We’ve all heard the old adage in business, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.
This is often very true, as networking is key and decision makers (be it a potential client, a potential supplier, a potential employer) often prefer to deal with who they already know. Before we spend any time on the topic of networking though (if you are keen to learn from the best when it comes to networking, I recommend reaching out to Catherine Brownlee), it is imperative to start at home.
In the mirror.
How well do you know YOU?
Do you really know your greatest strengths and weaknesses? Do you know what your greatest people skills are? Have you ever thought about what your most consistent contribution to a group project or team dynamic might be? If you are truly committed to personal and professional growth, and you have the guts – wouldn’t you like to know what your ‘blind spots’ are? Do you wish you knew what people wanted to see more or less of from you?
There are numerous sources [like here and here for starters] citing the correlation between personal awareness and leadership effectiveness. From the above scholarly articles to the ancient Greek aphorism, “know thyself”, the concept of self-awareness or knowledge of self has been documented, and thus, studied – for millennia.
Whether you are an employee looking to create more opportunity for yourself, a leader looking to climb the corporate ranks and join the C-suite, a manager looking to drive employee engagement and buy-in, or a sales professional seeking to ‘show up’ as your best and most likable self- the link is clear. High levels of self-awareness correlate to high levels of performance and effectiveness in groups and with others.
So the million dollar question becomes – “how do I gain such insights?”
The short, bad news, hard-to-sell answer is years of personal and professional development, reflection, exercises, conversations, mistakes, courses, and experience (both good and bad).
The good news is we can shorten that time dramatically and reduce the associated pain through a powerful tool known as the 360 degree leadership peer review. On average at InSite we take 1 leader a month through this process, and the results never cease to impress – if not amaze. When well designed and executed, the tool has the power to uncover:
• Your leadership ‘brand’ – what it is those led by your experience through your leadership
• Your greatest professional contribution assets; and from there – what sorts of jobs or environments you are most likely to thrive in
• How others perceive your values
• What others want to see more and less of from you
• What you need to improve on if you want to see better results
• What you are really good – if not great at, and how this could be the key to an amazing career path
Before I build this tool up too much, see an example of what we provide for our clients as an example;
Values your peers would like to see you exhibit more often
1. Self-discipline & patience (5 responses each)
2. Trust (4)
3. Perseverance, commitment, decisiveness, and well-being (all with 3)
4. Mission focus, community involvement, positive attitude, vision, listening, and conflict resolution (all with 2).
[Your answers Self-discipline, accountability, well-being; highly correlated]
Trends from above:
A. See it through A-Z; stay focused & disciplined every step of the way
B. May have a blind spot around engaging, involving, getting the best from others
1. Visionary (23 pts)
2. Connector (21 pts)
3. Subject matter expert (19)
4. Authoritarian (15)
5. Coach (13)
6. Delegator (10)
7. Evangelical (7)
8. Servant leader (6)
While this is of course a brief snippet, you can see just 2 paragraphs of what is typically a 7 – 10 page report. Although this report takes a lot of back end work to generate, and a skilled & experienced coach to debrief, it’s remarkably simple to understand – and all users have a vested interest in the content, because it’s about them!
As stated earlier, the 360 is but one of many tools that can bring about personal and professional development through greater personal awareness; but it is one of the most widely used and widely trusted tools in use today.
If you’d like more information on how to go about scheduling your 360 degree review, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to discuss setting up your secret weapon to personal mastery and success!