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The Leadership Reality Check


It’s widely accepted that as many as 75% of 360-degree feedback participants will rate themselves differently than others score them.  What is the implication of this for leaders?
It’s a real eye opener to learn that our view of ourselves is so very different to how others see us. This can become abundantly clear when partaking in a 360-degree feedback. Honest feedback given by your peers and colleagues from both within and out of your direct working environment, although not necessarily what you’re expecting to hear, provides a clearer view of how ones performance and behaviour may be perceived by others. In the case of leaders, this has real implications for the impact our behaviour has on others. This can be positive, or in some cases, quite debilitating.
However, with the knowledge gained from this type of multi-rater review, we are then able to adjust the way we work and behave in order to reach optimal performance levels – reducing that 75% gap in perception. The more leaders become aware of their performance, the better the overall quality of leadership.
The congruence between ones own perception and that of others is a factor of awareness, and is a critical component of leadership intelligence.  Viewpoints on what defines effective leadership have changed over time.  Early views on Leadership Intelligence hold the theory that leadership success stems from a drive to dominate others, being extroverted and having charisma. However, today, people frequently point to the importance of emotional intelligence, facilitative skills and integrity.
This is where the 360-degree feedback really comes into its own. Using both formal and informal feedback mechanisms incorporated within a 360-degree feedback can help us to understand how our behaviour and leadership skills impact others.  This feedback helps reduce the distortion of self-perception, and increases both performance and relationship effectiveness.

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