In a previous article titled ‘Improving A Project Managers Leadership Abilities’ we discussed the role and importance of a 360 assessment. A 360 assessment aggregates information gathered from “raters” in various categories, which include:
- The Project Managers themselves
- Other Stakeholders (e.g. customers, spouses, friends, etc.)
The information provided by these “raters” will be gathered in a manner that assures its anonymity. The results are aggregated and presented in both a graphic format and in written form – notes and comments are part of the 360 assessment. With the anonymity, raters can be more candid in their evaluations of the leader’s skills and abilities. This overcomes the oft seen tendency to not give leaders candid feedback in other ways.
The 360 assessment provides the following types of information:
- A visual presentation of how you rated yourself and how others rated you – allowing you to determine what differences there may be in your self-rating versus ratings of others, and relative to the rater groups, i.e. peers, subordinates, etc.
- What your “Tilt” is: Clarity, Structure, Impact and Connection; each has its own attributes. There is no right or wrong nor better nor best “Tilt”. What information is presented provides insights that the leader uses to decide where to focus time, attention, and energy to bring balance to his/her leadership style.
- Your hidden character strengths – what others see, that you don’t and that can be leveraged to improve your effectiveness
- Your blind spots; what you think are strong points, but others find not as strong
- Highest and lowest ranked items by you and all raters
- Comments and suggestions from the raters about how you can improve
How should the Project Manager “see” the information?
The information is a snapshot in time; it can/will change as you work at improving your leadership abilities. Remember these basic guidelines:
Remember that this information is offered to help you build your character. Review the helpful comments offered to help you build your character strengths. Avoid attributing certain comments to specific individuals, as this may not be true at all. And, importantly, you have asked for candid feedback; enacting revenge for something you don’t agree with will upset the process of taking advantage of being vulnerable to your team, peers and customers.
Stay Open and Curious
Focus on staying open to learning and approach other views with wide-open curiosity. Learn to be fascinated about the perceptions people have that are different from your own. And look for the main points and ideas represented in the feedback. What did you notice that is common throughout the comments and the ratings?
Avoid Ruminating and Obsessing
Do not obsess about comments made by raters. The aim of the 360 is to give you honest feedback about what you are doing that works well and what does not work well. If you see comments that are not helpful, set them aside for another time. Ask: What rings true for you? What do you already know about yourself? What is new and that surprises you – both positive and negative? All feedback is helpful!
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Remember that your job is to lead and that means that there will be others who will not agree with you or your style. That’s life! Using the type of information from your 360 helps you to learn about yourself. One of the main consequences we see that that leaders often experience better quality of living and leading. Remember that all of us are “just human”. Accepting with humor and humility that we still have things to learn can make receiving feedback on us fun and interesting.
Work With Your Coach
Working with a coach can be very helpful to you. Your coach is trained in the Tilt tool to provide you with help in interpreting the results and guiding you towards building the plan to leverage what has been revealed. The journey towards self knowledge is not one you have to undertake alone. A coach acts as a guide, interpreter, and support. Take advantage of it.