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Leadership Development

Leaders don’t lead alone but they are unique as individuals. So, they must learn to truly manage through effective relationships with peers, supervisors and direct reports. Half of this equation is the assessment and understanding of how the leadership team is doing. The other half is providing the knowledge, skills and practice to increase individual and team effectiveness.

360 Assessment – Evaluation by Manager, Peers, Direct Reports and Self

Sayer and Associates has provided 360 Assessments for management development in many companies using different approaches as appropriate. These options range from custom-designing the survey based on the objectives, values or performance system of an organization to providing professionally developed and standardized tools. As a Registered Psychologist Dr. Sayer often has preferential access to many new systems and software, as well as the professional training to evaluate their validity and practicality. The outcome of a well designed and professionally executed 360 Assessment include immediate changes in behaviour that is easily corrected and increased motivation of managers because they can focus on practical activities for development. The long-term payoffs are in retention of high performers who usually seek management development support, increased productivity due to more effective management and more effective use of training and development budgets.

The process for 360 Assessments is as follows:

  • Scoping, then design of sessions to determine the right framework, software, and whether it should be web or paper-based
  • Assessment could be based on established 360 tools or on software like TEAMS, Insight 20/20 Gold, VOICES, or previously customized frameworks by Sayer & Associates
  • Consulting on communication strategy, identification of participants (both managers and feedback participants), distribution and follow-up
  • Design and generation of reports
  • Design and delivery of materials to support report interpretation
  • Interpretative discussions offered in either individual or group settings, always with confidentiality

While 360 Assessments have become quite popular, it is important to understand the do’s and don’ts that have been learned from experience in this area. Here is a small sample.

DO

  • Choose a survey that makes sense with the organization’s performance system and values
  • Develop a communication strategy that will set the right expectations for the process both before and after the assessment is conducted
  • Be clear at the outset whether or not the survey data and/or results will be kept confidential and how this will be managed
  • Have an person internal to the organization responsible for the communication and management of the process

DON’T

  • Integrate the results of a 360 survey into a performance or bonus system in the first one or two years of using such a survey
  • Have an internal department charged with the responsibility of tabulating results and generating reports if the results are supposed to be confidential
  • Introduce a 360 process without providing individual or group sessions to debrief and understand the results in the first year or two of operation, and following this for new hires

Case Report: 360 Assessment

Team Development

Management teams must show leadership to the rest of the organization in the way they interact, discuss important issues and make critical decisions. The rest of the organization looks to a handful of senior management teams to provide the direction and guidance that will make the organization a success now and in the future. If these teams aren’t working well, there are negative effects on many factors that lead to organizational success or failure.

No two teams are alike as no two individuals are alike. For this reason, Team Development sessions are designed by conducting interviews with key managers or, sometimes, with the whole team prior to a group session. Then the agenda for the session – generally one to two days – is set with the issues and objectives of that team in mind. There may be group or individual assessment measures used (e.g. MBTI, Leadership Styles, Teamwork Style) prior to or during the session with the goal of facilitating greater understanding of both the individuals on the team and the group process. The team members benefit by acquiring the understanding and tools to work more effectively and productively with each other.

Case Report: Team Development

Leadership Learning and Facilitation

Sometimes the simple approach is the best to teaching about leadership. These workshops provide education about the knowledge, understanding and behaviour demonstrated by great leaders. They also provide guided discussion concerning how to learn and live this in the workplace. It may be helpful to provide individual assessment prior to the workshop on leadership styles and one of several assessment measures would be chosen based on the level and experience of the participants. Guidance is provided to the organization on how to integrate this learning into ongoing development plans, mentorship and coaching so that this learning is actively supported as an important goal in the organization. These workshops have filled a much-needed gap in the learning of many managers who have achieved their career progression through technical expertise. Our experience is that they really value both the knowledge provided and the opportunity to discuss the issues with their peers.

 

 

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