by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 8/21/15.
In my leadership courses, I often give students an assignment to do a 360 Degree Feedback Questionnaire of their leadership.
But sometimes students have unique ministry situations and they wonder whom they should poll in their 360 Assessment of the Leadership. Basically there are three types of colleagues to whom leadership should be networked and who leaders can poll regarding their leadership style. Here is how I explain this to students:
These are people that you report to. They have higher authority than you, but oftentimes this may be only one person. Still, for some students this might be a board of a dozen people. Since you will want to poll only 8-12 people, don’t use up all of your selections from the board if you have one. Just get two to four people from the board. If you have only one person you report to, then that one manager is enough.
These are people working at the same level as you and who have parallel insights into your leadership “traits, abilities, skills and behaviors” (Northouse 2009:2-3). If they work on the same level as you, but have little contact with you, then they probably won’t be helpful so don’t poll them. Basically you are looking for people who observe how you lead and who lead in similar scenarios. This is sometimes called horizontal polling.
These are people that report to you. If you don’t have such people, you need them. Everyone should be discipling others. These are the people you are discipling in both spiritual and leadership areas. Plus, they are the recipients of your delegations. This would be analogous to the disciples, whom Jesus discipled over a period of three years.
Thus, anyone conducting a 360 Degree Feedback Questionnaire should have three readily available groups of people which they can poll.