One of the best tools for accelerating your leadership development is a 360 Assessment. The gist is this: Eight to 10 of your coworkers, and specifically your employees, spend some time assessing your abilities to lead, manage, communicate, motivate and more.
So whether you are a team leader or the CEO of a company, you should be soliciting that kind of feedback, especially if you are new to the role. Here are four really good reasons to conduct a 360 Assessment as soon as possible, and then regularly throughout your career:
- They create awareness. There’s no better way to pinpoint the areas that you need to improve than hearing it first-hand from employees. You will learn pretty quickly if and how you are failing your team, and that is the first step toward making improvements. That’s way it’s so important to conduct these types of assessments early in your leadership role and then regularly going forward. They allow you to make continuous growth.
- They provide perspective. You will learn about your strengths and weaknesses from a variety of perspectives, including your boss, your peers, your team and others. You’ll learn pretty quickly if your perception of your leadership and others’ perception of your leadership aligns. What you think is working may not be, and strategies you haven’t considered may be just want your team needs.
- They make you more efficient. With the information and perspective gained from a leadership assessment, you can be smarter in your learning efforts. You’ll be able to prioritize what areas you need to focus on. Learning should be an ongoing goal for all leaders, and 360 Assessments chart your development path.
- They provide a benchmark. With a benchmark, you are able to better gauge your progress over time. If you don’t know where you started, it is hard to see how much you grow.
- They offer your employees a chance to voice their feedback. It can be scary to think about a bunch of employees unloading on you, but it’s important that you offer them a chance to help improve the team.
The good news is that technology is making it even easier to conduct these types of assessments. A quick Google search yields all sorts of options that make it easy to collect an array of feedback on you, often anonymously (which may very well encourage people to be honest). However, it can be as simple as sending out a list of questions for people to answer (with the option of submitting anonymously), including:
- What am I doing well?
- What could I be doing better?
- What about my leadership style would you like to see change? What do you want to remain the same?
- On a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the best), how would you rate my communication (patience, time-management, meeting management, subject matter expertise, organization, delegation, goal setting, etc.)
This final point is critical: If people, specifically employees, offer valid feedback that you take to heart and use to improve, you’ll build a deep sense of trust and respect with them. On the other hand, if you ignore their feedback, you will erode that trust and respect, so only go this route if you are confident and strong enough to graciously accept whatever they have to say and use it as a means to become a better leader.
Now you share: What has been your experience with 360 Assessments?
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