Leadership feedback


What is leadership feedback?

Leadership feedback is about gathering insights into the professional and personal development of a leader and then using this information to continuously improve their actions and behavior. This focus on improvement is vital but is unfortunately often neglected in practice.

Leadership feedback needs a 360-degree approach

To be truly effective and relevant, leadership feedback requires a 360 approach, with information gathered from managers, peers, teams and even customers via an online leadership feedback survey. This provides a comprehensive view of performance, uncovering strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. The leader also assesses themselves in order to compare their self-perception with that of others.

In contrast to traditional performance appraisals, 360-degree feedback identifies potential areas that would otherwise be missed, uncovering blind spots that are important for further development.

360 degree leadership feedback

It’s about much more than a performance appraisal

A 360-degree survey is less about measuring performance. Instead, it is about using valid feedback data to drive forward the leader’s professional and personal development. Their strengths should be identified and built on with the help of this holistic assessment, their weaknesses overcome and their potential exploited.

Are you looking for a 360-degree leadership feedback solution?

Tivian’s Leadership 360 provides leaders with round-the-clock feedback and insights, giving detailed understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses. Leadership 360’s integrated artificial intelligence also helps to create your own action plan for improvement – taking leadership development to a new level.

Leadership 360

Why is leadership feedback so important?

Leaders need feedback for further development

Leadership feedback is particularly important as managers rarely arrive fully formed. People often move through organizations into managerial roles based on their technical capabilities. But that doesn’t automatically qualify them to be a great leader. Effective leadership depends on a host of soft skills. Good leaders are visionaries and role models, with a close, trust-based relationship with their team members – these are some of the key factors that distinguish leaders from managers. Feedback plays a key role in developing these leaders and empowering them with the skills they need.

Great leaders need honest and regular leadership feedback from their people to hone their leadership skills and make meaningful changes. Only then can they develop their actions and maximize performance. This is particularly true around so-called soft skills such as empathy and communication, which can otherwise be difficult to measure.

Leadership feedback is the basis for good relationships

The importance of leadership feedback cannot be overestimated. Leadership feedback surveys are central to strengthening the relationships between leaders and employees. Strong relationships in the workplace promote better engagement, growth, and motivation of the entire team. Managers must show their employees that they are being heard and that their feedback is being used to initiate change. Then they will gain their trust.

(Young) leaders demand further development

Additionally, leadership feedback is something that managers themselves increasingly demand. For example, 69% of millennials said they are concerned their workplace doesn’t develop their leadership skills. If you want to attract and retain younger generations, you need to invest in leadership development and thus in leadership feedback.

Further leadership development promotes innovation and moves companies forward

Fail to develop your leaders and not only will company performance suffer, but they will leave. Gathering meaningful feedback from across the organization overcomes this issue, helping leaders to progress and grow. They can identify areas in need of improvement, become better aligned with their teams’ requirements and demands, and take actions to inspire and motivate employees – and this promotes increased commitment, performance and therefore innovation.

What are the different types of leadership feedback?

There are multiple types of leadership 360 degree feedback, each of which serves a unique purpose in motivating and developing leaders. Between these leadership feedback examples they can evaluate most key leadership skills, including communication, teamwork, decision making, empowerment, empathy, problem solving and overall performance.

Positive Feedback

Positive feedback provides praise for leaders around specific progress or actions. This helps motivate and engage them, showing their strengths and reinforcing the right behaviors. It is vital that any positive feedback is specific and backed up by examples – there’s no point just telling a leader that they’re doing a great job, without providing evidence.

Constructive Feedback

Constructive leadership feedback outlines opportunities for change, development, training, or new ideas. It is vital that it is not seen as negative feedback, but instead as a genuine way of helping someone to grow and improve.

Developmental Feedback

Developmental leadership feedback focuses on future growth and potential. It covers the areas that a leader needs to focus on to improve how they work. This could be by learning new skills or gaining new experiences and is often linked to being ready for the next promotion in a manager’s career.

Recognition-Based Feedback

This type of leadership feedback celebrates particular achievements, with the aim of boosting morale. It could be achieving a career milestone or demonstrating outstanding performance and leadership.

Situational Feedback

Situational leadership feedback concerns specific events or challenges, particularly when circumstances have changed or unexpected issues have arisen. It provides positive or constructive feedback on what the leader did, and the learnings to take forward into their development.

Competency-Based Feedback

Competency-Based leadership feedback evaluates specific leadership skills and abilities. It is about measuring proficiency in core leadership tasks, such as communication or driving engagement amongst the team. This feedback can be measured against the leader’s job description.

Future-Oriented Feedback

Future-Oriented leadership feedback focuses on preparing leaders for coming challenges or opportunities. It is therefore less about the skills and behaviors they are currently displaying, but instead more about how they can develop for the future.

How to use leadership feedback for leadership development

Leadership feedback is at the heart of leadership development. It should be used in these six ways:

To give targeted insights to leaders

It is difficult for anyone to objectively view their own performance. We naturally focus on our own strengths, rather than addressing weaknesses. It can also be difficult to accept feedback or act on it. By collecting 360 leadership feedback, managers benefit from a comprehensive, unbiased external view of their performance at all levels. As feedback is not coming from a single source, it is more balanced and easier to view impartially. That means it can provide targeted insights that allow leaders to develop in the right areas, boosting their effectiveness.

To build an open, transparent culture

Collecting leadership feedback sends a strong message to the entire company. It shows that the culture is open and transparent and that everyone’s views and feedback are valued. This has a positive impact on company morale and values, as well as boosting employee engagement.

This psychological safety encourages honesty at all levels and supports leaders in developing their skills. Leaders see receiving feedback as a positive, and something that they welcome as it helps them develop, rather than a negative comment on their performance.

To set and measure performance against goals

Clear goals keep everyone aligned and focused on meaningful work. Leaders want to feel that they have meaningful goals and to know how they are progressing towards achieving them.

Helping managers implement meaningful goals that improve their focus and keep them engaged is one powerful benefit of leadership feedback. Insights can be used to develop goals and objectives that are revisited and tailored towards a manager’s progression. Personalities and personal development can also be taken into account to ensure the goals are unique to the individual, setting them up for future success and, ultimately, better engagement.

To build stronger teams

By openly asking for feedback, leaders build trust with their teams, as everyone feels that their views are valued. It also enables leaders to involve the team in acting on feedback and working together to find solutions to issues, building a sense of ownership and engagement.

When we talk about leadership today, it is primarily about building trusting relationships and the ability to listen. While administrative tasks can be taken over by AI, leaders need to put people at the center of the business. 

To create leaders at all levels

Great leaders who demonstrate proactivity when it comes to growth and improvement inspire and motivate team members to do the same. They will actively want to learn and improve themselves, helping the business move forward. And, in today’s team-based working, you need more and more leaders.

To ensure that your leadership development program is effective

By using a 360 leadership feedback tool, you can collect insights for all of your managers across the organization. Analyzing results enables you to identify patterns from feedback at a company-wide level. This allows your organization’s leadership team to uncover blind spots in skills, detect areas of improvement and progression or pinpoint recurring themes.

For example, the tool could reveal that your leaders are struggling with communicating their vision or could reveal the need for further investment in learning and development programs. This can be used to update leadership development programs so that they are delivering the right training, mentoring skills to support leaderships in their growth.

Democratize management feedback in your company

Traditional methods of gathering 360 leadership feedback can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Tivian’s Leadership 360 platform overcomes these issues and helps harness the power of leadership feedback and use it to increase performance, strengthen your company culture and gain a competitive advantage.

It puts feedback and insights into the hands of leaders 24/7, while its AI function allows you to build a personalized plan to navigate responsive change that’s aligned with the needs of your teams.

Get to know Leadership 360 or read more about leadership.