Ignite! Newsletter

Each month ignite! explores a different topic designed to help HR, L&D, and training professionals improve productivity, employee engagement, and customer retention by exploring best practices in management training and leadership development.

Start Your Subscription

Subscribe today to start receiving your free montly issue of our award winning newsletter Ignite!

November 2015

Leadership Self-Awareness

Even the best leaders have blind spots. No one sees themselves as accurately as other people do. If you want a true assessment of your leadership impact, it's important to get feedback from others.

That can be tricky, according to coaching expert Madeleine Blanchard and assessments expert Dr. Vicki Essary, both of The Ken Blanchard Companies.

Finding the right assessment is the first challenge, according to Essary.

"When you are looking for a way to assess perceptions of your leadership behavior, be sure to consider only those assessments that are validated for measuring these behaviors accurately. A legitimate leadership assessment is different than an online survey or a quiz in a magazine, where the questions might be interesting but are not rooted in research or written by experts who know how to evaluate professional performance."

The second challenge is being open to feedback and willing to change, says Blanchard.

"It's important to seek out feedback and do something with it. A lot of people appear to seek feedback—because they think it is politically correct—but they have no intention of letting themselves be influenced by it or taking action because of it. This can be a serious credibility buster."

Blanchard and Essary share that even though it can be uncomfortable to receive feedback contrary to what you believe about your own leadership behavior, it's important to be open to feedback and see it as an opportunity for personal growth and development.

"Generally, our first reaction is to defend ourselves, explain it away, or rationalize the behavior," explains Blanchard. "But it doesn't matter if you disagree—just be open to feedback. Even if you aren't happy with what is being said, consider for a moment, 'What if they're right?' 'What could I learn from this?' The same goes for feedback that you automatically discount because you think it comes from someone you don't like or respect. In the case of an anonymous 360° assessment, you might think you know who gave negative feedback. But think: what if you are wrong and the negative feedback about your behavior came from someone you really respect?"

Explore the November 2015 Issue of Ignite!

Ignite! Featured Article Archive

Read featured articles from past issues of the Ignite Newsletter.