I am certified to administer 360° assessments from both The Center for Creative Leadership and
The Leadership Circle. They are both good assessments and it’s best for us to decide together which would be most useful.My perspective on what to do with 360° assessment results is unique. Normally, executives and senior leaders take 360°assessments and then create a development plan based solely on the results. The plan is simply a reaction to the 360° assessment. In my experience, those plans don’t evoke a lot of enthusiasm or motivation. Executives and senior leaders are successful! Tweaking their talents for tweaking’s sake doesn’t make much sense.
Executive leaders should first have a goal or vision – one or more things that they want to accomplish – and a plan to get there. The information gleaned from a 360° assessment should be incorporated into the plan.
The Questions about Assessment Results are:
- What strengths are currently serving them in reaching their goals?
- How else can those strengths be leveraged?
- What weaknesses are getting in the way of the attainment of the goals?
- What can they do differently to be more effective in reaching their vision?
“Weaknesses” isn’t really accurate. A 360° assessment tells you how others perceive you – not who you really are or what your real motivations are. It just lets you know how you appear to others. Leaders underestimate the value of making sure that their behaviors reflect their intent. A leader’s intent and impact should be the same. When there is discord, the impact a leader is having is different from their intent – the impact that they want to have. A 360° assessment identifies those areas of discord so leaders can align intent with impact and make progress more effectively and efficiently towards their goals.
Here is a General Outline That I like to Follow:
- The first step is to create a crystal clear vision of what the senior leader
wants to accomplish.
- Then we sit down and create a plan to get there.
- Next we consider the 360° assessment results and incorporate that information into the overall development plan. Perhaps a leader truly wants input from subordinates but finds out the he or she is not perceived as approachable or open to suggestions. The leader and coach will figure out behaviors that will make the executive more approachable.
The executive and coach create a short survey to send out to the group any behavior change is targeted to affect. The survey will go out every other week to check on the leader’s progress in changing perceptions with new behavior. There has to be a lot of transparency about what the executive is doing and why in order to enlist the target audience’s help.
Coach and executive set benchmarks and continue to check progress and tweak the plan.
Once current goals are met, we decide on what you want to achieve next.
Continuous accountability and motivation is key to the success of any behavior change. My job is to hold the plan and vision up prominently and frequently to keep the leader from getting swept away in day-to-day stuff at the expense of bigger and more long-term goals. My focus is making sure that the executive spends time doing things that move him or her towards a final goal – acting with intention, not acting as reaction to results of an assessment or daily pressures.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
I call my MBTI training my “Give Peace a Chance” workshop. Participants learn about their own preferences in how they process information, gather information, judge, and feel about punctuality and the freedom of keeping their options open. For most people, it’s a revelation to learn that others aren’t annoying them on purpose. Learning about the perspectives of others and a discussion of how the different types can complement each other really get the participants to listen to and appreciate each other more. There is a detailed description of the MBTI workshop for leaders here.
Team or Group Assessment
The assessment that I use for teams and groups is from The Leadership Circle. A team is a group of people with a shared goal that they all achieve together. A group is a group of people with something in common (e.g., senior managers, front line supervisors). I like this particular instrument because the participants answer the questions twice – once about how things are now and once on how he or she would like for the team or group to be. It reveals where the group or team is now and where they would like to be. It isn’t me telling them how they “should” be. The time we spend together is focused on how to get the team from where they are now to where they want to be.
The assessment can also let one group or team know how they are perceived by others. For example, we could ask the marketing department to fill out the assessment about the senior managers. Senior managers would learn how the marketing department perceives them now and how the marketing department would like for them to be. It’s very enlightening because the instrument doesn’t just show strengths and weaknesses; it spells out where the answering group would like to see change happen.