Published in Womeninc January 2010
My clients ask, “How do I know that I am doing a good job?” I work with people who are very self-aware who often receive little or no professional feedback, unless something goes terribly wrong. The majority of people that I coach do not receive performance reviews, and if they do it is a routine check-list with little or no conversation about how they are really doing. If the information exchanged is not helpful for their professional growth, then the review is a formality and a waste of time.
Organizations that want to strengthen and cultivate their leaders must find meaningful methods of providing feedback to assist their leaders in their professional development. Some of the assessment opportunities that I use, which effectively supply specific, helpful feedback are:
Peer to Peer feedback – At a very minimum develop a relationship with a trusted peer or two to give you recurring, specific feedback on areas you are focused on strengthening or developing.
Gallup Strength Assessment – Knowing ones innate strengths provides you with the opportunity everyday to be more effective, productive, successful and fulfilled. The assessment is self-administered with purchasing one of the many strengths books.
360s – A great 360 provides you with feedback from a number of people who experience your leadership from different perspectives, who provide specific, helpful feedback intended for your professional development. I recommend only using 360s that have been designed with the purpose of helping you develop professionally and have been well researched and validated. I have found The Leadership Circle 360 to be very helpful to my clients growth and development.
Emotional Intelligence Assessments – Provides you with specific feedback in how you manage yourself and how you manage others thru your Intrapersonal Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Stress Management Skills, Adaptability Skills, and General Mood Skills. Leaders with strong Emotional Intelligence are in relationship with people in a way that engenders trust and improves their overall effectiveness. I like and use the EQ-i® (Emotional Quotient Inventory) the first scientific instrument designed to assess emotional and social functioning.
What is most important in using assessments is that someone who is skilled or certified to use them debriefs the results with you. Then it is important to create a professional development or action plan to implement the changes necessary for you to be in greater alignment with who you want to be as a leader and expand your capacity as an effective leader. It is most helpful if you have some guidance and someone to be accountable to through this process, such as a formal mentor or a coach.
When would leaders benefit the most from being assessed? It is most helpful if a leader were to have an assessment 90-100 days into a new position. Research has shown that the first 90-100 days are the most critical in determining the leader’s long term success. At a minimum, a leader should receive a detailed performance review that would include one of the above assessments yearly.
What action do you need to take to get the feedback you need and deserve to a great leader?
Please visit my blog to discuss these topics. http://www.dianagabriel.com/blog
For more information on Assessments: http://www.dianagabriel.com