Consider the best leader you’ve ever followed. Do you have a clear picture in mind?
If you think about all the things they did exceptionally well, you could probably create a long list of what made them great.
Perhaps they were a great communicator and you always knew just what they expected of the team. Maybe they were an excellent motivator who knew just how far to push to get you to do your best. Or maybe they were dynamic culture-builders whose energy and influence created a team whose impact was felt outside of their scope of work.
Great leaders make a lasting impact on those they lead. However, even the great ones have blind spots.
But here’s something to consider—that leader who you thought was so great, may not have seemed that way to everyone on the team. What appealed to you as a team member may not have worked for everyone.
Effective organizations know this and do something about it.
This is where 360° leadership is so critical. 360° leaders understand that leadership is more than charging the hill and expecting others to fall in line. It’s more than looking up at a boss.
360° leadership is looking all-around at the impact you make and striving continuously to be the best possible leader for your team and your organization.
WHAT IS A 360° DEGREE ASSESSMENT?
As the name implies, a 360° leadership assessment assesses a leader by providing accurate and pertinent information on how others experience their leadership.
Leadership, like communication, isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It requires customization and tailoring. Good leaders know this; good organizations empower their leaders to do this.
A 360° leadership assessment helps leaders pull back the curtain to discover how their leadership is felt by the people who experience them on a daily basis. By asking specific questions of peers/associates, direct reports, managers/direct line, and other people who know you best, a 360° leadership assessment is an invaluable tool that brings what is often hidden or overlooked to light.
These assessments aren’t meant to be painful, but every leader has blind spots and struggles of which they often aren’t even aware. Any criticism stings, even if it’s warranted. But the benefits to future leadership outweigh the momentary pain.
The accurate feedback of a 360° leadership assessment illuminates even the best leaders and equips them to grow as a leader and improve their leadership skills and competency. This helps them lead their team more effectively and become a greater asset to the organization.
HOW TO CHOOSE A 360° LEADERSHIP ASSESSMENT
There are many 360° leadership assessments to choose from, but there are certain characteristics that make some better than others:
A 360° leadership assessment should be comprehensive and inclusive. The best 360° leadership assessments are comprehensive and examine multiple leadership characteristics in order to dissect leadership from all the angles. It’s inclusive because it invites a diverse group of people to answer the questions in order to present a clear view of the leader from all sides.
A 360° leadership assessment should be anonymous and friction-free. It can be difficult to get people to answer questions about a leader for fear of repercussions. The best 360° leadership assessments are anonymous and friction-free. They are automated, usually sent to an email, and can be completed in ten minutes or less online. Participants shouldn’t have to worry about anything other than answering honestly and instinctively.
A 360° LEADERSHIP ASSESSMENT SHOULD PROVIDE THE RIGHT FEEDBACK
When you’ve chosen an assessment that is comprehensive, inclusive, anonymous, and friction-free, you’ve got the right inputs. The next thing to look for is the outputs.
A 360° Leadership Assessment is useless if it doesn’t provide information that a leader can use. The whole idea behind an assessment is to show areas where leaders excel, where they can improve, and where they have blind spots.
These are the most critical components:
- Results—Do you get things done? At the end of the day, leaders are paid to produce. Your 360° leadership assessment feedback should measure how well you get things done. This can be particularly enlightening when viewed through the lens of a peer, direct report, or manager. Each may see you differently and in those differences, there is room for growth.
- Relationships—Have you earned the respect of others? It’s not enough to produce. Great leaders also know how to play well with others. Your 360° leadership assessment feedback should measure your people skills and how your natural strengths and abilities cause them to experience you.
- Emotional Intelligence—Do you understand yourself? Do you understand others? Your 360° leadership assessment feedback should include some measure of emotional intelligence or Ideally, this will demonstrate how well you understand yourself and how well you seek to understand others.
- Trust—Are you someone who can be trusted? If trust is the currency of leadership then your 360° leadership assessment feedback should give you some indication of how much money you have in your trust bank account. It should illuminate whether you are operating with personal integrity or whether you have areas where trust has been weakened.
- Development—How well do you develop others? Leadership isn’t just about getting results out of your people, it’s also about developing them and helping their growth. Your 360° leadership assessment feedback should indicate whether you are a leader who is serious about developing your team and how you can make greater strides in that direction.
- Written Feedback—What are people saying about your leadership? Finally, your 360° leadership assessment feedback should provide a way for people to give specific, written feedback based on your actual leadership skills. This can be a goldmine of information that you can use to improve, in real-time, with the people you encounter day-in and day-out.
A 360° LEADERSHIP ASSESSMENT CAN TAKE YOUR LEADERSHIP FROM GOOD TO GREAT
If you are a leader who is serious about personal growth and wants an honest look at your leadership skills and abilities or you represent an organization that wants to empower their leaders to greater impact, then a 360° leadership assessment is the next step.
If you’re interested in learning more about the RightPath Resources 360 Assessment tool, you can get started here. If you’d like more coaching on how to make the most of these assessments in building your team, contact us here. We do that all day, every day.
Whatever you choose, the health and upward growth of your leadership is up to you.