As an HR pro you’ve probably filled your teams with a bunch of great leaders who only want to become better. So you want to continually help them boost skills.
But where do you start? A self-assessment is probably one of the best ways to kick off improvement.
This way, you can help front-line managers across the board. No matter their tenure or skill, knowledge and performance level, you both know where they are and where they’re headed.
These self-assessment tools from Dr. Bill Donahue, a leadership consultant, speaker and coach and SmartBrief on Leadership will help boost skills:
Consider past decisions
Most people – and especially managers and supervisors who want to be great leaders – scrutinize bad decisions. They might even be unnecessarily hard on themselves when things go wrong.
While it’s important to review bad decisions and try to learn from them, it’s more important to assess good decisions.
That way, front-line managers can equip themselves to do more of the right stuff and boost skills.
Donahue suggests honestly reviewing these questions regularly:
- What was my process for making a good decision? Did I get input, go off intuition, gather data, etc.?
- How did my decision impact my employees’ and colleagues’ emotions, work environment and success?
- How quickly was I able to decide? What influenced the speed of my decision?
- What was the ripple effect of my decision?
- Did I directly contribute to a significant business result?
- What other factor(s) outside my control had an impact?
- Overall, how do I feel about the decision? Would I make it again?
Then, “sift through your answers for themes, insights and wisdom for future decisions,” Donahue says.
Look at relationships
No leader is an island. Other people affect and are impacted by the actions, inactions, successes and failures every manager experiences.
“Every leader leaves a wake. The question is, ‘What kind of wake?’ Is it the kind team members can surf or the kind they’ll get swamped by?” asks Donahue.
So front-line managers want to look at how they relate to others and the quality of their relationships. Consider these questions and situations regularly:
- What kind of impact do you have on employees, colleagues and your bosses?
- What do they remember about you when your work together is over?
- Would others join you in the next step, project, initiative, etc.?
- How do people feel after you’ve left the room, meeting, conversation?
Managers might even want to ask a trusted colleague, “What do others say about my demeanor, relationship style and leadership approach?” And, then be open to candid feedback so they can learn and boost skills.
Watch for transforming moments
This past year presented many transforming moments for everyone. Managers want to take the time to look for and recognize those moments – and others from the past and in the future.
For instance, managers will want to consider professional situations that happened to and around them, such as promotions, necessary layoffs, new hires, strategic wins and losses.
Also, keep in mind personal moments, too, such as deaths, births and moves.
Finally, managers will want to look at communal shifts, such as the pandemic or natural disasters.
Then ask these self-assessment questions:
- What happened and who was involved?
- How did you feel and respond?
- What were the greatest struggles and best successes?
From there, managers can determine some strengths and weaknesses – and the places they want to focus their efforts to boost skills and become better.