In the HBR Channel Management Tip video “Conduct an Informal 360°,” released April 13th, 2012, Scott Edinger, the founder of Edinger Consulting Group, gives some advice regarding leadership. He states, “to be a more effective leader you must identify your strengths, then decide which ones to develop – but you have to start with a clear view of yourself.” To do this, Edinger suggests conducting your own informal “360°” – an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses.
Edinger shares four simple questions that he recommends you ask your team members, colleagues, and boss:
1. What are my strengths?
First ask your colleagues to think in “broad buckets of leadership qualities like character, personal capability, getting results, interpersonal skills, and leading change.” Then have them go on to identify specific traits they feel you possess.
2. What are my fatal flaws?
Ask people to identify any traits that are holding you up – traits that could potentially derail your career or lead you to fail in your current job.
3. What works best for the company?
Next ask, “Which of my strengths is most important to the company?” Ask your colleagues which of your abilities they think, if you were truly great at it, would have the biggest positive impact on your organization.
4. What works best for you?
Finally, ask, “Which of my strengths is most important to you?” Find out which of your strengths each of your colleagues values the most.
Remember, be receptive to the feedback from your informal 360° – even when it’s negative – and be sure to foster a feeling of safety, assuring friends and direct reports of complete amnesty regarding their responses.
Edinger closes by saying, “an informal evaluation like this will not only help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, it will also show your colleagues that you are working on your leadership skills.” Great advice to anyone who wishes to develop their leadership strengths and work on their weaknesses! Get some honest feedback, conduct an informal 360° – the benefits will be priceless!