We’ve been talking about personal branding this month, and I thought it would be interesting to look at how you see yourself as leader.
What kind of leader do you believe yourself to be? What words would you use to describe yourself and your leadership style?
Go ahead. Jot a few of them down.
Now let me ask you this.
What kind of leader do your teams believe you to be? Do you think they would describe you in the same manner?
Part of managing and presenting a clearly defined personal brand is knowing yourself. If your teams don’t see you the way you see yourself, there’s a mismatch. Your brand integrity is compromised.
If you have never asked for feedback from your teams, perhaps now is a good time to start.
One of the most comprehensive feedback tools is 360-degree feedback.
360-degree feedback is a process by which you seek and receive feedback from more than your immediate managers. Typically, performance feedback comes from above but that’s only one point of view. 360 brings you feedback from many different levels, and helps you build a solid picture of how you are being seen as leader.
360 isn’t about job performance. It won’t give you information about how you are progressing in your current role. Instead, it focuses on specific skill areas, and tells you how your skill levels and contributions are being seen by others.
It’s known as 360-degree feedback because opinions are sought from yourself, your peers, colleagues, downlines and up lines, too. The respondents remain anonymous so they can be honest in their comments. It’s designed to give you as complete a picture as possible of how you are seen by the different levels or groups you interact with.
The challenge of 360-degree feedback
As with all feedback, it may not be what you want to hear. It’s only human to want to be as perfect as possible, but we all know that doesn’t happen. This survey is all opinion based, so the comments might not be totally accurate. However, what the comments will do is reveal areas you need to polish up.
To benefit from 360-degree feedback, you need to regard the results as a map showing your strengths and areas in which your brand message is not being properly understood.
It’s hard to see yourself clearly and rather than operate with a distorted view, it’s vital you have accurate information so you can reshape yourself if necessary.
Implementing your own 360-degree feedback
You can undertake your own 360-degree review without having to enter a formal survey process. Simply get out there and talk to people. Make sure you explain what you are doing and why, and remember that not everyone will feel comfortable giving you honest answers.
Remember, if your people are honest with you, there should be no consequences for them. True feedback is based on trust so make sure you establish a trust relationship before you ask people to be so open with you.
The more feedback you can get from all the different levels and groups you work with, the more accurate a picture you will build of how you are seen.
Be brave and ask for feedback. Discover the leadership brand you are currently presenting and then you can take steps to reshape it if necessary.
If you are interested in making 360-degree feedback work for you, then get in touch.