As a leader, feedback on your performance is often hard to come by when there is no one on your organizational chart above you evaluating your performance. Leaders need continual and meaningful feedback, however, and you can still improve yourself through seeking feedback on your own to assist with assessment and goal setting. Integrate these three practical tips from results-driven manager and team leader, Rory Angold, to evaluate your leadership performance.
Feedback does not need to be top-down, and most feedback moves up any firm’s organizational chart. The problem is many managers and leaders do not take advantage of the opportunity to intake feedback and make use of it. Something as simple as regular check-ins with team members can produce valuable information. Asking others how they view your effectiveness and areas where you can improve not only helps you directly, it also demonstrates one of the essential characteristics of a strong leader. When others see that you are willing to accept criticism along with praise and that you directly take responsibility for your actions, your leadership ability benefits.
Make the processes your employees use to communicate directly with you more accessible. Reduce the risk that people often perceive in communicating directly with their managers and business owners and make comments and discussion welcome. Follow up in meaningful ways by asking specific questions.
A leader’s idea of a business’s focus and vision is an area that often creates frustration. The most important thing about your mission and purpose for your business is that it be shared. When employees have to guess about the company’s direction, they are typically frustrated and ineffective. Without a clearly defined purpose, well-intentioned employees can move the business in unwanted directions.
Part of every employee’s evaluation should always be how well they feel the company’s vision has been shared with them and other team members. In addition to assessments, you should use regular meetings as opportunities to discuss and share the company’s focus and mission. Develop meaningful ways to promote your vision for your business without using slogans or jargon. A clear and realistic vision motivates everyone on your team to achieve specific goals.
Self-awareness and humility are personality traits that almost all people have, but entrepreneurs and leaders can suppress them. Pay particular attention to assessing your performance and getting valued members of your team to discuss outcomes with you whenever possible. Make it clear that you are not looking for empty praise but meaningful analysis and discussion.
The most crucial self-assessment skill you can develop is listening. Condition yourself to listen more and talk less whenever possible, and you will find that your performance review is ongoing and not so hard to tap into.
Also remember that mistakes are a part of everyone’s reality, and learning from your own is a vital part of effective leadership. Apologies can be meaningful, but taking ownership of a mistake is more important to your team. Be specific about desired areas for improvement and actively seek feedback.
Rory Angold has spent the past 20 years assuming leadership and executive positions within various companies. In his last position, Mr. Angold worked with Zurich North America, managing and more importantly developing field teams in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. His goal was to connect with automotive dealers and industry partners to help them increase their wealth while managing risks and protecting their assets.
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