The ultimate guide to executive coaching in 2022
(a 360 review of 360 coaching)

People working in medium to large organizations have probably taken part in 360 assessments, whether formally in an annual performance process, or less formally to improve results. These kinds of assessments are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the quality of management and leadership practices that also need to have a comprehensive panorama; we’ll call it: “360 management and leadership”. Developing multiple sources of feedback in the organizational culture, and considering multiple feedback layers is the starting point for allowing employees of all levels to have a voice, and for leaders to truly assess the performance and improvement needs of themselves and the organization.

360 management and leadership

Many executives wish to develop a 360 feedback culture in their organizations. 360 leadership calls for managers to communicate with stakeholders at all levels in their organization and beyond, not just with their teams and supervisors. 360 leadership also considers both the management of work and the management of people, separately and together as one large whole. Furthermore, the 360 scope has widened in modern work environments. Typical questions that managers ask themselves are about:

  • The meaning of leadership and management in my own performance and in the perception of others
  • Finding the balance between team development and micro-management
  • Enhancing the circle of influence
  • Fostering teamwork inside teams and among them
  • How not to forget the people aspects and motivation in a performance-oriented environment
  • Effective communication methods in an agile environment

360 leadership may seem an overwhelming objective. Fostering a coaching culture in the organization for managers’ development at all ranks is a good place to start. Individual managers and the organization can both benefit from 360 executive coaching. This article looks at 360 leadership, executive coaching methods, and their effects and outcomes.

coaching culture-a good place to start

What defines 360 leaders and why do we need them?

360 leaders understand work and people as a whole interactive system. They develop and cultivate a culture of feedback at all levels, and integrate continuous improvement and change concepts. Their mantra is: “There is always room for improvement – always!”
Such organizations excel in internal and external communication. 360 leaders don’t limit their role to personal area of responsibility, rather they influence and contribute to success at multiple layers. They are champions of the company’s vision while developing an open work environment that’s rich with teamwork and free of prejudice.

360 leadership mantra

360 leaders are more self-aware. They assess performance holistically for themselves, their employees and the organization. These managers are mentors who drive success in people across hierarchies. People look up to them. 360 executives are most valuable to the organization. They play a crucial role in motivation and significantly contribute to business growth, agility and success. However, this comes with a price; the more complex the organization and its work, the more difficult it is to reach this level of leadership.

How to become a 360 degree leader?

One of the first concepts to accept is that feedback drives the improvement of results – at all levels. But reality shows that unless it is ingrained in the culture, the higher you are in the hierarchy, the less honesty you receive in feedback. Continuous improvement in modern work environments depends on constant feedback and learning. 360 executives have to step out of their comfort zone, and lead their organizations and teams to do so as well.

Constant pressure on managers is the nature of life in organizations these days. On one hand 360 management and leadership should be an integral part of the environment. On the other, it is also crucial to achieve a healthy workload balance in order to achieve enduring success.

360 healthy workload balance

For today’s pressure-cooker environments mentoring and executive coaching are an absolute necessity. A good coach can help you analyze the performance of your team and organization, assess improvement needs and unlock the potential for excellence. In 360 executive coaching continuous feedback lies at the base of developing 360 leadership attributes.

What does executive coaching include?

In executive coaching a professional and experienced coach works closely together with the executive. This on-the-job relationship is a proven method to help achieve organizational and personal goals. The coaching focuses on the here and now and the potential, always looking one or two steps ahead. The coaching helps freeing bottlenecks in the whole system, removing obstacles and creating alternatives for growth. Executive coaching enables leaders to find approaches and resources within themselves to maximize their personal and professional potential. The organization as a whole benefits from this growth of its leader.

360 on the job integral coaching

What is the difference between coaching and 360 executive coaching?

Any coaching helps the development of individuals. 360 executive coaching that’s done “on the job” benefits the entire organization. The coaching looks at the leader’s personal attributes and professional goals and the performance of the organization. It’s an integrated process.

Benefits for the coached executive are:

  • Creating an operational strategy for every unit in the organization
  • Improving strategic planning
  • Better decision-making processes
  • Effective communication
    Leadership during crisis and managing conflicts
  • Enhanced work-life balance
  • Role transition and higher confidence

Benefits for the organization are:

  • Teamwork and commitment to excellence
  • Increased clarity and motivation
  • Empowerment, ownership and sense of responsibility
  • Higher employee retention rates
  • Effective implementation of change
  • Enhanced team agility and support

What is a 360 view in coaching?

360 coaching helps you lead and take advantage of opportunities that are part of the constant change:

360 planning: Long and short-term plans are designed to enhance teamwork and improve the organization’s predictability.

360 teamwork: Teamwork is a mindset, not a slogan. When teamwork works, the goals are shared and each member has a direct interest in the success of other team members.

360 performance: The coaching focuses on the leadership skills that bring significant improvement to the organization’s performance as a whole. Each leader shows direct interest in the success beyond their own area of responsibility.

360 strategy: Each team, no matter its size, should have an operational strategy that covers work, people, processes and organizational improvements. It should be connected to the global organizational strategy to reflect the different roles and how they affect each other.

360 communication: Influencing people at all levels, inside and outside the organization. For example, how marketing and sales affect the work of the rest of the organization.

360 measurements: Know your key metrics. This is especially important in the context of digital transformation.


A successful 360 coaching grows with time. It enhances the skills of the coached leader as new opportunities arise.
360 executive coaching grows with time

What is the executive coaching model and what differentiates the 360 model?

These are a few of the coaching models: GROW; COACH; FUEL; SOAR; Fierce Conversations; and Purpose, Perspectives, Process.

Their process and principles are similar:

  1. Defining objectives and success criteria
  2. Assessing current practices
  3. Determining required improvement points
  4. Removing obstacles and reviewing alternatives
  5. Planning the work
  6. Working the plan

The coaching focuses on the initial needs assessment and the success criteria are determined at the start of the process. Its aim is to fix the initial findings that are analyzed from the past.

linear vs. 360 executive coaching approaches

The 360 coaching is a much-improved model. It adopts the concepts of continuous improvement and the needs that stem from multiple circles and reviews that are constantly changing. It continuously adjusts the coaching according to the current and forward-looking needs.

360 coaching continuous improvement

Why is 360 executive coaching important?

Taking the time to learn leadership skills is challenging; perfecting them is near impossible in unstable operational and business circumstances. That’s why we keep hearing that organizations need to be agile. Managers need to cope with diverse stakeholders in and out of the organization. They are required to support their teams, communicate ever-changing expectations, and influence at all levels. Ongoing 360 coaching is key to success!

Benefits of 360 coaching for leaders

360 executive coaching helps managers and leaders in the organization develop skills and experience to realize positive, meaningful and measurable change. Coached executives gain and accumulate maximum experience from every position they hold in any industry or discipline.

  • Turning vision into action
  • Communicating objectives clearly
  • Motivating employees and partners
  • Ensuring progress with rational and usable metrics

When to use 360 executive coaching

Organizations should develop and incorporate 360 coaching to:

  • Enhance teamwork and develop an open feedback culture
  • Identify talent
  • Develop approaches to retain key employees
  • Enhance agility and engagement in a changing business environment
  • Improve organizational performance

Executives should consider a 360 executive coaching to:

  • Prepare for a new role
  • Accelerate personal development and maximize experience from each position
  • Enhance communication and teamwork mindset

The principle of the 360 coaching is that the best learning happens in real life resolving actual challenges rather than the analysis of history. In order to raise the level of self-awareness and recognize blind spots, 360 assessments could be useful in putting the right mindset of feedback culture into the organizational DNA and to begin the process of 360 coaching. In general 360 coaching provides executives with a confidential and safe space to discuss their challenges.

360 coaching for real-life learning

How to evaluate executive coaching?

Evaluating the process of coaching and assessing progress is done at multiple vectors:

The participant: Level of satisfaction and a sense of progress

Competencies: Observed improvement in specific skills

Behavioral change: Adoption of new behaviors in dealing with people

Business results: Noticeable improvements in hard and soft metrics

The bottom line: Increasing confidence in management and leadership

360 executive coaching outcomes

360 coaching gives the executive tools and best practices that affect the way they do their job, in the short and long run. It’s an investment in one’s lifelong career. Seeing immediate results is crucial to the learning process. 

360 coaching benefits the entire organization

360 leadership should no longer be overwhelming, but second nature. Team support and an open environment should be an intrinsic cultural value in your daily work and in that of your organization. You will know your way around important metrics. You and your team will quickly undertake the required changes to gain improved results. You will motivate and mentor others to drive organizational change.

You are no longer threatened by your objectives. The coaching is designed to unfold and maximize professional and personal development for your success and satisfaction

FAQs – 360 executive coaching

360 executive coaching online – is it possible?

Coaching, virtual learning and remote work environments are now accepted as feasible and valid, even for the deepest levels of development and change.
Comprehensive online courses that include videos, exercises, templates and personal communication can create an effective coaching experience. Personal guidance can enhance this learning experience.

360 executive coaching pricing

The cost of coaching may vary greatly depending on the scope of service, experience of the coach and the level of the executive in the organization. Discuss the scope of the coaching program and your expectations openly with your coaching provider to make sure you are getting the value you expect.

How to find best executive coaching services

A comprehensive coaching program will include assessment and evaluation tools. For 1:1 coaching chemistry is key. It is highly advised to go through a “get to know your coach” conversation before making a commitment to a specific coaching program.


Ofra Kleinberger-Riedrich

Ofra brings over 18 years’ extensive international marketing communications experience, including blogging, in various industries and about diverse technologies. She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and works internationally with renowned companies in high-tech, biotech and investing.

Ofra Kleinberger-Riedrich-Content-specialist