Leadership effectiveness is one of the top qualities most enterprises focus on because it takes an excellent leader to drive the top results your business needs. Of course, most companies have performance review processes already in place, but are those reviews actually improving your leader's performance?
The best leaders know that the "what" of their plans is important, but the "how" matters just as much.
For example, the easiest way to get your team on board with a new plan or strategy is by sharing your vision and explaining why it's necessary and important. But if you're not also sharing how you plan to make it happen, your employees may not be inspired enough to follow through on the tasks required. That's why it's important for leaders to focus not just on the "what" but also on the "how" of getting things done.
What methods did you use? How did you get people on board with the plan? What did your team look like? How did you set up accountability measures? How did you communicate updates and changes? These are only a tiny fraction of the leadership qualities that result in employees feeling motivated, engaged, and responsible for achieving results.
The 360-degree leadership assessment is how to identify the way leaders achieve results: where they are strong as well as where they lack essential insights and skills to be most effective. It also delivers high impact, high actionability feedback.
We have pulled together the most vital insights into what you will discover through this assessment, how they can significantly impact your bottom line, and even how to pursue this topic further.
What Is a 360-degree Leadership Assessment?
The assessment is a form of feedback that focuses on a person's skill, influence, and effectiveness as a manager, leader, or executive. Under this type of evaluation, leaders receive feedback from a set of colleagues. These colleagues are their professional peers and direct reports.
360-degree Feedback Assessment
The 360-degree survey typically includes a list of about 50 to 75 behavioral questions, which are organized into 10 to 12 competency areas. The subject’s manager, peers, and direct reports (if they have any) all answer those questions based on their experience working with the leader being assessed. The scores are then averaged by group for confidentiality reasons and to ensure feedback stays anonymous.
Competencies Measured by 360 Workplace Leadership Assessments
This type of assessment strives to evaluate a person's leadership skills based on a series of competencies. These competencies are common to most influential leaders, and they typically include measuring a leader's listening skills and inclusiveness.
Additional measured competencies include:
- Composure under pressure,
- Areas of improvement,
- Ability to lead,
- Effectiveness in motivating others,
- Controlling organizational flow,
- Readiness to ask for input, advice, and ideas,
- Formal and informal communication skills, and
- Planning and setting measurable and attainable goals.
No leader has all of these competencies as their strengths, which is okay! No one is perfect, therefore, no one will have strengths in all of these areas. The point of this assessment is to highlight where a leader is strong and where they have areas of opportunity for growth. This assessment can prove to be highly beneficial to any enterprise when properly executed.
Benefits of 360-degree Leadership Assessment
When this feedback is done correctly, there are several benefits that come with it like increased self-awareness. We commonly think that we see what other people see in us, but we're wrong. The assessment exposes a leader to the perspectives of others and can help them identify behaviors that they may not have been aware of.
A few surprises usually come about after people get their reports. A leader may think they have a strength in something, whereas their peers see it as a weakness. On the other hand, you may find out that you had strength in an area where you thought you were weak.
Most people notice about three or four areas in the report that they will want or need clarity on. This is to be encouraged. For example, someone might want to know why their boss rated them lower in certain areas and higher in others. It is why their manager reviews the report with the individual to help them better align with the company's expectations and adjust their own personal expectations.
360-degree feedback is only the first step in becoming better leaders of employees. The assessment is meant to create a dialogue to provide more insights than the report alone.
Measures the ‘How’
Leaders are typically held accountable for achieving results, but their bosses usually overlook the methods used to gain those successful results. 360-degree leadership improvement feedback assessments measure how well leaders interact with others, which ultimately drives successful results.
Most leaders who participate in this process discover that there are specific topics, such as thinking more strategically or developing their team, which are keys to their success as a leader. With this new information on hand, leaders can put their focus on those specific competencies to improve their results.
It is also important to note that leaders need to find a work-life balance that works best for them. Focusing too much on improving their results can lead to burnout in the team.
Improves Working Relationships
One of the vital behaviors in a successful working relationship is reciprocity. There needs to be a mutually beneficial exchange. Performance feedback is usually one-sided, and a leader can only hear that feedback from their direct reports.
360-degree leadership assessments show a leader more about how they interact with their department and highlight areas that directly impact relationships. For example:
- Is the leader open to feedback?
- Does the leader treat others kindly and with respect?
- Are they a good communicator?
This assessment highlights any areas that the leader may want to strengthen so that they can become a better leader.
Encourages Personal Development
Personal development is the number one outcome of this feedback process. Participants will create a development plan based on the feedback received.
Most leaders have some level of self-awareness regarding their leadership behavior and their strengths and weaknesses. But even they need specific and honest feedback to become better for themselves and the organization. With this information on hand, leaders and employees can fine-tune their behaviors. Sometimes, making these improvements requires outside help because of resistance to change, falling back into familiar habits, etc.
In typical feedback situations, people may feel inclined to tell a person that they need to "be a better leader" or "demonstrate the company's mission and core values" without going into details about what that leader should specifically focus on. 360-degree workplace leadership assessments eliminate this problem by giving the leader’s manager, as well as the leader, a clear understanding of what specific behaviors they need to focus on.
Essential Skills Necessary for Top-Performing Leaders
There are a few skills that are essential for top-performing leaders. Communication skills is one of those. This area looks at the extent to which you communicate and how the leader welcomes feedback.
How well do they absorb and act on feedback? Do they listen to the responses of others to adjust their delivery?
Delegation looks at how they give their team members the space to determine how they accomplish projects or tasks delegated to them. Do they create a climate of trust within their team that makes employees feel comfortable making mistakes? In addition to that, do team members feel empowered to learn and achieve things differently?
Managing change focuses on how well a leader can anticipate and plan for changes. It also asks how they then manage themselves and others to handle that change.
How effectively do they manage personal changes? How effectively do they manage widespread change in a way that benefits their team, themselves, and the organization?
A leader has responsibility for many different and significant changes that can impact the entire organization. When in a leadership position, a leader must be able to systematically and objectively examine options, outcomes, and risks and assign weight to each possible alternative.
Emotional intelligence is a critical factor when it comes to workplace leadership. This area measures a leader's ability to understand, recognize, and harness their own emotions and the emotions of others.
How intelligently aware are they of their own emotional reactions and the emotional reactions of those on their team? How effective are they at putting all of that information to good use?
Team building focuses on guiding, coaching, and trusting a team to make their own decisions within the team environment. How well does the leader empower their team members? Does the leader understand that the consequences of their actions are owned by the leader alone and that blaming the team members is not acceptable leadership behavior?
Setting Goals and Standards
This area measures how well the leader can manage activities and projects using measurable standards and goals. How do they work with others to set goals to build commitment and develop understanding? In general, the setting goals and standards area looks at the leader’s ability to evaluate and prioritize action standards, intentions, and goals.
Visualizing the Future
Visualizing the future focuses on how leaders spend time thinking about the future to create a vision of what could be. How well does the leader anticipate and find ways to inspirationally describe what could happen in the future to the teams?
Improve Leadership Effectiveness in Your Company
Successful enterprises depend on their leaders and employees to meet deadlines and keep the business afloat. If you want your employees to perform at their very best and get the results you desire, look into the feedback provided by the 360-degree assessment.
It’s time to stop using archaic one-way feedback sessions and employ the more successful effective holistic approach made possible by using a 360-degree leadership assessment at every level. If you are ready to transform your leaders from good to excellent or have a “problem child,” get in touch, we have some answers you’ll love.
Want to explore further? Questions? – Get in touch and let's set up a time to talk. Brian Tracy USA: 877.433.6225 Email Me