7 reminders for a 360 review

surrealistic picture of an apple reflecting in the mirror1. Know why it’s important to administer a 360

You can’t work on behaviors you don’t know are problematic, and you could be surprised about what others see as your strengths. None of us has a complete picture of ourselves. There’s no way to see the back of our head without a set of mirrors, trusted friends, or colleagues to tell us. We need that reflection to get a 360 degree vision.

Leaders will frequently believe that people understand their vision and expectations, but in a 360 they’ll discover that this may not be true. Research by Inscape Publishing (now part of Wiley) shows that many leaders need a reminder and some pressure to “encourage others to be a bit more creative and adventurous in their thinking.” A good 360 review can deliver this type of constructive and actionable message to a leader.

2. Senior executives need to be on board

The senior leadership members need to show their support for the reviews and demonstrate that they understand the value of the results and have taken action based on their own reviews. Lack of executive team support will likely cause the exercise to be seen as a waste of time for participants.

3. Explain the reason for the 360

Both the raters and the one being rated should have a good understanding of the reason they’ve been asked to participate. We recommend communicating that the Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders review will focus on developing leaders by giving them insights into how others see them and that the results will not be used for appraisal. It’s a development tool, not a chance to get back at or suck up to a boss or colleague. If people have experienced the misuse of a 360, you might need to over-communicate that this is an opportunity for growth and understanding.

4. Show evidence of confidentiality

Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders makes confidentiality easy through its CommentSmart feature. Raters select their answers from a list of relevant phrases. Since raters aren’t able to leave open-ended comments, it provides anonymity and ensures that answers are constructive to the leader being reviewed.

The entire collection of reviews is stored on a server owned by Wiley, not the participating organization so no one internally has access to the raw data.

5. Review what your 360 measures

A 360 review should result in actionable and constructive feedback. It should offer patterns of behavior to note. Honest, straightforward feedback is essential for the process to be meaningful.

For example here’s what Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders raters will see:

  •  72-item Leadership Behavior section about how the leader tends to lead
  • 24-item Leadership Requests section asking which leadership practices you’d like the leader to do more of

6. Make the results easy to understand and act upon.

We suggest hiring a trained executive coach to walk through any 360 with the leader. Coaches can offer support and follow-up. They can also hold the leader accountable for working on a development plan.

Results should be easily read by the leader and not just a data dump. Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders gives you 360 feedback plus three strategies for development—telling you where to spend your energy to improve your leadership effectiveness.

7. Don’t forget a wrap up

Reviews of any sort take time and the people involved will want to know that their efforts mattered. Discuss the process with everyone involved. Ask what worked and what changes should be made at each phase of the process. Thank participants. Let the organization know if more 360s will be used in the future or if this program will be repeated to track the development of those reviewed.


What I’ve learned from DiSC over the years – episode 2

Everything DiSC dot showing a Di styleLike my colleague, I’ve seen my dot move – but not by much. I’ve been taking DiSC assessments for 20 years and I’m surprised by how little my dot has actually moved. Even back when the report showed a graph my style has always been very high D and I, and low S with a little more C. I am still high on action and short on patience, more accepting than skeptical, and more outspoken than reflective.

What I have learned is that even though I’m strongly inclined toward the iD style, I am adaptable and that it takes effort for me to understand what others need so I can do a better job providing it.

Read more What I’ve learned from DiSC over the years – episode 2

Self-awareness and DiSC

HBR articleI wanted to say a few things about Harvard Business Review’s recent article, “Research: We’re Not Very Self-Aware, Especially at Work.”


I was struck by this sentence:

“It’s no secret that many of the most popular developmental assessments used for gaining self-knowledge, such as the MBTI, DiSC, The Birkman Method, and The Core Values Index, woefully lack evidence linking their results to actual learning or job performance.”


Read more Self-awareness and DiSC

What I’ve learned from DiSC over the years

I was looking at two different Everything DiSC Workplace profiles I took several years apart. My basic C style remains, but I’ve moved much more towards the outside and towards D. What does this tell me?




I believe that as I’ve aged I’ve become more comfortable being who I am, and in asserting my priorities. I’ve become more myself. I’ve also become much more comfortable moving into another style. So while I don’t typically seek out collaboration, for example, I am not ill at ease working that way. I’ve accepted that I’m introverted and that it’s not a character defect, as another example. So when I see phrases on the DiSC questionnaire that might have seemed a little undesirable to me in the past, I accept them now because I know that my preference does not equal my ability. I can show enthusiasm and be supportive even if I don’t show a strong preference for those behaviors.


Read more What I’ve learned from DiSC over the years

What we love about each DiSC style

FranklyHearts-1, each of us sometimes experiences frustration due to the styles of others. We can lose patience with or just not “get” another person. Even in our office, you might hear a comment like “Can you soften that D a bit while we discuss the issue?” or “Can you reach into some C to take care of those reports?” But we also really love each style and try to learn from each of them.

It’s a common facilitation technique to go around the room and tell each person what you appreciate about them so we decided to do that with each DiSC style. These are comments from our own staff about what we love and appreciate about each style. Please share what you love about a coworker or family member with a different style than yours. We’ve reversed the order here just to change things up. Our “i” staff member likes that.


Read more What we love about each DiSC style