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Confidentiality in 360 Leadership Surveys?

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Recently I was contacted by a CEO who wanted to build his executive and management team.  He had the right people, but they weren’t operating as leaders of the business. They were more focused on their own technical areas than on the overall success of the business.

After some discussion he decided to do a 360 profile on each manager to build their leadership and team skills. As part of the process, the CEO was very eager to see the reports and find out each person’s ratings and what other managers said about them.  Although this might seem natural, it actually compromises the confidentiality of our process, and could be seen as a betrayal of trust – which would have damaged the moral of the leadership team.

Instead I suggested the CEO could receive a copy of each manager’s development plan and that he could meet with each manager and our coach and tailor a performance program ensuring the CEO’s goals for each manager were taken into account.  His response was great and we will go ahead on that basis.  The CEO will get the outcome he was looking for and the participants will feel that our 360 feedback process is about their development and we will maintain their trust.

It made me wonder though, if you did a 360 Profile, would you be o.k. with your CEO seeing your specific results?

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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