Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … Do you have any experience or connection with a church that has employed a 360 type evaluation of the Senior Pastor?

DRF—While I have done 360 reviews, I’m not an expert in them. Nathan Baxter has an article on XPastor that talks about these types of reviews. He says:

What is a 360 performance evaluation? Technically speaking, it is an exercise where a leader receives anonymous feedback from those who work around him. This would include those in positions above, beside, and below. The process starts with each person, including the subject, answering a series of questions related to the various aspects of a leader’s primary responsibilities. The results are then put into a usable format. A professional coach then helps the leader interpret the results and develop a growth plan. This method of feedback is in contrast with the traditional, one-way feedback provided from supervisor to direct report.

My experience has been mixed with 360 reviews. While anonymity is helpful for gaining an unvarnished opinion, people are unaccountable for their words. I like a 360 review that is accountable. We did a 360 a while back with a senior leader and I asked each staff member to personally share their input with the leader. That brought accountability and there was honest feedback.

Let me ask Nathan Baxter to comment on this as 360 reviews are in his wheelhouse. After being a Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor for many years, he started the consulting group of Lead Self Lead Others.

Nathan—Using a 360 performance evaluation tool can be a very helpful exercise for some and dreadful for others. The key is whether or not the pastor being evaluated wants to be evaluated. 

The particular tool we use is very accurate and generates objective data on nine key leadership competencies for up to twenty participants including self, board, peers, direct report, and others. If a pastor genuinely wants to know how they can become more effective in their leadership, then I would recommend the 360 performance evaluation experience.