Don’t Overestimate Your Own Strength
It’s a common fault. We learned in our last blog series that the majority of employees overestimate their abilities. Don’t make this mistake when planning on which complementary, cross-training leadership skills you will develop. You have to start with a realistic picture of your own strengths – and this will not come from you! Despite the research that shows our tendency to exaggerate our strengths (see our last blog series) it really doesn’t matter what you think, since leadership is all about your effect on other people.
Therefore, we need to proceed with a valid 360-degree assessment. This assessment is a formal process in which your bosses, peers, direct reports and you complete an inventory of your leadership skills on a quantitative scale; as well as answering some qualitative, open-ended questions. These questions should cover your strengths, fatal flaws (if any) and relevance to the organization. Unfortunately, not all organizations will fund this assessment so you may need to craft your own. The following questions will help you form your own questionnaire if necessary:
- What leadership skills do you think are strengths for me?
- Is there anything I do that might be considered a fatal flaw?
- What leadership ability could I strengthen that would have the most impact?
- What leadership abilities of mine have the most impact on you and/or our organization?
The caveat here is that you will actually receive honest feedback from a variety of people. You may consider an anonymous form, or conversely, a brief in-person discussion to assure them of your desire for authentic feedback and improvement. Here at Brighter Strategies we offer the Assess tool and would be happy to help you explore your own individual assessment or conduct one for the employees in your organization. Let us know how we can help.
In our next blog we will look at how to interpret these results and develop your cross-training program. Have you ever evaluated yourself by using a 360-degree assessment? If so, how did it impact your career growth and is it time for a new one?