UI LEAD Rater Tutorial

Our goal is to support raters in providing objective and constructive 360-degree feedback to colleagues. Research and best practices suggest that raters should be aware of errors and biases that naturally exist.

General Recommendations for Enhancing Objectivity

  1. Be aware of the possible biases described below.
  2. Rate each behavior assessed independent from others.
  3. Consider the range of experiences you have had with this individual, not the first or the last. 
  4. If the individual modified their behaviors in the past few months, assess the new patterns of behavior.
  5. If you have not observed the behavior in question, select “N/A.”
  6. Provide constructive written comments. All narrative comments will be reported as written. 

Understanding Rater Bias

Literature on 360 assessments suggests that raters may be susceptible to unintentional biases which greatly reduce the effectiveness of 360-degree feedback. The best solution is for the rater is to be aware of these possible biases.

 Halo/Devil Effect

  • Tendency to form a generalized (positive or negative) impression and rate the individual high or low on all rating criteria.

 Leniency/Severity Bias

  • Tendency to be more lenient or severe on all rating criteria than one's peers.

 Central Tendency

  • Tendency to evaluate an individual as “average” on all rating criteria.

 Recency Bias

  • Tendency to base rating solely on the most recent performance/behaviors.

360 Assessments/Competencies

Definitions of competencies (skills/behaviors) assessed in Executive View 360:

Performance Leadership

  • Visionary Leadership
    Develops a clear direction and "picture" for the future of the business. Creates a long-term, big picture view of the business. Creates a climate that supports future-based thinking, analysis, and decision-making.
  • Drive for Results
    Focuses on bottom-line results and achievement of goals. Sets and pursues aggressive business goals. Monitors and addresses team and organizational performance issues.
  • Technological Leadership
    Allocates financial and human resources to acquire and utilize the most appropriate technologies in information, communication and operational systems for competitive advantage.
  • Financial Leadership
    Understands and applies key financial information in the development of strategy, allocation of resources, capital expenditures, and overall corporate decision-making. Effectively allocates resources through the development and analysis of income and expense budgets.
  • Cross-Functional Versatility
    Maximizes value by ensuring that all decisions and practices add superior value. Effectively builds cross-functional capabilities through strategic alliances. Effectively encourages cross-functional partnerships in achieving corporate goals.
  • Depth of Industry Knowledge
    Is a consummate consumer of industry information. Frequently attends seminars, conferences, classes, and other educational opportunities to deepen industry knowledge. Teaches (shares) with others information, knowledge, and industry best practices.
  • Political Leadership
    Understands the dynamics of political systems and power relationships within the organization. Strategically asserts political power and influence to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Fosters a culture that minimizes the negative aspects of political infighting.
  • Strategic Problem Analysis
    Analyzes situations, identifies alternative solutions, and develops specific actions; Gathers and utilizes available information in order to understand and solve organizational issues and problems.
  • Decision Making
    Makes high quality decisions when required. Thinks and plans strategically.

Change Leadership

  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
    Seeks opportunities to expand existing businesses. Take strategic risks in entering new markets, developing new products, and funding new business ventures.
  • Driving Strategic Direction
    Ability to identify and communicate achievable organizational strategies and initiatives. Identifies potential risks and opportunities to achieve business goals and objectives.
  • Driving Change
    Drives innovation and change. Creates and inspires innovative ideas, technologies and processes. Values and creates opportunities for innovative thinking that leads to the development of new products or services. Understands the need to allocate time, energy, and financial resources to creating a culture of innovation.

Interpersonal Leadership

  • Building Strategic Relationships
    Ability to initiate and cultivate strategic internal and external networking relationships that foster both individual and organizational goals. Builds and maintains effective and collaborative relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  • Empowering Others
    Inspires extraordinary performance by fostering empowerment. Motivates others to achieve superior business performance by supporting autonomy and independence. Supports risk-taking and innovation.
  • Team Building
    Ability to create and develop motivated, cohesive, and high-performance teams.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness
    Ability to effectively manage interpersonal relations in a cooperative, sensitive and collaborative manner. Seeks to listen and understand diverse viewpoints. Expresses sensitivity and empathy towards others.
  • Oral Communication/Presentation
    Ability to present individual and organizational viewpoints to groups in a clear and persuasive manner. Ability to express written thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner. Ability to convey oral thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner.
  • Influence/Negotiation
    Ability to negotiate and effectively resolve interpersonal differences with others. Ability to utilize appropriate interpersonal styles and approaches in facilitating a group towards task achievement.
  • Coaching/Talent Development
    Ability to attract, develop and retain talent. Ability to coach, train and develop others.

Personal Leadership

  • Self-Development
    Ability to effectively manage one's own time, energy and abilities for continuous personal growth and maximum performance.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
    Ability to maintain balance and performance under pressure and stress. Ability to effectively cope with ambiguity and change in a constructive manner.
  • Engenders Trust
    Acts with courage. Confronts difficult issues and takes constructive and responsible action. Acts with integrity. Displays honesty and candor.

Reprinted with permission from Envisia Learning.

Definitions of competencies (skills/behaviors) assessed in Leader View 360:

Problem Solving

  • Recognizing trends - monitors data regularly to be aware of trends in services and products provided.
  • Generating ideas - looks for and accepts alternative solutions.
  • Evaluating and acting on ideas - uses clear process to judge potential of specific actions and provides direction.


  • Planning for the future - ensures that the organization’s vision is shared and acted through staff actions.
  • Adapting to change - provides purpose, resources and support to guide staff through change.
  • Setting goals and objectives - drives efforts to link goals and objectives of each level to the organization’s mission.


  • Organizing and orchestrating events - looks for cross-functional opportunities within area to maximize efficiencies.
  • Monitoring and controlling performance - provides feedback to improve, maintain or recognize staff performance.
  • Meeting schedules and deadlines - provides focus, resources, process improvement to maintain goals.
  • Producing high-quality work - sets, communicates, evaluates and celebrates achievement of standards.
  • Maintaining high productivity - provides climate that supports people doing their best work using examined processes.
  • Meeting commitments - role models keeping promises and how to respond when commitments change.

Managing Self

  • Handling pressure - recognizes their role in maintaining a culture where pressure is handled positively.
  • Coping with own frustration - recognizes own feelings and acts to work productively.
  • Developing own capabilities - continuously seeks learning new skills and applying them.
  • Responding to feedback - is open to feedback, evaluates it and uses it to improve.
  • Balancing work and personal life - develops personal view of quality time and effort in many aspects of living.

Managing Relationships

  • Initiating relationships - understands that positive working relationships require intent and time.
  • Maintaining relationships - knows that effort to maintain positive working relationships are necessary to an environment that encourages risk and innovation.
  • Resolving conflict - attends to resolving conflict because it negatively impacts productivity.
  • Responding to others' needs - is able to be flexible in responding to individuals using different approaches.


  • Delegating responsibility - gives staff the direction, tools and support to work independently.
  • Facilitating meetings - ensures that meetings are productive and inclusive.
  • Motivating and inspiring others - coaches staff to engage in meeting goals and making improvements.
  • Developing other people - teaches, shares, empowers, provides resources, etc., to assist staff to grow.
  • Giving recognition to others - thanks staff for both effort and results in informal and formal ways.
  • Building the team - provides direction, support and resources to maintain teams.


  • Articulating ideas and information - recognizes needs of audience in conveying information.
  • Listening to others -  attends to the intent, feelings and thoughts of others before stating own ideas.
  • Keeping other people informed - recognizes that information is required to engage staff.
  • Giving performance feedback - engages in collaborative and regular feedback with all reports.
  • Communicating expectations - ensures that staff know what is required of them.
  • Expresses exciting visions of the future - keeps the vision and importance of the work immediate by communicating regularly with staff about the “big picture” and their role in it.

Reprinted with permission from Envisia Learning.

Definitions of competencies (skills/behaviors) assessed in Manager View 360:


  • Listening
    Listens and understands the verbal communications of others.
  • Two-Way Feedback
    Keeps others informed in a timely manner.
  • Written Communication 
    Expresses written thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner.
  • Oral Communication
    Conveys oral thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner.
  • Oral Presentation
    Presents individual and organizational viewpoints to groups in a clear and persuasive manner.
  • Vision/Goal Setting
    Shares a common vision and develops strategic goals for the organization.

Performance Management

  • Planning/Organizing
    Sets realistic and measurable goals and allocates resources.
  • Delegation
    Assigns work, clarifies expectations, and defines how individual performance will be measured.
  • Administrative Control/Follow-Up
    Develops procedures to evaluate and monitor job activities and tasks on an ongoing basis.
  • Performance Evaluation
    Provides on-going feedback and conducts timely and effective performance reviews.
  • Performance Management
    Provides others with regular and timely feedback on their performance and offers support when individuals are confronted with problems.
  • Recognizing/Rewarding
    Rewards and recognizes performance in a timely and appropriate manner.


  • Team Development
    Creates and develops motivated, cohesive, and high-performance teams.
  • Interpersonal Sensitivity
    Takes actions that demonstrate consideration for the feelings and needs of others.
  • Negotiation/Conflict Management
    Negotiates and effectively resolves interpersonal differences with others.
  • Coaching/Employee Development
    Attracts, develops and retains talent. Effectively coaches, trains and develops others.
  • Leadership/Influence
    Utilizes appropriate interpersonal styles and approaches in facilitating a group towards task achievement.
  • Employee Involvement
    Involves employees in organizational planning, decision-making and problem-solving processes.

Problem Solving

  • Problem Analysis
    Analyzes a situation, identifies alternative solutions, and develops specific actions.
  • Decisiveness/Judgment
    Makes high-quality decisions when required.

Reprinted with permission from Envisia Learning.

Definitions of competencies (skills/behaviors) assessed in Emotional Intelligence View 360:

Self Management

  • Self-Development
    Manages one's own time, energy and abilities for continuous personal growth and maximum performance.
  • Adaptability/Stress Tolerance
    Maintains balance and performance under pressure and stress. Copes with ambiguity and change in a constructive manner.
  • Self-Control
    Manages and controls emotions and behavior in the face of interpersonal conflict. Demonstrates patience, rarely overreacts or loses control.
  • Trustworthiness
    Demonstrates and practices high standards of personal and professional integrity. Displays honesty and candor. Creates trusting relationships with others.
  • Strategic Problem-Solving
    Analyzes a situation, identifies alternative solutions, and develops specific actions; Gathers and utilizes available information in order to understand and solve organizational issues and problems.
  • Achievement Orientation
    Accomplishes tasks, projects and assignments on time and with quality.

Relationship Management

  • Building Strategic Relationships
    Initiates and cultivates strategic internal and external networking relationships that foster both individual and organizational goals. Builds and maintains effective and collaborative relationships with diverse internal and external stakeholders.
  • Conflict Management
    Negotiates and effectively resolves interpersonal differences with others.
  • Leadership/Influence
    Utilizes appropriate interpersonal styles and approaches in facilitating a group towards task achievement.
  • Interpersonal Sensitivity/Empathy
    Takes actions that demonstrate consideration for the feelings and needs of others.
  • Team/Interpersonal Support
    Assists, motivates, encourages and supports others who depend on each other to accomplish tasks, projects and assignments.
  • Collaboration
    Establishes and develops cooperative, supportive and collaborative working relationships with others.

Reprinted with permission from Envisia Learning.

Envisia Learning Validity Reports and Research Information

Visit Envisia learning for more information on validated assessments.

Frequently Asked Questions


“360” refers to the 360 degrees in a circle, an all-around view, and 360-degree feedback is also known as multi-rater feedback.

A 360 is a way for multiple individuals, with different perspectives, to share feedback with a colleague related to his/her skill, performance, and leadership. Examples of raters in a 360 assessment include direct reports, team members, peers, and managers or administrators.

UI LEAD recognizes that individual development leads to organizational success.

"The better designed development initiatives employ structured 360-degree feedback based on responses from workplace colleagues....Learning is enhanced whenever individuals have some form of behavior feedback..." (Jay Conger, Marshall School of Business at The University of Southern California and author of Learning to Lead)


After your colleague (the UI LEAD participant) announces his/her upcoming 360, you will receive an email from Envisia Learning within one week’s time.

To: (your name)

From: Envisia Learning

Subject: UI LEAD Participant - Feedback Questionnaire

This email will contain directions and a link to access the online 360.

  • Standard deadline: 2.5 weeks.
  • During this time, you can exit and return to the survey. The Envisia Learning system will save your responses.
  • Automatic reminder: Envisia will send a reminder email mid-way before the deadline to all raters whom have not yet completed the online 360.

If you don’t recall receiving the email from Envisia Learning within one week of your colleague’s notification, please check your deleted folders. If you need another invitation sent to you, email clientservices@envisialearning.com or oe-leader@uiowa.edu.


Your role is to provide honest and constructive feedback to aid in your colleague’s leadership development.

“The 360-degree feedback process allows people to become connected, and, in so doing, it facilitates the building of effective working relationships around work-oriented communication.” (Tornow and London, 1998)

In UI LEAD, participants carefully select their raters in consultation with their supervisor/faculty administrator, and their UI LEAD coach. If you have been selected to participate in your colleague’s 360, it affirms that they consider your input valuable to their leadership development. While your participation is voluntary, we encourage you to honor this invitation by completing the 360.

Your feedback will be added to the feedback provided by other UI faculty and staff members to assist your colleague and UI LEAD coach to develop an individualized talent development plan.

“Coaching is important in helping appraisees interpret the results, set improvement goals with appraisees, and follow-up on action plans.” (Antonioni, 1996)

Please note that if you are a supervisor or faculty administrator of the participant, your 360 responses will be provided separately. However, some participants may report to multiple leaders; in these cases feedback is aggregated. You will receive an email from UI LEAD indicating either case, informing you of how your feedback will be reported.


UI LEAD understands the importance of respecting the confidentiality of raters, while also providing an opportunity for direct feedback from supervisors.*

To this end, we have selected a vendor partner, Envisia Learning, to provide an online process which protects the anonymity of individual raters. Responses and written comments (reported as written) are aggregated, meaning they are batched together by rater group, such as peers, direct reports, or team members. Each rater group, with the exception of one’s supervisor/administrator, has a minimum of six raters.

Using these aggregated responses, Envisia creates a report which will only be shared with the participant and their UI LEAD coach. In this report, response rates are provided, indicating the percentage of raters who have responded to the questionnaire. However, the identity of individual respondents is protected, with the exception of one’s supervisor.

*Please note: Supervisor(s)’or faculty administrator(s)’ responses and comments will be reported separately. Our experience and research in leadership coaching have affirmed that direct feedback is imperative to one’s growth and development. 

“In most cases, supervisor ratings, as opposed to other sources, are not confidential. In other words, the feedback recipient is aware of the ratings given by the supervisor because these ratings are not aggregated with other raters.” (Tornow & London, 1998)

A written comments section will be available. Please provide honest and objective comments, while keeping in mind that your words will be reported as written. Comments are most valuable when they provide examples to make your point more explicit. Carefully review your written words before finalizing them. A good rule of thumb: “Is what I wrote truthful, useful, and kind?”

“Feedback recipients are less likely to react negatively if they believe the feedback is accurate. This is particularly important when open-ended comments are included.” (Atwater, Walderman, Brett, 2002)


Assessment is a vital piece in building awareness of your effectiveness in crucial leadership competencies—and tangible evidence of your efforts to enact change.

“Effective leadership rests upon full self-knowledge.” —Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones in Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?, Harvard Business School Press, 2006

UI’s LEAD program begins with a state-of-the-art online assessment opportunity through Envisia Learning. Envisia Learning, a forerunner in the field of leadership development, provides UI LEAD with online assessment instruments and developmental tools which are backed by 25 years of research and experience.

As a participant, you select your raters who will complete the online survey, which provides you with a written report clarifying areas of leadership strength and growth. This is known as a 360-degree assessment, or multi-rater feedback. As the 360 assessment is intended to be used solely for developmental purposes, only UI LEAD participants and their coaches have access to the 360 results. While raters do not receive 360 results, we recommend participants share copies of their Talent Development Plan (including goals and success measures) with their immediate supervisor or faculty administrator, which may include opportunities identified in the survey results. Consistent with 360-degree best practices, a UI LEAD coach will meet 1:1 with you to facilitate the interpretation of the results report, and to provide support in receiving the feedback.


Once enrolled, your UI LEAD coach will guide you through the assessment process, helping you to:

  • Identify, and communicate, with your survey raters;
  • Select the assessment tool that best suits your needs;
  • Understand how to use your results, and identify salient goals for your Talent Development Plan;
  • Develop skills through coaching;
  • Repeat of the survey process in 12-24 months, and
  • Consult on ways to convey your results.

Our approach is based on research of best practices in successful 360-degree use. An assessment activity itself is not necessarily developmental. That is why UI LEAD combines developmental planning and follow-up, plus supervisory involvement, to achieve better results.

  • Typically measures specific behaviors and competencies associated with job performance and success.
  • Provides for a confidential process to obtain feedback from others who work closely with an individual.
  • Focuses on observed behaviors that can be modified.

360 can be used for:

  • Leadership Development
  • Talent Management/Succession Planning
  • Personal and Professional Awareness and Growth
  • Supervisory and Management Training

Source: Dr. Kenneth Nowack, Envisia Learning


Your UI LEAD coach can consult with you to select an assessment tool and approach that fits your needs.

Contact Information

Leadership Development

Campus Address
121-50 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building., Suite. 50
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States