Validating Perception: 7 Steps to Make 360 Reviews Effective

by Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

How do your colleagues, superiors and subordinates view you? Do you know? Do you even care?  You better!  As an Executive Coach this tool has become valuable in understanding behavioral blind spots. It validates perspectives and perceptions.  This great instrument must be carefully introduced with emphasis on uncovering the good and the blind spots.

  1. Introduction: Make it positive and frame the activity as a learning opportunity. Frequently the person being rated is nervous because they believe this will be their demise. Begin by having people privately rate themselves. Take a copy for your records. At this time, I prefer to give no feedback.
  1. woman-with-magnifying-glassAnonymity: Tell each person who is rating your employee (or you!) their answers will be totally anonymous. If this is for their superior, the group can be nervous about retribution so put their minds at ease.
  1. Use a simple format: One page. Tailor the questions/statements to the individual and their position. If you would like a sample, please email me at and I will send you a sample in Word so you can tailor it to your needs.
  1. Rater: My preference is to ask a wide variety of people to complete the scorecard–colleagues, subordinates, superiors, even clients and vendors.
  1. Instruction and answer scale: Make the instructions clear in your email. If raters are hesitant, many times I will call them first to explain we are looking for what they do well and don’t know, as well as what can be a future goal. Suggest each question/statement be read just once so first ‘perception’ is gathered. Again, stress anonymity.
  1. Recap: Indicate all responses on one sheet. Have the person being evaluated take their initial self-rated scorecard and review outcomes with them. Do this in person when possible. Outline statements where they thought they were performing poorly and then go through potential goals (they rated themselves well but others did not).
  1. Communicate: Take the results back to the ‘rating’ group and let them know what will be set as goals and what was a surprise. When this step is missed, people will stop answering surveys because their perception is that nothing is ever done with the results.

The scorecard is a simple way to review perception and will help improve communications, drive better outcomes and help people grow. I have used this with every level of employee.

When you have questions on the implementation of this important tool, please let me know!

Thank you! Marsha
Cell: 602 418-1991
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Speaker, Coach, Author
Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA
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