180 and 360 tools

PPI and 360° instrument validity

A valuable tool for providing feedback to managers is a 180° or 360° instrument. Feedback is critical for managers and leaders developing an objective sense of self awareness and identifying their strengths and areas for development.

A 360° process involves gathering feedback on a specific behaviour or a range of behaviour from a wide group of people surrounding the manager (including direct reports) who are familiar with his or her behaviour. A 180° process usually only involves input from the manager’s supervisor and colleagues on the same level.
The instrument should include both numerical rating and qualitative feedback options.¹ The open comment on rating questions provides valuable feedback for the subject to help her or him understand the ratings.

Objective Feedback for the manager

While the process is subjective in that each individual gives their own opinion, the results are collated so that the manager receives a more objective analysis based on what those around him or her perceive. It provides a challenge to the manager to review her or his own self-image on the behavior especially where the feedback from others diverges significantly from own opinion.

Company validity considerations

To best fit the specific situation, the instrument has to be constructed based on accepted leadership practice ², company specific leadership principles as well as following some ground rules with regards to the technical aspects of the instrument construction; especially the validity ¹.

The face validity is very important for tools designed to a company specific purpose. Face validity in this case means that the model or design:

  • makes sense and when reviewed would seem to do what it says it does;
  • is accepted by company management and involved employees;
  • includes dimensions that are relevant to the company culture and the specific situation, behaviours or issues being evaluated.

Developing PPI instruments
PPI has a track record of developing both 360 instruments for generic use as well as for specific client use.

Examples of generic use instruments we have developed include:

  • The Team Assessment tool for providing a confidential feedback to a team on how well they are performing as seen by each of the team members. It provides a very valuable starting point for analyzing strengths and weaknesses in team performance. 
  • The Coaching Mirror to provide feedback on coaching skills for managers – how well do they coach the people around them at the present time.
  • Assessing Business Partner Skills to provide feedback on behavior as a business partner based on a standard consulting model. It provides feedback on how good am I as an internal business consultant.
  • The Manager Feedback Tool to provide feedback to newly appointed or high potential managers on how well they are doing versus a standard set of management competencies.
  • The Leadership Feedback Tool to provide feedback to established senior managers and leaders on how well they are doing versus a standard set of leadership competencies. 
  • When developing 180° or 360° instruments for client companies the instrument is designed to measure the leadership principles, behavior and values in play. Therefore, a thorough analysis of the company leadership values and principles is undertaken for constructing every instrument.

We have a strong experience in developing and administering 360° processes for our clients. We have developed specific instruments tailored to organization leadership behavior and values for individual leadership programs.

We have also developed instruments to support specific skill sets. Examples of client specific instruments include:

  • A leadership feedback tool for a Finnish multinational in the paper industry incorporating their values and the value based behavior desired as well as key competencies relevant for the leaders in the transition and development of the company.
  • A personal leadership feedback tool for a Swedish multinational company in the steel industry incorporating their values and including the desired leadership behaviours defined by the top 70 leaders of the organisation as being most relevant for the current business context. This tool is reported in Chinese, Swedish, French and English to meet the needs of the participants.
  • A management feedback tool for a Finnish multinational company in the building industry based on their defined management competency model. This tool was made available in English, Finnish, Polish and Lithuanian.
  • A leadership feedback tool for a Swedish multinational based on their leadership competency model.

Read more in our Services: Objective Feedback

¹ Lepsinger & D. Lucia: “The Art and Science of 360 degree Feedback” (2009).
² Accepted Leadership Practice used in PPI models (“The John Nichols model of Leadership”, “Authentic Leadership – Bill George”, The practical experience of our network of consultants over the last 20 years).


About the Author

Nils Munck

Nils Munck

Nils has more than twenty years of senior management experience developing and adapting HR organizations, systems and processes to strengthen the execution of business strategies and company performance. He has been part of the Top Management Teams in several global companies having the dual roles as overall HR responsible and company business executive.