“The belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all delusions.”
—Paul Watzlawick (Austrian-American psychologist and philosopher)
Way Too Many Leaders Are Sitting Behind The Eight-Ball…
…because they haven’t gotten authentic, granular feedback about their leadership practices and behaviours from their boss, peers and team members.
Their self-perception is thus at odds with the way others see them.
Can you be certain that there’s alignment between your self-perception and others’ perception of you?
Candid feedback would potentially help every leader be a better leader, right? And it’d help some be a much better leader.
Imagine I perceive that “my results-orientation make me an exceptionally valuable leader”
—and you perceive that “my results orientation has me being abrupt and impatient” when the targeted result is threatened.
The Potential Costs Of Mismatched Perceptions
Let’s be clear, every leader has strengths and development opportunities.
What are the costs of a leader not being aware of their development opportunities because they haven’t had granular, authentic feedback:
- Lowered morale, initiative and innovation?
- Higher staff turnover?
- Reduced staff engagement and discretionary effort?
- Less initiative and innovation?
- The likelihood that they’ll be stuck in their leadership rut for the rest of their leadership career?
There’s no doubt in my mind (after observing leaders in a learning-and-development environment for 25 years) that the single most impactful way of enabling a leader to be a much better leader is to offer them 360 feedback—but not using just any 360 feedback process…
Pitfalls Of Typical 360 Feedback Processes
To answer the question, “What’s the best way to get feedback?” let’s answer the question, “What are your targeted outcomes from the feedback?”
Typically, there are two key outcomes:
- To get candid feedback. Without candid, honest feedback we’re wasting our time, aren’t we? Yet to be truly candid, 99% of people need to be confident that they’ll have anonymity.And here lies one of the problems with the typical electronic 360 process: Many observers confide that they haven’t been candid when they’ve participated in an electronic 360 process. Because their feedback was “in writing”, they were concerned that the recipient would figure out what they said. This clearly means that you can’t entirely trust your electronic 360-report.
- To get real clarity on which two or three critical behaviours that, if changed, would make you a better leader. You can’t focus on changing more than two or three behaviours. But the typical electronic 360 processes will give you feedback on twelve or more developmental opportunities. This often makes the 360 report confusing rather than clarifying.
THE Best Way To Get Feedback—And The Most Impactful Development Process, Ever
Years ago I always used an electronic 360-degree process—until late one evening my software crashed! I’d committed to launching the 360 the next morning, which meant I had a problem.
Then a light went on—I could speak to observers, rather than have them answer an electronic questionnaire.
My crashing software turned out to be a blessing! Not once since that crash have I ever been tempted to do a 360 electronically.
I discovered the value of having candid conversations with the leader’s observers.
In each conversation, we’d develop real clarity about where the leader is right on track and which 1, 2 or 3 behaviours, if changed, would make that the leader much more successful in their organisation.
I ask questions that turn confusing comments into clear insights.
Our discussions gave us authentic, granular “meat on the bone” information that, when actioned, would enable the leader to take solid steps towards being an exemplary leader.
Your Call To Action
Are you up for this revealing process that’ll enable you to be a (much) better leader?
Many leaders swear our 360 feedback discussions have been their most revealing, most impactful and most useful development process, ever.
Email me if you want to talk about what this might look like for you—or for a leader in your team.
“I came to executive coaching with an ingrained cynicism.
What I discovered over an intensive and enjoyable six-month period of
one-to-one meetings was precisely a means to cut through the
managerial nonsense and position me for real advances in my career.
The beauty of Carolyn’s approach is the fact it shows you how to confront
your own barriers and deal effectively with those put up by others.
This has, for me, proved the key to a new and rewarding career.”
About The Author:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders—hundreds of them—for more than 25-years.
She’s helped leader after leader feel total pride in who they are as a leader—confident, courageous, impressively influential (even when they’ve previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with it).
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She’ll draw on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit your situation.
She’s never too busy to talk to you—or to leaders you refer who’re in a hurry to boost their success. Email to arrange a time to chat: firstname.lastname@example.org