A View Into What You May Not Want to See – But Need to See

One of my primary coaching focuses is public speaking. However, effective leadership is an undeniable part of my approach to better communication. Many leaders have an incomplete perception of how others see them, which often leads to ineffective interactions and diminished overall capacity. Until they are aware of their behaviors, as well as how others perceive them, they can’t fully contribute to the organizational goals and objectives. It’s for this reason that I offer clients what I call, “The Climb Leadership 360-degree survey.” This survey effectively accomplishes the following for those in leadership positions and looking to grow within an organization:

  • A systematic collection and feedback of data on an individual derived from several stakeholders regarding their leadership qualities.
  • Measures, catalogs, and communicates the behaviors and competencies shown by select individuals and how effectively they achieve organizational goals and objectives.

I have structured it so that each component includes observable and actionable descriptors.These surveys are typically by peers, direct reports, and managers, which yield actionable feedback. This allows an individual to more clearly understand feedback and apply changes to their personal development plan.

How Are Leaders Judged?

The definition of leadership is bound to differ from one individual to another – each basing their description on personal experiences and expectations. However, there are “Top Criteria” that I base my survey evaluation on. These are traits that we should frequently ponder and assess regarding our leadership abilities. They are:

  1. Communication: Displays good oral, written, and listening skills for individuals and groups.
  2. Decision Making: Employs sound judgment, logical reasoning, and uses resources wisely.
  3. Motivation: Inspires, motivates, and guides others toward goals and objectives.
  4. Planning: Develops detailed, executable plans that are feasible, acceptable, and actionable.
  5. Execution: Shows proficiency, meets standards, and provides sufficient resources consistent with goals and objectives.
  6. Assessment: Uses evaluation tools to promote consistent employee improvement.
  7. Development: Invests adequate time and effort to develop individuals to be leaders them-selves.
  8. Builder: Fosters an ethical climate by spending time and resources improving teams, groups, and units.
  9. Learning: Seeks self-improvement as well as continual personal and professional development.
  10. Adaptability: Adjusts leadership methods to changing conditions, climate and opportunities.

What if you consistently pondered on these areas and how you are approaching them? What if you periodically looked at these areas imagining how your peers would rate you in each one? What if you actually asked your peers to evaluate you in these different areas? The results would be eye-opening in some cases, understood in others, but helpful in every way.