Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to Avoid Bombing Your Next 360 Evaluation

1. Demonstrate an awareness of how your behavior affects others. Without knowing how others experience you, you’ll never get any better.

Too many leaders are guilty of a complete and utter unwillingness to understand how other people experience them. Partly because of their ego. Partly because they’re scared the feedback might be negative. And partly because they’re scared that the feedback will require them to (GASP!) change.

This, I can certainly relate to. As a speaker, I’ve had video footage that I couldn’t bring myself to watch until YEARS later. Namely, because I was terrified of discovering how stupid I looked, how many people in the audience were sleeping and how few people in the audience were laughing.

Interestingly, once I finally mustered the courage to watch myself on tape, my performance didn’t turn out that to be that bad. In fact, I only spotted ONE person in the whole crowd who was sleeping. And I’m pretty sure that guy was drunk. So, I’m challenging you get over yourself by opening yourself to the reality of how your behavior affects the people around you. How often do you spy on yourself?

2. Make a concerted effort to understand how other people experience you. Sometimes you’re too close to yourself to see the parts of yourself that drives other people crazy.

People can learn what you know just by observing your life. So, maybe it’s time you get bitten by the bug of self-awareness. Maybe it’s time you run an honest self-appraisal. Take some time to ask yourself the following three questions:

*How do people describe their experience with you?
*How (do you want people to) describe their experience with you?
*And what specific steps can you take to make the answers to those two questions more similar?

You will (probably) be startled by your own lack of awareness. After all, the only judgment people can make – the only impression their unconscious mind can form – is a function of how interacting with you made them FEEL. And ultimately, it doesn’t matter what YOU think; it matters what THEY remember. Are you approachable, but not remembered as being approachable?

3. Convey a thorough understanding of yourself. You can’t coach others if haven’t conquered the person in the mirror first.

Create a governing document for daily your decision-making. I guarantee this exercise will change your life. Here’s how you do it...

Start by making a list of every single choice you made yesterday: What you ate, when you interrupted, how you listened to people, which tasks your invested your time in, EVERYTHING. From the moment you woke up to the moment you went to bed.

Then, for each choice, go back and think HOW you made that choice: What questions did you ask yourself? What thought processes did you take yourself through? Write those notes down.

Finally, once you’ve uncovered the WHAT and the HOW, ask yourself WHY: What values were those choices rooted in? What commonalities did all your choices have? And what words governed the questions you asked yourself when you made those choices?

Then, if you really want to blow people away, keep a copy of this document in your wallet or on your wall. Reference it on demand. Title it “How I Make Decisions” or “My Opportunity Filter.” Not only will it keep you accountable and consistent, but it will also inspire all who see it to run a similar self-assessment of their own decision-making. When was the last time you made an appointment with yourself?

How will you avoid bombing your next 360 evaluation?

For the list called, "33 Daily Practices for Boosting Your Managerial Magnetism," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!