The best questions to put into your 360-degree surveys to build better leaders

Being a truly great, transformational leader starts with understanding the impact that you and your leadership style are having on those around you. You need to find your strengths and your opportunities for growth. This is where the 360-degree survey comes in, but without asking the right questions, you’re not going to get the answers that you need for improvement, which leads to a stall in your leadership development. So, what are the most effective transformational leadership survey questions that you should include in your 360-degree survey?

Top questions to develop your leaders

There are a variety of questions that you could ask your employees regarding how they feel about their managers, but in our experience, some of the most effective questions that provides actionable insight and guidance to the managers include:

Does this person respect the people in their team, and across the company?

Is the manager Able to gather, interpret and clearly communicate information?

Does the manager help the people on their team grow professionally, by holding them accountable, monitoring performance and providing effective coaching and mentoring?

Does the manager consider the opinions of those in their team when making decisions?

Does the person challenge the status quo in a productive way and act as a catalyst for positive change?

Is the manager courageous? Are they willing to make difficult decisions and back themselves and their team?

Does the manager keep control of their emotions, even during conflict or stress?

Can this manager resolve conflict in a way that is satisfactory for all involved?

What these questions will quickly highlight is not just whether the manager is able to deliver to deadlines and KPIs, but also how they get there – is it a positive experience working with this person, and are they adding value to the organisation by recognising and developing talent?

How managers can use these results

The feedback provided by the 360-degree survey is anonymous, so the manager can look at the results dispassionately and focus on the data. What they’ll see at a glance are their strengths and weaknesses, and this will give them a clear pathway in their career development. For example, a manager might be very good at handling conflict as a positive quality, but on the other hand people on the team might not feel like they’re given the opportunity to grow professionally, highlighting that the manager would benefit from spending time working on their mentorship capabilities.

The rest of the organisation can benefit from these surveys, too. Future business leaders can be identified based on the qualities that the organisation needs at its executive layer. If there is a lot of staff churn, it might be because the managerial team lack certain qualities.

It is important to focus the survey on the professional and leadership capabilities of the manager, rather than whether they’re personally likable or highly competent themselves. There is some cross-over, but it rarely matters whether the manager is brilliant in their own work, well-liked within their team or whether they’re a natural extrovert or introvert. In fact, focusing on these personal qualities is what often obscures a manager’s professional weaknesses.

If you need help building your 360-degree transformational leadership survey questions, speak to the team at MultiRater Surveys. We have a long history in helping organisations gain the deepest insights into their leadership team.