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Executive coaching: 360-degree feedback

By Julian Lewis October 30, 2022

360_degree_feedback - we want your feedback

Executive coaching is a great way for executives to receive constructive feedback from all angles and improve in all areas of their work. With this type of coaching, the executive receives responses from colleagues, managers, and subordinates alike. Providing 360-degree feedback gives a more holistic view of the executive's performance, which can help employees pinpoint blind spots.

What is 360-degree feedback?

This feedback also known as a multi-rater or multi-source response is a type of coaching that involves providing feedback from all angles. This method allows for a more holistic view of the executive's performance and can help them to identify areas where they may need improvement while highlighting their strengths. With this helpful feedback, executives can get responses from their colleagues, managers, peers, and subordinates to gain a better understanding of how they're performing in all aspects of their work.

Whether you're an experienced executive, a middle manager looking for coaching, or a first-time manager providing feedback, the 360-degree response can be an incredibly effective tool for improving your performance and decision-making skills at work. So if you're ready to take your career to the next level, consider using this approach to start getting the response you need and making positive changes in all areas of your work.

How does 360-degree feedback work?

360_degree_feedback - executive and the team

There are several steps involved in this feedback. First, the executive or manager works with a coach to identify the areas they want to focus on - such as leadership skills, communication skills, or diversity and inclusion.

Next, they gather responses from their colleagues, managers, peers, and subordinates by sending out surveys with open-ended and close-ended questions and having one-on-one meetings with participants to discuss the response they've received.

Finally, they work with their coach to analyze the results and come up with a plan for improving in the areas where they need help and develop best practices. This may involve developing new skills or strategies, taking on new responsibilities, or working more closely with their manager, team members, or other employees.

Overall, this feedback is a powerful tool for improving at work. Whether you're an executive looking for coaching or a manager providing responses to your group members, this approach can help you gain valuable insight into your strengths and weaknesses so that you can become a more effective and successful leader.​

How to apply 360-degree feedback to executive coaching

If you're looking for effective ways to improve as an executive, this feedback may be the answer. This approach involves receiving responses from all angles - including your colleagues, managers, peers, and subordinates - to give you a more holistic view of your performance and help you identify areas where you can improve while highlighting your strengths.

There are many benefits to using this feedback. First, it allows you to get valuable insights into all aspects of your work, giving you a more complete understanding of how you're performing and what areas can be strengthened. Second, it can help you evolve new skills and strategies to become a more effective and successful leader.

To apply 360-degree feedback best practice guidelines, you will first need to work with a coach or mentor who can help you identify the areas that you want to focus on. This might include improving your leadership skills, communicating more effectively, or managing your time more efficiently.

Next, you will need to gather responses from other employees including colleagues, managers, peers, and subordinates by sending out surveys or holding one-on-one meetings to discuss the results.

Finally, you can work with your coach to analyze the answers and feedback that you've received and come up with a plan for improving in the areas where you need help. This may involve developing new problem-solving skills or strategies, taking on new responsibilities, or working more closely with your direct reports.

Overall, using this response can be an effective way to enhance your performance and achieve greater success in your career. With the guidance of a coach or mentor, you can use this approach to evolve the skills needed to reach your goals.​

Benefits of 360-degree feedback in coaching

360_degree_feedback - benefits of executive coaching

Some of the main benefits of this feedback include increased self-awareness, improved communication skills, and enhanced leadership abilities. With this approach, you are able to see your strengths as well as areas for growth in a more objective and comprehensive way.

Benefits the employee

There are many benefits to using this feedback for both individual employees and the organization as a whole. For employees, it can help them gain valuable insights into their performance and evolve the skills needed to become more effective and successful leaders. This in turn can improve an organization's overall performance by helping executives better manage their teams, communicate more effectively, and achieve greater success.

Some of the key benefits of this feedback in executive coaching include increased self-awareness, enhanced communication skills, and improved leadership abilities. With this approach, executives are able to gain a deeper understanding of their performance and recognize areas where they need to improve while also recognizing their strengths and accomplishments. Additionally, this type of response can help employees evolve the skills needed to become more effective and successful leaders within the organization, thereby improving overall performance and helping the company achieve its goals.

Benefits the company (and human resources)

As an executive in today's fast-paced business environment, it is essential to have the skills and abilities needed to lead your team effectively. 360-degree feedback can help you do this by providing a more comprehensive understanding of your performance, strengths, and areas for improvement.

This type of feedback can benefit both employees and the company as a whole. For employees, it can help them gain important insights into their performance and develop the skills and practices needed to become more effective leaders. Meanwhile, for employers or human resources teams, it can provide valuable data on employee performance that can be used to recognize areas for development and improve overall organizational effectiveness.

Overall, using 360-degree feedback can help employees and organizations alike achieve greater success by helping executives improve their decision-making skills and work with other colleagues or teams more effectively. With the guidance of a coach or mentor, you can use this approach to identify areas where you need improvement while also recognizing your strengths, which can ultimately lead to improved performance and greater success for both yourself and your organization.​

Benefits the coach

As an executive coach or mentor, using this feedback in your work can be a powerful tool for helping customers boost their performance and personal growth. This approach involves receiving responses from all angles - including managers, colleagues, subordinates, and peers - to give you a more comprehensive understanding of the client's strengths and areas for development.

Through this type of feedback, you are able to offer valuable insights and guidance that can help executives become more effective leaders for many organizations. In addition, by using a data-driven approach with open-ended and close-ended questions, you can track the progress of your customers and recognize any challenges or issues that arise as they work to improve themselves.

Interested in becoming an executive coach? Check out our Ultimate guide on how to become an executive coach, and our Life and career coaching: FAQs for more insights on the topic.

Open-ended versus closed-ended questions

360_degree_feedback - team members share feedback

One key difference between open-ended and closed-ended questions is that open-ended questions tend to elicit more detailed responses, while closed-ended questions typically provide more concrete or specific information. Open-ended questions are usually broader in scope and allow the respondent to express their thoughts and opinions freely, while closed-ended questions often have a clear "right" or "wrong" answer.

With this in mind, open-ended questions are often preferable as they allow the coach to gain a deeper understanding of the client's performance and recognize areas for growth. In contrast, closed-ended questions may be more useful when trying to gather specific information about an employee's performance or collect data on specific areas of development. Ultimately, the choice of question type will depend on the specific objectives and goals.

By using a combination of 360-degree feedback sample questions, you can help customers achieve greater success by guiding them through the process and providing valuable responses to support their growth and development.​

What makes a good 360-degree review question?

A good 360-degree performance review question should be focused on specific areas of performance or development that are relevant to the goals and objectives of the coaching process. It should also be open-ended, allowing for a more in-depth response from the individual being reviewed. Additionally, it should be data-driven, providing concrete information on how the executive is performing in specific areas.

Qualitative feedback

is often more valuable than quantitative feedback, as it offers a broader understanding of the individual's performance and can help the executive recognize areas where they need to focus their attention. For this reason, when creating 360-degree review questions, it is important to consider not only the specific information you want to gather but also how that information will be used in the coaching process.

Ultimately, the key to creating effective 360-degree review questions is to be thoughtful about your approach and tailor them to the goals of each client. By using a combination of open-ended and closed-ended questions, you can help clients achieve their goals by providing valuable feedback that supports their growth and development over time.

Examples of 360-degree questions

360_degree_feedback - executive talking with team

For a 360-degree feedback questionnaire, leadership might find it useful to include questions about an individual's communication skills, leadership abilities, and critical and strategic thinking. Some examples could include:

Example management questions

-How do you communicate with your team on a daily basis?

-In what areas would you like to see yourself grow in your leadership role?

-What strategies have you found most effective for driving change and implementing new ideas within your team or with an individual employee?

Example leadership questions

-What are some of the key qualities that you see as essential for effective leadership?

-How do you prioritize your time and center on the most important projects and initiatives?

-How do you motivate and inspire direct reports to achieve their best work?

How do you help an employee create a success plan for their future within the organization?

Example problem-solving questions

-How do you approach difficult situations or challenges in your role?

-What steps do you typically take to recognize and solve complex problems?

-How do you balance competing priorities and stay organized when dealing with multiple projects at once?

Example communication questions (does the employee communicate effectively?)

-How do you go about communicating with your team members and stakeholders?

-How do you respond when feedback or criticism is communicated to you?

-What are some of the key barriers that you face when communicating with others in your role?

Example interpersonal questions

-How do you collaborate and work with others in your group?

-What are some of the key skills that you think are necessary for successful teamwork?

-How do you handle conflict or disagreements with a person, or within your team or organization?

Example company alignment questions

-How do you ensure that your values, goals, and priorities are aligned with those of your organization?

-What steps do you take to stay up-to-date on changing trends or new developments in your industry?

-How do you balance the need for innovation with the need for stability and consistency?

Example motivations questions (is the employee motivated?)

-What are some of your key motivations and drivers in your role?

-How do you approach difficult or challenging projects, and how do you stay motivated when things get tough?

-How do you maintain a strong work ethic and willingness to go the extra mile for an employee or your group?

- Provide an example where you went the extra mile for another person.


Overall, 360-degree feedback is a great way to provide executives with a valuable and actionable response to their performance. By using best practice guidelines and a data-driven approach that considers both qualitative and quantitative information, coaches can help executives recognize areas for improvement and work toward achieving their goals. Whether it involves communicating more effectively, leading teams more effectively, or tackling complex problems in innovative ways, it can help executives grow and develop as leaders over time.

If you're interested in exploring more leadership feedback examples, check out our blog post on leadership feedback examples for additional insights and practical tips.

Read more about: Executive Coaching

About Julian Lewis

Julian Lewis is a driven and accomplished professional with a passion for driving positive change in the business world. He is the co-founder and COO at Zella Life.

His own experience as a professional of color in a Fortune 500 company led him to discover the limitations for advancement that many professionals like himself face. Determined to reach his full potential, Julian became an established business coach and entrepreneur, committed to supporting others in their pursuit of personal and professional growth.

Today, Julian is a recognized corporate trainer, coach, and leader, known for his ability to leverage real-life experiences and evidence-based methodologies to affect positive change within individuals and organizations. As the leader of Zella Life's coaching division, he is dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses to achieve their full potential.

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