Leadership Café

Leadership Tune-Up — UW ARC 360

Categories: Leadership features

Catherine Bachy, Organizational Excellence Partner

Leadership can be a lonely venture. Whether early in a career or after many years of experience, leaders inevitably develop blind spots in their awareness and in their effectiveness, yet the dynamics of authority and power sometimes get in the way of receiving honest feedback. A 360-degree assessment can be a vital tool in discovering what’s working and what’s not.

As the name suggests, 360 assessments rely on collecting feedback from people all around you, which may include staff, stakeholders, customers and the person or people you report to. It’s good to know what you’re doing well, where you are innately skillful, where you are brilliant! It’s also important to know where the shadows of your leadership style lurk. What are your blind spots? Where might you be getting in our own way?

Thinking about receiving this level or type of feedback makes some people feel anxious. I like to remind leaders that asking for feedback via a 360 assessment is a sign of courage and dedication to excellence. It models ongoing professional integrity and the willingness to invest in continuous learning and development.

POD’s UW ARC 360 program is designed to keep the leader in the driver seat of their learning and development. We offer guidelines on how to assemble a balanced group of raters to give you feedback. Responses to an online survey are collected anonymously and synthesized into a report that focuses on how you are doing against a set of leadership competencies. Once your ARC 360 is complete, an experienced executive coach will guide you through interpreting the report and developing an action plan to help you address areas in which you want to improve your leadership skills.

Four different assessments are offered based on competencies POD developed to reflect the work, scope and complexity of specific roles at the UW:

  • Chancellors and deans
  • Organizational leaders
  • Front-line supervisors
  • Individual contributors

The UW ARC 360 program is available through both the University Consulting Alliance and, for academic faculty and staff, through the Partnership for Organizational Excellence. For more information on the ARC 360 process, visit our website.

Need help getting started? Contact us at pod@uw.edu.