the opinions was observed and the suggestions will be placed to use at the earliest opportunity. Studies also firmly suggest that each person receiving feedback, specifically for the first time, should have a instructor to help examine the comments and help develop the action plan. I would recommend the 360-degree responses process be in conjunction with competency-based job explanations; this aids in placing an individual in a position based on the competencies of the positioning and it ensures the average person is examined on those same competencies.

Now looking at 360-degree responses from the perspective of that which you learned in workshop about control styles. The characteristic theory assumes people are created with inherited characteristics and this some qualities are especially associated with great market leaders. For instance, there's a landscape in the highly-acclaimed and offbeat 1949 World Battle II film, 12 O'Clock High, where Military Air Corps Colonel Keith Davenport, enjoyed by Gary Merrill, is the commander who becomes too near to his flyers and eventually cracks under any risk of strain of seeing one of them commit suicide. Colonel Davenport portrayed significant attributes to reach your goals as noted in the trait theory (eager to assume responsibility and alert to interpersonal environment). If he was evaluated using the 360-level feedback model, he'd have received rave reviews from his supervisor, peers and subordinates based on his authority style, but if examined on technical proficiency he would get low marks due to the squadrons inability to perform detail daylight bombing.

Major General Frank Savage changed Colonel Davenport and pounded self-control and accountability in to the squadron, and got them back in the air with a new level of success. If Basic Savage was given the 360-level feedback analysis, his rating could have surely required him to make an adjustment in his challenging leadership style. This is evident by the number of transfer requests received from the pilots and the brief fused IG inspection to examine squadron morale. Basic Savage's tough leadership style ultimately became successful with a significant increase in putting bombs on aim for as necessary for mission success. Standard Savage also projected lots of the traits that are believed necessary to be considered a successful leader such as decisive, dependable, assertive, dominant and consistent.

360-degree reviews is not a substitute for managing poor performance. Instead it is a tool that may be implemented to help employees gain a rich, accurate perspective about how others view their management skills, social style and quest effectiveness. 360-degree feedback should not replace leadership's analysis and analysis of performance. This is an important point because market leaders may be lured to use 360-degree feedback as an instrument to facilitate action changes in poor performers. Instead of manage an employee's day-to-day performance, leaders may view the multi-rater opinions process as a panacea. Although reviews from a 360-level process can energize self-awareness, it cannot replace immediate communication between a worker and his / her superior. A business should exercise great treatment in putting into action a 360-level opinions system because unfamiliarity with a person, differences in job and task characteristics, distinctions in list, and cognitive dissimilarities between a worker and rater can distort assessments. Leaders should also be aware never to view the 360- level opinions process "as a particular event", deploying it once as part of a training or coaching time. If leaders make this mistake, the purpose of ensuring that opinions is designed into ongoing improvement plans will never be accomplished.

Counter Argument

To counter my thesis, I have to mention that we now have potential pitfalls that offer with trust and confidentiality. The main element to overcoming pitfalls are to inform everyone of the program and to stick to it. Additionally, privacy to recipients, and confidentiality to raters about the feedback they provide, is an complete must. As previously described, the difficult part is that people are nearing the line of subordinates possessing the ability to directly affect a leader's career. While 360-level feedback is not really a panacea, impact from the above risks may likely be nominal at best with today's stimulated, quality all-volunteer force. Nevertheless, it would make sense to determine safeguards wherever possible. Looking at the big picture, the advantages of 360-degree feedback considerably go beyond the pitfalls that can be remedied with careful execution and changes in organizational culture.

Despite the benefits of 360-degree reviews, there are several potential hazards which weaken its validity and performance. The most common risk is wrongfully assuming that using reviews from multiple sources will make up for intentional or unintentional distortion ( i. e. laying). The simple truth is that feedback accumulated incorrectly increases alternatively than lessens the incident of mistake; thus, destroying the reliability of the results.


I think that 360-degree reviews should be incorporated into performance options more specifically management, communication and quest success. The 360-level reviews program is an outstanding performance opinions tool and should be created for counselling purposes only. There are a couple of ways to regulate the use of this information. The first way is to bring in this system as a head developmental tool. In the beginning, the services might use the train-the-trainer model at the deck dish level, while combining it into its institution systems. This method will teach all market leaders and supervisors in the correct use. Given that all leaders have supervisors, I really do not envision significant troubles. I strongly consider our current innovator development system provides leaders for the future pressure; however, I highly imagine we can increase the system to make leaders more self-aware and thus more effective. By employing the 360-level feedback method into our system, we will develop leaders who'll win the many literal and figurative wars this land faces in the future.

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