Executive coaching is used as a leadership development tool with increasing frequency within organizations today. In some cases, coaches use a 360 degree evaluation process to lay the foundation for their coaching work. The goal is that through 360 feedback, the coach and the coachee can effectively determine the key areas of focus for their work together. Despite the promise of combining these two methodologies, there are best practices that can be employed to maximize the effectiveness of this type of intervention.
An important study provided critical insight into the optimal way to structure such a program. Elizabeth C. Thach, of Sonoma State University in California, evaluated a six-month executive coaching program that included an integrated 360 feedback component. Her results suggested that the leadership effectiveness of the participants increased by an average of 55-60% over the course of the coaching program in 2002.