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.
To continue on the theme of disciplemaking movements this year, I propose a guiding question for you and those you coach:
Who are you blessing in your community?
Reflect on that for a moment. What is your next step? …for those you coach?
I look forward to reading your response below.
Coaching a 40-something leader I discovered a significant difference when coaching his Gen X counterpart. My mature friend was focused on achieving his goals; however, he was not as concerned about his work-life balance in comparison to his younger counterpart. That insight informed ways I could engage each.
Further, while the goal they were both pursuing was similar, the path they took was very different. Both were eager to establish a new church or ministry.
With the more seasoned leader I asked more task-oriented, “what” kind of questions:
- What is your goal?
- What is in your way?
- What can you do to expand?
And more relational, “who” kind of questions with the younger planter:
- Who will it reach?
- Who could it miss?
- Who else can you include?
These are broad generalizations, yet subtle differences reveal different approaches to can engage different people from different generations.
For further insight in generational differences, see the following 1-page resources under Generational Differences:
- Generational Characteristics
- Generational Core Values
- Generational Leadership Style Preferences
- Generational Motivation Preferences
- Generational Team Preferences
- Generational Communication Preferences