Self Assessment for Leadership: Assessing the Strengths and Vulnerabilities for Improving Leadership Effectiveness

Leaders are responsible for creating and realizing the vision by encouraging the followers to work towards the fulfilment of a common goal. Effective leaders should be able to have a perfect assessment of their strengths/weaknesses and deal with it efficiently. By adopting remedial measures, they should reinforce their areas of strengths and overcome their deficiencies.

Leaders who are self aware are able to monitor their progress and areas of improvement both professionally and personally. They can chart a futuristic plan of action and identify the areas of development which will determine their future growth prospects and help them in achieving success in their professional endeavours.

Successful leaders should have exceptional emotional as well as personal qualities like diplomacy, leading by examples and maintain an empathetic approach. Inspirational leaders stress a lot on honing their interpersonal and emotional competencies for gaining acceptance as leaders.

Advantages of Self Assessment of Leadership Competencies

  • Self-assessments can serve as a source of motivation because by way of self-assessments the leaders can track their progress and be motivated by their achievements as leaders.

  • Leaders get feedback on how they have been able to strengthen their competencies in the areas in which they wanted to develop.

  • Self-assessments promote self-awareness by giving an account of the personal & professional strengths as well as weaknesses.

  • By improving self-awareness, the leaders can hone their inspirational and leadership qualities.

  • Leaders can develop their leadership development plans by way of self-assessment and drive leadership strategies accordingly for accomplishing superior performance benchmarks.

Techniques of Self Assessment for Leadership Skills

Reflective Journaling Technique

  1. It starts with identification and recording of the learning experiences at work in a journal.

  2. Reflecting on the lessons by questioning yourself on various issues revolving around the leadership experience like why and do you think certain things happened and the challenges you had to encounter as a leader.

  3. Drawing out conclusions from the learning experience and identifying the possible areas of development or changes for the future.

Benefits of Reflective Journaling

  • This technique is useful in reflecting on the key challenges which they encountered, what the favourable factors were and how things could have been handled differently for getting the desired outcomes.

  • Reflective journaling can be useful in chalking out a futuristic plan of action for the leaders based on the identification of the areas of development.

  • By using this technique, the leaders can maintain a record of their experiences in a journal which can serve as a basis for the preparation of a leadership development plan.

Checklists and Survey Method for Leadership Assessment

This is another critical technique by way of which leaders can assess their areas of strengths and improvements. It can be used periodically to determine how you have evolved and honed your leadership qualities over a period.

Checklists & surveys help in improving self awareness related with emotional competencies, relationship skills and a lot of other areas like your level of enthusiasm, involvement and clarity of direction.

Steps involved in using checklists & surveys given below:

  1. Survey stage during which the checklists of the leadership competencies are compiled.

  2. Assessing the personal strengths and areas which require improvement by analyzing the personally filled up survey against various parameters.

  3. Working in the areas of development and monitoring progress or growth in those areas by conducting a study once again after few months.

Benefits of Survey Checklist Technique

  • Checklists are useful in the identification, sorting and recording of the primary competencies required for handling certain kinds of jobs.

  • Survey checklist technique provides valuable information regarding how a professional has evolved as a leader and in planning the future developmental plans for the leaders.

  • This method provides an accurate assessment of the existing levels of knowledge and competency of a leader.

360 Degree Feedback as a Technique of Leadership Assessment

This technique offers a comprehensive view regarding how you are perceived as a leader by others and improves understanding about one’s strengths and weaknesses as a leader. For conducting 360-degree feedback, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Completion of a Confidential Survey: A confidential survey comprises of various questions is completed by the peers, superiors and also the reporting authorities for gathering feedback about a leader on multiple leadership competencies.

  2. Rating & Feedback: The members involved in the survey are requested to rate the skills and provide feedback in the written format.

  3. Results are analyzed and compared with the subject then finally.

A leader designs his/her own 360-degree feedback survey formats. Some common leadership competencies that should include in the 360-degree survey are:

  • Honesty, high motivational qualities, straightforward approach and competence.

  • Inspirational leaders are visionary, have a strong sense of ethics and principles, courage and are realistic in their perspective.

  • Leaders have a high sense of integrity, emotional stability, credibility, maintain equity, are self-accountable and dependable.

  • Inspirational leaders are known for their challenging, encouraging and involving capabilities.

360-degree feedback surveys can be tailored and be developed suiting to the requirements of the organization.

In the end, we can conclude that self-awareness helps in changing and bringing about reforms in an individual’s behaviour. Self-assessment helps in improving self-awareness and in developing competent as well as promising leaders.

Various techniques of self-assessment provide vital feedback and inputs on the key strengths and qualities of a leader. Besides this, it acts as a guiding roadmap in determining the future strategies and areas of development of a leader with a vision.

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