Why 360 Feedback Is Important for Leadership Branding

For today’s leader to be successful, it essentially comes down to personal brand; what we are known for and what we deliver. Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing an image or impression in the mind of others about yourself.

How do you develop a leadership brand?

A leadership brand is created by the way people behave, react and interact. It helps leaders define their value proposition and maximise their impact and influence on the organisations culture.

You already have a leadership brand, you have a reputation based on your current leadership skills. Often, we only get to truly understand what our leadership brand is when we ask for feedback on our leadership skills and behaviours.

Using 360 feedback to deliver powerful insight

360 feedback is used to develop high-performing employees and build stronger teams with insights that drive development, productivity and engagement. As the name suggests, it provides feedback from all angles; from peer groups, to managers, to team members and even customers. As this communication comes from a variety of different sources it will contain a multitude of differing opinions and perspectives, which is of vital importance when looking for feedback. It’s a well-rounded view of skills and behaviours provided by the observational feedback (seen you do it) and reputational feedback (I think you do it). In a sense, it is often seen as more valid and objective than 180 feedback as it is from such a varied audience.

There are two types of respondents we typically ask for feedback when completing a 360 survey – those who give observational feedback and those who give reputational feedback.

Let us explain in a little more detail…

Observation feedback is from a respondent that has ‘seen you do it’. This is typically a line manager or direct report group. This feedback is important as it helps you to evaluate and examine what behaviours you are displaying on a day to day basis (and those you aren’t).

Reputational or perception feedback is from a respondent that might say “I think you do that”. They are basing their answer on perception or what they have observed from a distance. If we link this back to the concept of leadership branding, the feedback from this group helps you to understand what leadership behaviours you are famous for.

The reputational feedback concept is one that has really taken off in the last few years. As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon once said “your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”.  As with any other brand, your personal brand is based on people’s expectations of how you will behave or perform. 

A well rounded 360 feedback survey will increase self-awareness and provide insights into behaviours and how people are perceived in the organisation. Individuals can identify blind spots, a starting point for developing new skills and behaviours. It will also allow leaders to identify strengths, which can contribute to a tailored development plan. Focusing on strengths is key to an employee’s career growth and the success of the organisation.

Leaders shouldn’t underestimate the power of a 360 survey when looking at their reputation and personal brand. The time spent with a coach, discussing, analysing and using the feedback to develop their personal action plan can motivate and energise leaders and managers, focusing them on their strengths and development areas that inspire personal change. 

Would you like to know what people say about you when you’re not in the room?

Book a demo for our Vibe 360 here or request a brochure to find out more.


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