Have You Listened to Yourself Lately?

While reviewing a 360 degree feedback assessment with a senior leader a few days ago, I was showing him the section where he rates himself and then his manager, his colleagues, and his direct reports all assess him on the same quality.

Whether the rating criteria was “Organizes work thoughtfully in a way that achieves maximum efficiency,” or “Creates an inclusive work environment where everyone’s thoughts are valued,” the senior leader consistently rated himself significantly lower than all, not several, but ALL of the other raters. His CEO rated him higher, his peers rated him higher, and his direct reports rated him higher. When I pointed this out to him, in his usual humble way he asked, “Why does that matter?”

The reason it matters is because he is incredibly instrumental in the organization, a mentor to many, and respected by even more. He is ready to expand his reach and to develop additional projects and everyone knows this but him. As a result, he is actually holding himself back, and in turn, holding back his own organization.

We all know leaders who are difficult to work with and who don’t see their own blind spots. These folks truly need to learn from their raters and work to build essential skills. Similarly, when we are doing a great job, it is just as important to recognize our achievements and to build on our positive attributes. 

If you would like to learn more about 360 degree feedback, you can do so here.

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