I have used self-assessments, 180’s (self + colleagues) & 360’s (self + colleagues + supervisor) for many years now. It is exciting to receive the data and process this information with leaders. Sometimes the data affirms, other times it challenges and in some situations, the information can be surprising.
Awareness is the first step to change!
Let me explain. A number of years ago I was assessing a leader’s management style to determine if he had the skill-set to take more responsibility in supervising key staff. He was an excellent speaker in a large, growing church. But was unaware that his management style was driving people away. In conversation with members of his team, they were open with their feelings which were confirmed by the data. When I administered the assessment the leader was confident his scores would reveal his expertise in empowering his team; unfortunately, it exposed glaring weaknesses in his ability to manage those around him. In fact, that assessment, along with anecdotal evidence, thoroughly convinced his boss that he was not the man for the job and eventually, led to his resignation.
This was NOT the intended purpose of the exercise, but it illustrates the power of a 360. Data does not lie – it simply is! Here are a couple of questions to determine if an instrument, like the Management Effectiveness Profile (scroll down the page to Management) could be a helpful exercise for you and those you coach..
- Have you assessed your management style?
- Have you helped those you coach, assess their management style?
- How could the Management Effectiveness Profile help people in your team or organization understand their strengths and weaknesses?
I rely on trusted and reliable feedback in my coaching, training & consulting.
One practice I’ve found helpful is to administer a brief survey at the conclusion of my coaching relationships, for instance. Based on that input I gain a sense of where my strengths and weaknesses lie.
Not surprisingly, executives (including pastors, church planters & missionaries) also value feedback. I read an article written by , , , published by The Miles Group and Stanford University. August 2013 (used with permission) that highlighted this point. The 2013 Executive Coaching Survey suggests:
Nearly 66% of CEOs do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches, while 100% of them stated that they are receptive to making changes based on feedback.
Feedback can be helpful. But it is really up to the individual what she/he does with it. If the data confirms the evidence then leaders will respond accordingly. In contrast, if that leader does not resonate with the feedback, then it is wise to reject it.
Let me give a quick example what I mean. I am coaching a young, competent leader. When we reviewed the feedback from a 360 degree assessment on his leadership effectiveness (see the Leadership menu) there were gaps between himself, his supervisor and his colleagues. Further, the gaps were not in a favorable direction. In other words, his self-perception was consistently higher, in several areas (I like it when it is the other way)! In response, this young leader took a curious approach. Curious what the variance in scores represented. And a proactive posture to address those variances in practical ways. Instead of making excuses, he determined to take action.
Remaining open to feedback is not always easy – but is an important trait of effective leaders.
How do you work with someone who has been in the workforce for thirty years (50+ years of age) as opposed to three years (30-40’s years of age)? Take into consideration the following scenario.
First time church planter (in their 30’s) – high on vision & low on experience. I coached a new church planter who primarily asked “how to” questions to process his philosophy of ministry, challenges he encountered and self-discovered action steps. I challenged his thinking by asking pointed questions to help him realize that he has the resources inside himself to take the next steps in his church planting journey. The new church planter is in many ways, unaware of what he/she does not know.
Contrast him with a seasoned leader – high on vision & high on experience. The seasoned leader (50+ years of age) asked “what” and “when” questions. He has a rich experience base to draw from and his confidence runs deep. The seasoned leader is in many ways more aware of what he/she does not know.
Following are reflection questions for you as the coach to consider during the when coaching across generational lines:
- What questions are they asking?
- What kind of help are they seeking from you?
- What is the best way for you to support them as a coach?
There exists real differences that are important to recognize when coaching across generational and experiential lines – see the Generational Differences resources for more insight into these subtleties.
What about you?
It is easy to measure the low lying fruit. For instance, church leadership will measure things like worship attendance, offerings, and baptisms. But what if you looked below the surface. At my home church an important metric we track is the percentage of adults who regularly participate in a small group. Annual engagement in 2016 was 94% (click Crosspoint Church for report). The church launched over a decade ago with the goal of focusing resources (time, energy, people) to do a few things well; which has paid off at Crosspoint – a church of small groups vs. a church with small groups!
Consider the following challenge:
- Reflect on the measures below the surface that will have the greatest impact on the health and growth of your:
- Then tie those to outcomes you are striving to achieve e.g. making small groups a priority in my example.
- Brainstorm ideas of how you can impact that area over the course of the next 30-60-90 days.
Effective leaders understand the principle: “Say No – to say Yes to What Matters!” Leaders who focus their time, energy and people; regularly assess their ministry, make adjustments and forecast the future with a high degree of accuracy. This surfaces the strategic question: What are you measuring?
Remember – you measure what matters!
It is easy to get excited about coaching or a training initiative without understanding the true impact.
How many times have you heard colleagues discuss a new training process or coaching resource? And then get partway through the experience without understanding the impact on you or your organization. Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to consider the potential Return on Investment (ROI) before you start?
Consider a coaching relationship. When you or I establish a coach agreement we ask the leader to create goals. Over the course of the next year we work towards achieving those goals and assess the progress at the conclusion of our time together. Using the six levels described below you can see that we moved from Level 0 (scope, in my example) to Level 1 (reaction to the coaching process) to Level 2 (learning that occurred) to level 3 (applying the knowledge to the leader’s ministry).
There is a process to measure the ROI on training and coaching. Most of the coaching and training done in organizations settle for Level 1 or Level 2 evaluation – a few take it to Level 3. Here are the six levels:
- Level 0: Inputs
- Level 1: Reaction
- Level 2: Learning
- Level 3: Application
- Level 4: Impact
- Level 5: Return on Investment (ROI)
Review the descriptions above and consider a coaching or training process you are leading. Let’s say it is a leader development process that involves quarterly workshops with coaching in-between. Whatever it is that you are currently working on (developing small group leaders), or anticipate in the near future – what level of measurement are you incorporating in your process.
I’ve discovered that leaders are eager to know the ROI on some of the training and coaching that they are engaged. When they realize that it is possible to calculate and monetize the impact of their investment, it transforms the significance of the training/coaching because they are clear “why” they are making the investment.
Places where ROI is helpful:
- Organization-wide leader development training
- Coaching pastors, church planters, regional network leaders and movement leaders
- Coach training for church planting, parent church coaches or disciple-making movements
A helpful book on ROI, entitled “Show Me the Money” provides a more complete explanation. If you have questions, please e-mail InFocus for more information.
A life-giving gift you can give those you coach is what I like to call “pruning”. I have found that the four categories below serve as a helpful guide to follow using Covey’s, “First Things First” matrix. Take a moment right now to review how you are using your time this week.
- Pull-out your calendar.
- Prioritize your scheduled activities in one of four categories:
- Quadrant I – Important & Urgent.
- Quadrant II – Important & Not Urgent.
- Quadrant III – Not Important & Urgent.
- Quadrant IV – Not Important & Not Urgent.
- How can you spend more of your time in Quadrant II in 2017?
Coveys’ point is that most of us spend too much time in Quadrants III & IV; to the neglect of Quadrant II. Imagine how this exercise might benefit the people you coach. Fast forward to December, if a leader doubled her or his time in Important & Not Urgent activities, what impact would it have on their:
- Personal development
- Leader Development