Learn why it isn't uncommon that managers rate their own performance much higher than their employees do. Plus, hear ways you can help managers close the gap.
- Over the years, many surveys have shown that managers rate their own performance much higher than their employees do. Here's one such example. When asked to rate her management skills, on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being high, my coaching client Pam, gives herself a solid nine. As she believes there's always room for improvement. It's a good thing she believes this, because her people unanimously rated her a five. This news came as a big surprise.
After she had time to process this, we got down to the business of working on her leadership style. As well as her self awareness. The truth is that many managers are not very self aware. For most of us, self awareness is an ongoing process. Whether you're a seasoned manager, or relatively new to the ranks you soon learn that the skills that helped you move up the ladder aren't necessarily the skills you need for successful leadership. There are a number of ways you can help managers see themselves the way others view them.
Here are a few. 1st, you have to create an environment where two-way feedback is the norm'. Otherwise employees won't be forthright when asked for their opinions. My clients who've had the most success with this, begin at the top. Here's an example. One of my CEO clients asked her people to speak candidly with me about her leadership style. I then provided her with their feedback, which she openly shared in an all hands-on meeting. She later told me that this information was extremely difficult to hear however, she knew that her people were coming from a good place, and that this feedback would make her a better leader.
She took their comments to heart, and is now one of the most loved and respected CEO's I know. Which brings me to my next point, no one can see the back of their head without a mirror. Incorporating what we call 360-degree feedback as a standard business practice, can provide insight to the manager, as to what others are seeing when following them as a leader. It should be noted that, 360-degree feedback mechanisms shouldn't be used in all situations.
For example, if a manager only has two people on her team keeping confidentiality would be next to impossible. Whereas this approach could certainly work for people with much larger teams. In these situations, encourage leaders to meet regularly with their team members, and ask what they could be doing differently to improve their leadership style. Another way to help managers become more self aware is through the use of company wide surveys. I suggest engaging the services of a neutral 3rd party.
By doing so you'll receive more candid feedback. Work side-by-side with your survey partner to provide managers with an overall sense of how other leaders in the organization fared in comparison to themselves. This will give managers benchmarks, and will give them a sense of where they need to work with team members to improve. And what they need to work on solely. The 1st step in self awareness is recognizing you need to be self aware. You'll be doing your people a lifelong favor when you help them see themselves as others see them.
- What makes a manager effective?
- What managers seek from their employers
- Coaching versus mentoring
- Determining whether to use internal or external resources
- Helping managers take control of their learning
- Creating a management training strategy
- Measuring the effectiveness of your program
- Avoiding common management development mistakes