4.3 Journal BUSINESS MEMO and Final Project I SAMPLE QUESTIONS, pg. 1 Dear OGL 360 Leaders,
I want to help you produce the best 360-Degree Questions you can for your final projects, but to get to that point,
you may have to revise/edit the questions you wrote for your Module 4 “Business Memo.”
Please find below several lists of qualitative questions, followed by a list of quantitative questions. These are not the
only questions you could ask, but they are representative of the best kinds of questions to ask in these kinds of 360-
Degree reviews (wherein questionnaires are sent out to help colleagues assess one another, or various team
members respond to questions about their supervisors).
Refer to these questions as you complete the final “360-Degree Question Activity” (the open-book quiz in the final
module) as well as your write-up of “Final Project I.” The questions are arranged under the following titles:
EXAMPLES OF QUALITATIVE (long / written answer) QUESTIONS (These are some general questions, followed by various questions organized into sub-categories.)
CHALLENGE THE PROCESS
INSPIRATION, RISK-TAKING, AND COMFORT ZONES
PROBLEM SOLVING and INNOVATION
MODEL THE WAY
ENCOURAGE THE HEART
COMMUNICATIONS (Qualitative questions re. communications)
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (1): “Yes/No” QUESTIONS
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (2): TWO QUESTIONS IN ONE
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (3): QUESTIONS THAT ARE USUALLY TOO GENERAL / BROAD
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (4): QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RESPONDENT HIM/HERSELF
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (5): ORGANIZATIONAL ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (6): OVERLY NEGATIVE QUESTIONS
INTERESTING, ORIGINAL, and/or WILD QUESTIONS
EXAMPLES OF LIKERT-SCALE / QUANTITATIVE QUESTIONS
I hope this helps you get a clearer idea of the possibilities. When you write up your “Final Project I” questions, feel
free to use several of these, or generate permutations of them, or create your own original questions along similar
lines. (Just remember that you will still need to pen your own annotations and find your own quotations from
Kouzes and Posner, before submitting your final project.)
Stephen (Dr. Davis)
EXAMPLES OF QUALITATIVE (long / written answer) QUESTIONS (Note: Some of the questions below
are a bit repetitive—only to show that there are different ways of phrasing these kinds of questions—but make sure
you don’t include repetitive questions in your final projects, please!):
1. What areas of strength would you like to see this person continue to build on?
2. How does this associate build relationships and gain trust with fellow associates?
4.3 Journal BUSINESS MEMO and Final Project I SAMPLE QUESTIONS, pg. 2
3. In regard to the new products we unveiled last month, to what extent has this leader approached change
4. Please describe a time when this leader showed patience when dealing with a difficult situation involving a
fellow team member.
5. Describe two or three instances in which this leader has encouraged their staff or teammates to do their best.
6. In what ways does this leader inspire you?”
7. How many times in the past month has this leader gone out of their way to offer advice and/or training
opportunities to the members of their team? Please provide two or three examples. (Note that if we don’t
ask for examples, this might be better as a Quantitative / Likert-scale question.)
8. On a scale of 1 to 10, one being worst and ten being best, rate the leader’s ability to communicate outside of
their immediate team. Explain. (Note that if we don’t ask for examples, this will be better as a Quantitative /
9. To what extent does this leader act respectfully to customers and peers? Give examples. (If we don’t ask for
examples, this might be a Quantitative / Likert-scale question.)
10. To what extend does this colleague actively listen when communicating with you? Please explain with an
example or two. (If we don’t ask for examples, this might be a Quantitative / Likert-scale question.)
11. To what extent does this colleague provide potential solutions when raising concerns? Explain / give a
couple of examples.
CHALLENGE THE PROCESS (also see the next section, as some of the “risk-taking” questions overlap):
12. Describe an instance when the leader failed. Did the leader’s subsequent actions show that he/she learned
from the experience? Explain.
13. To what extent does the leader seek feedback outside of their team? Give an example of two, please.
14. To what extent does the leader seek feedback outside of the organization as a whole? Give an example of
15. In what ways does this leader seek to encourage members of their team to take initiative when solving
problems? Please provide an example. (According to Kouzes and Posner, “Every single personal-best
leadership case involved a change from the status quo” [pg. 18]).
16. To what extent does the leader encourage the sharing of ideas amongst the members of their team? Provide
17. How often does the leader engage in training activities (workshops, development, etc.) related to their
position? Please explain.
INSPIRATION, RISK-TAKING, AND COMFORT ZONES (Note: Some of the questions below are a bit
repetitive—only to show that there are different ways of phrasing these kinds of questions—but make sure you
don’t include repetitive questions in your final projects, please!):
18. To what extent has this leader pushed followers to get out of their comfort zone when it came to completing
projects? (BEWARE: A student—and I can’t remember who it is, or I would have told them about it
personally—accidentally wrote “CONFRONT ZONE” here instead of “COMFORT ZONE”; I assure you,
the phrase is not “confront zone.”)
19. When has the leader showed the employees ways to experiment and take risks during a project? Please give
two or three examples.
20. How effectively does this leader communicate long-term vision, or make visionary goals known?
21. How does the leader envision positive change?
22. How does this leader allow freedom in the workplace and space for his/her colleagues to accomplish their
goals without micromanaging?
23. How does he/she view risk-taking in order to further our shared goals?
24. How does this leader encourage others to take initiative?
25. To what degree does he/she encourage colleagues to take risks, or to risk failure?
4.3 Journal BUSINESS MEMO and Final Project I SAMPLE QUESTIONS, pg. 3
26. How does this leader deal with colleagues or reports when they face a setback or failure?
27. How much optimism does this leader show on a daily basis (under normal circumstances)? Please give two
or three examples.
28. How much optimism does he/she demonstrate to the team when they are faced with a difficult challenge,
setback, or failure? Please explain with one or two examples.
29. After you have an encounter with this leader, what kind of mood are you in? Please explain.
30. How much enthusiasm does this colleague show for their development and improvement within our
organization? Please explain or give examples.
31. How does this leader inspire others to attain the company’s goals?
32. To what degree is this leader inspirational in general?
PROBLEM SOLVING and INNOVATION (See also the previous subsection, as there is some overlap.)
33. How effective is this leader at solving problems (problem-solving) in the context of _________? (When you
write the final version of this question, specify whether there was a particular team project, or production
context, sales, engineering, or some other specific context for problem-solving; it might not be useful to ask
about problem-solving in general, which could range from social skills to fixing a jet engine.)
34. During team meetings, how well does this leader encourage their staff to be innovative? Please give
35. Describe an instance where the leader offered an idea to improve an operation, procedure, or routine within
the company in the last three months.
36. How did the leader challenge team members to do better, or more effective work?
37. How does he/she encourage the team to work in innovative ways?
38. During last month’s ____ project, how effective was he/she at problem-solving, in regards to technical
challenges? Please elaborate.
39. During last month’s ____ project, how effectively did he/she problem-solve when differences of opinion
arose among team members? Please explain / give examples.
MODEL THE WAY:
40. –To what extent does he/she lead by example when helping the team meet a goal? Please give an example
or two. (It’s best not to ask “To what extent do they Model the Way” because that phrase might be unknown
or confusing to some people, and it is quite broad/general.)
41. —To what extent does he/she usually follow through on commitments—i.e., doing what they say they will
do? Please give two or three examples.
42. —In terms of integrity and ethical standards, I would rate this leader as… (And please explain your
43. —How effective do you believe this leader to be in stressful situations?
44. —How did he/she treat the members of the team, inside and outside of the conference room?
45. —What values did the leader promote for the team? Please describe 2 different specific examples.
46. — Please give an example of a time that this person went above and beyond what was required of them in a
ENCOURAGE THE HEART:
47. In what ways does this leader recognize the individual contributions of others?
48. To what extent has the leader created a spirit of community when the team was successful with a project?
49. How often does he/she celebrate small victories or progress with the team? And in what ways?
50. How well does he/she respond to personal emergencies among team members? Please give one or two
4.3 Journal BUSINESS MEMO and Final Project I SAMPLE QUESTIONS, pg. 4
51. How empathetic has he/she been when team members have experienced personal stress? Please elaborate or
give an example.
COMMUNICATIONS (Qualitative questions re. communications):
52. How effectively does this leader communicate short-term goals to their team?
53. How open is this leader to other perspectives and counter-arguments during meetings? Please provide an
example or two.
54. How clear are his/her regular announcements to the team?
55. How does this leader communicate most effectively with other team members?
56. In addition to their strengths as a communicator, what challenges or areas of improvement should he/she
focus on, to improve their communications with team members?
57. How clearly and effectively does he/she communicate with team members in times of crisis?
58. How does this associate offer constructive advice for improving the skills and performance of team
members and/or subordinates?
59. How effectively does this person attempt to seek understanding first rather than argue?
60. To what extend does this person actively listen when communicating with you?
61. To what extent does this person provide potential solutions when raising concerns?
62. To what extent does this person acted respectfully to peers when facing stressful situations?
63. How well does he/she focus and show interest when speaking with you?
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (Please be forewarned) WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (1): “Yes/No” QUESTIONS when you actually want a qualitative response.
The red flags here are questions starting with “Does…?” or “Did…” or even “Has…?” (Although these kinds
of questions usually work fine with Quantitative / Likert-Scale responses, they are the wrong approach—or
PROBLEMATIC at best—when you really want longer, detailed answers from your respondents. In other words, if
one of these “Does…?” questions are asked, you are running a high risk of getting simply “Yes” or “No” as a
response from SOME of your respondents—so ask yourself: “Is that the kind of quick response I _really_ want
from this question?” If not, then make sure you rephrase the question.) Here are a few examples of wording you
should not include in a qualitative series of questions:
Does this leader mentor subordinates? (INSTEAD, this could be “To what extent does this leader mentor
subordinates? Please give an example or two.”)
Does this leader show appreciation to teammates for a job well done? (INSTEAD, this could be “To what extent
does this leader show appreciation to teammates for a job well done? Give two or three examples.” Or try “How
often does this leader show appreciation to teammates for a job well done? Explain and/or give some examples.”)
Has this leader attended development workshops? (INSTEAD, if this were rephrased for a series of Qualitative
questions, it could be: “What kinds of development workshops has this leader attended in the last year? Please
explain and/or give some examples.” If this were a Likert-style question, it could be rephrased as “This leader
attends development workshops” or “This leader has attended several development workshops.”)
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (2): TWO QUESTIONS IN ONE. The following have TWO QUESTIONS
IN ONE — and they need to be divided up into TWO SEPARATE QUESTIONS:
How does this person identify problems and work them to resolution? (Notice how there are two parts to this
question? That might be fine for a college assignment but it’s NOT a good idea for a 360-degree survey. Keep
things simple and focused, and get answers that you can compare and make sense of.)
4.3 Journal BUSINESS MEMO and Final Project I SAMPLE QUESTIONS, pg. 5
How effectively does this colleague communicate their concerns or successes to the team? (At first glance this
MIGHT seem like one question—but look again. It needs to be divided into two.)
How well does this leader encourage their staff to be innovative and have meetings to communicate this type of
behavior? (INSTEAD, ask one question about encouragement and another question about communications
during meetings—or change the entire question to something like this: “During team meetings, how well does
this leader encourage their staff to be innovative? Please give examples.”)
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (3): QUESTIONS THAT ARE USUALLY TOO GENERAL / BROAD
(These are far too general to be of use in most assessments, unless perhaps you use _one_ of them in a final, “wrap-
up” question in your survey or 360-degree process.)
What areas of strength would you like to see this person continue to build on? (This could be used for a FINAL,
If you were required to sign up this leader for a full series of classes or workshops over the next year, what
would you sign them up for? (In other words, what would be most important for them to try to learn or improve,
in the coming year?) (This is a bit too general; however, it could be used for a FINAL, WRAP-UP
To what extent does this employee exhibit leadership qualities in the roles they play in company? (TOO
GENERAL – This information is what we are trying to get at with ALL of the other questions combined.)
In what ways does this leader exhibit leadership qualities in the company? (TOO GENERAL)
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (4): QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RESPONDENT HIM/HERSELF — i.e., Questions asking the respondent to assess himself/herself, rather than assessing another person. We are focusing on
versions of “OBSERVER” questions—observing the actions and words of others—rather than focusing on
questions about ourselves. Although it is true that in some questionnaires, you might want to ask the respondent a
few “baseline” questions, or ask them personal questions in order to get an idea of their possible biases—but not at
this time, please.
In other questionnaires, you can feel free to have individuals answer these questions about themselves, perhaps by
slightly altering the wording from “To what extent does this leader…?” to “To what extent do you…?” But that’s
not what we are attempting here. Please keep the focus on observing another person. Here are two examples of these
misplaced questions: “How effectively do you communicate to team members about deadlines?” as well as “How
do you seek to learn from mistakes?” and “Why do you think it would be beneficial to communicate more openly
with your team members?” Don’t ask about the respondent him/herself — ask them to assess someone else.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (5): ORGANIZATIONAL ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS — i.e., Questions asking the respondent to assess the organization or the organizational culture AT LARGE, rather than the specific
individual we are focusing on. This is NOT an assessment of organizations—a topic about which you can learn, by
the way, by taking another course called “Assessment in Organizations.” Our course is about assessing ourselves
and individual leaders working beside us.
How much of an “open-door policy” is embraced by our top executives?
Why do you think it would be beneficial to always allow open lines of communication in our workforce?
How well does our current pay structure meet the needs of our sales staff?
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR (6): OVERLY NEGATIVE QUESTIONS which are usually to be
avoided (i.e., questions that might skew everyone into a negative mindset, thus overshadowing the rest of the
4.3 Journal BUSINESS MEMO and Final Project I SAMPLE QUESTIONS, pg. 6 questionnaire and, worse yet, making people fearful or resentful of participating in this kind of 360-Degree Process
–What fatal flaws does this leader have? (Students, please note: This is too negative! If you feel compelled to ask
this, make sure everyone in your organization already knows the technical definition of “fatal flaws”—don’t just
assume they do—and also, make sure the organizational culture is strong enough to support such negative
questioning in a process which is supposed to be affirming and positive.)
–What would this individual need to stop doing in order to be a more effective manager? (Too negative for most
questionnaires—though an argument might be made for including this toward the end.)
–How has this leader failed you in the last year? Please explain. (Yikes. Too negative. Instead, rephrase with
something like this: “In the past year, how could this leader have done more or acted in a different manner, in order
to give you better support?”)
Although I understand the TEMPTATION to ask such questions—and although you might indeed have an
organizational culture which will forgive these being asked—my advice would be to substitute something like this
instead (which still addresses the need to improve, but in a far more positive way): “If this leader were to sign up for
one course or series of workshops over the next year to improve their effectiveness as a leader—on any topic
whatsoever of _your_ choosing—what would you have him/her sign up for?”
INTERESTING, ORIGINAL, and/or WILD QUESTIONS: These you might try to use on a TRIAL
basis (since you might get some wildly divergent—though interesting and potentially very useful—
answers from your respondents on these):
—If you could ask one favor of this leader, anonymously and in regards to their work here, what would
you ask them to do or say?
—What is truly memorable or special about this leader?
—What sets this leader apart from other leaders in our organization?
—What should he/she continue to do in the next year, above all else? (In other words, what are his/her
main strengths as a leader here?)
—What sets this individual apart from others?
—Would you tell your friends if there are openings in our company if they would have to work under this
leader? Why or why not?
—When considering their leadership style, what three words would describe them best?
—What would you choose to add to the leader’s job description?
—(Here’s a really out-of-the-box question): If this leader were suddenly to be portrayed as the main
character in a big-budget Hollywood movie, what kind of movie would it be, and how would this
character behave? (What parts of the action or plot would they contribute to?)
—(And here’s a wild one which I would not take a chance on asking in every business setting): If
you could choose _one_ leader to be trapped with on a lone, desert island, for several months, and you
could only choose between this leader and ____ or ____, thinking in terms of their professional qualities,
which one of the three would you choose to be marooned with—and why? That is, why would you choose
this person over the other two? (Please compare and contrast the three.)
4.3 Journal BUSINESS MEMO and Final Project I SAMPLE QUESTIONS, pg. 7 ====================–=======end of qualitative examples=======–==================
EXAMPLES OF LIKERT-SCALE / QUANTITATIVE QUESTIONS
(Each of the questions in this section would work best as a “quantitative question” answered with a Likert-scale,
such as “1…2…3…4…” or rankings such as “Not at all…Barely/A Little…Occasionally…Frequently…Most or
All the Time”):
FIRST OF ALL, PLEASE TAKE A LOOK at all of the “LPI Observer” questions again, as these are generally
excellent examples of Quantitative / Likert-Scale questions on positive aspects of leadership. Should you be asked
to develop a 360-Degree process for your organization, consider slightly altering and using at least some of these
LPI questions. You might also wish to take a look at certain SurveyMonkey questions as well, although I
recommend most of the questions below as equivalent or even improvements upon the SurveyMonkey approach.
1. He/she attempts to seek understanding first rather than argue.
2. This leader acts respectfully toward customers.
3. He/she acts respectfully toward peers/colleagues.
4. How motivated is this colleague in reaching daily or weekly goals? (This would work with a Likert Scale
ranging from “Not at all” to “Extremely” — or a numerical scale.)
5. How timely is the employee about the completion of their assignments, tasks, or projects? (This would
work with a Likert Scale of 1 to 7, e.g., where 7 is the absolute best.)
6. This leader speaks politely to those in service and support positions.
7. He/she shows appreciation for a job well done.
8. This leader actively solicits new or creative ideas in meetings.
9. He/she has a very negative response to failure. (Warning: This would usually be too negative a question to
ask. So don’t ask this question unless the “corporate culture” has established that small failures—and even
some large ones—are par for the course, necessary if we are trying to innovate.)
10. This leader effectively works with difficult clients.
11. This leader works effectively with difficult coworkers (or he/she would work effectively with them).
12. This leader mentors rather than micromanages.
13. S/he shows me that I am valued in my work.
14. This leader is honest in word and deed.
15. He/she demonstrates how new projects support corporate goals.
16. S/he has taken time to explain how team goals support our broader organizational goals.
17. This leader makes persuasive proposals/presentations.
18. He/she faces adversity with a positive outlook.