Uncovering Your Leadership Blind Spot

Posted on March 20, 2018 by

To gain a better understanding of your leadership strengths and deficiencies, take a look at yourself through the eyes of others.

How we see ourselves is often very different from how we appear to others. Actions we believe reflect decisive or confident characteristics may come across as controlling or arrogant while attempts at openness may be perceived as being indecisive or weak. Understanding how managers, supervisors, co-workers, direct reports and clients perceive us can give proactive insights into our leadership behavior and help us become more successful leaders, better able to embrace and flex to change.

How Do You Find Your Leadership Blind Spot? First step…start by conducting your own survey.

Conduct your own self-managed, online, 360-degree feedback leadership assessment.

An employee self-administered 360-degree feedback leadership assessment enables the individual to self-assess, and collect online feedback from a selection of different people who have worked with them in different roles.
Roles include:
1. Manager
2. Peers
3. Direct Report
4. Other Stakeholders

The self-managed 360 provides the employee with confidential feedback on specific leadership competencies and behavioral traits as observed by his/her colleagues and other stakeholders. This feedback is meant not as a criticism of the employee, but as constructive input that can lead to specific actions for self-improvement.

It is meant to reinforce positive aspects of the employee’s performance as well as to improve performance by identifying possible areas of weakness. A self-managed 360 is a powerful tool with an important purpose – to harness the power of honest feedback to identify weakness and develop skills, leadership competencies and behaviors.

A self-managed 360 is a development tool designed to identify an employee’s leadership skills, competencies and behaviors for the purposes of continuous improvement.

As James Kouzes has remarked, “If there is one thing leaders can do to understand their own behavior, it is the willingness to ask for feedback.”

As we know, without feedback, leaders will not have the most complete picture of what they need to do to mobilize others to tackle tough challenges. Without feedback, leaders will not know how they can improve their ability to make strategic decisions. Without feedback, leaders will be unable to recognize when new behaviors, skills, or attitudes are needed, nor will they accept responsibility for developing them.

Turning the Process Around by 180-Degrees

Traditional 360-degree feedback assessments have limitations, especially in today’s modern workplace where employee empowerment and a supportive company culture are essential. By giving the employees the power to initiate and control the 360 feedback process, self-managed makes the process empowering and more effective.

If the end goal of a feedback process is to give the recipient the information they need to improve, it makes more sense to give the recipient the control and power to initiate and collect their own feedback. Learning can happen, and it is in that space of learning that a leader can develop those short- and long-term future capabilities that the complex and uncertain landscape we work in demands.

Empowering the Employee to Initiate and Gather Feedback

Self-managed 360’s put the power in the hands of the employee, where they ask for feedback when they need it, rather than the supervisors giving them feedback at pre-set intervals, such as during performance review period.

When employees are responsible for initiating and gathering their own feedback, they request it from credible people they trust and that have good intentions. Also, it’s more likely that the feedback will be timely and helpful. Furthermore, since the employee is asking for feedback, they are likely to be more open to discussing the feedback received and making sure the feedback is clear.

With a self-managed 360, since the employee asks for feedback, it’s much easier to accept criticism compared to when the feedback is dropped on the person involuntarily. Also, research shows that feedback can be demotivating if employees feel that they are being controlled and it ruins the feeling of autonomy.

When employees are responsible for gathering their own feedback, the controlling problem associated with 360-feedback no longer exists. Delay in feedback also decreases, as they no longer have to wait six months or a year to receive the feedback they need to improve.

Self-managed 360’s help employees gain a better understanding of their leadership strengths and deficiencies, ultimately uncovering their leadership blind spot.

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