So, how would you score yourself as a manager and a leader? Don’t know, or not so sure? Well, if you’re not sure, let me tell you that your people are – they are constantly scoring you! So, if you have not evaluated your own performance in a while, now is a good time to start!
I met recently with the CEO of a large company who wanted to discuss some issues that he was having with his team. He gave me a pretty good briefing about the team – their strengths and weakness, success, disappointments, how they performed individually, how they get on together etc – all great information and really important when working with the team.
However, there was one piece missing – feedback on himself as a manager a leader.
I asked him to rate himself as he would any other member of the team in terms of team management skills and leadership. Rather taken aback at such a question, he began to reflect upon this unexpected query.
Truthfully, he was pretty challenged to do this straightforward exercise – like many others I ask the same of, I have to say.
To give him a helping hand, I put a series of questions to him, which would give a fair indicator, and since he found the questions and the ensuing conversation so helpful I thought I would share the questions with you here so that you can do your own evaluation:
Question 1: How open are your people with you?
What I mean by that is, is the information flow from them on a “need to know” basis or is it free flowing? Do they admit mistakes even if the likelihood of you finding out are slim? Are they open, and I mean, without prompting,about any worries and concerns they have? Do you know what their personal, non work related goals are? What are they ambitious about? Do you know what goes on in their personal lives?
Question 2: Are they fully supportive, in a real sense, on team goals or are they only concerned about their individual ones?
When you talk to them, do they discuss how they can support other team members goals? Can you see them contributing to other team members, not just in words but in actions? Or are they only ever bothered when it impacts upon their own goals? Do they contribute to the achievement and success of others?
Question 3: How supportive are they of each other?
Is it “I’m alright, Jack!” or will you see them supporting someone who may be struggling? Do you witness them helping each other out or does it only happen when asked?
At your meetings do you just go around the table to get individual reports about performance or do you spend more time discussing how everyone can leverage what is available to achieve the overall goal? Is everyone protective about their own resources or is there a real willingness to share?
Question 4: Can you say that open and honest debate happens among your team members, or does the office politics prevail?
Is it safe, as a team, to have “that” discussion about the hot topics that need to be aired? Are the sensitive issues debated openly? ? Or is the atmosphere that an “attack” is happening and the truth does not get aired? Have you clear guidelines agreed for such conversations to take place?
Really take your time to reflect because the answers to those questions will give you a good picture of your team management skills.
I know that my client now has a much better picture of his skills and where he needs to focus to improve his own performance – and, as a consequence, his team’s too!
What would your answers be? Go on, and ask yourself these same questions – and then do something about it!