Project Management

7 Tips for Better 360-Feedback Evaluations

Lonnie Pacelli is an Accenture/Microsoft veteran with four decades of learnings under his belt. He frequently writes and speaks on leadership, project management, work/life balance, and disability inclusion. Reach him at [email protected] and see more at

One of the non-profit executives I coach is very hungry to learn and grow—and willing to receive feedback. During one of our meetings, I brought up the idea of having a 360-feedback evaluation done—not just on him, but on other senior leaders in the organization. He was very excited about what they could glean from it and said he would raise the idea with the organization’s executive committee.

The next month we met again, and I asked him how the idea was received. “I got some pushback,” he said. He told me the organization had a bad experience with 360 feedback when a prior leader who was an unwilling participant was required to undergo a 360-feedback evaluation.

Even though the feedback was intended to be anonymous, the leader went on a “Who said that?” rampage. What was intended to be a helpful tool to fuel the leader’s growth only exacerbated a culture of authoritarianism and fear. The leader was ultimately removed from his position, but not without damage done to the organization.

I am a huge fan of 360-feedback evaluations, a tool in which a participant and their leader, peers and followers evaluate them using a series of structured questions. With the 360 evaluations I’ve gone through, the results were presented to me in terms of how I view myself versus how my leader, peers and followers viewed me.

My …

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