Self assessment is a process you undertake to learn more about yourself. It requires you to be fully honest with yourself. It also requires you to assess yourself as you are today as opposed to what you want to be in the future. [gard]
Prior To A Feedback Session
It’s a good idea to do a self assessment prior to a feedback session from your work colleagues as this gives you something with which to compare their comments against. You might be less negative towards critical comments if they correspond somewhat to areas you’d highlighted yourself as developmental.
Perform a Self Assessment of Actual Leadership Behaviours
It’s usually best to assess yourself based on how you’ve actually behaved in the past. Try and think of a recent leadership experience. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an experience in work? For example perhaps you’re involved with the local kid’s soccer team. Or maybe you’re involved with a voluntary organisation. Whatever it is make sure it’s an example that’s meaningful to you and recent enough for you to be able to truthfully assess what your actual behaviours were like.
(Photo Credit: Iván Melenchón Serrano)
List Positives and Negatives
Sit yourself down in a comfortable spot. Pull out a pen and paper or if you prefer technology open up your tablet computer or laptop and try to start listing as many positive leadership behaviours that you demonstrated during your leadership experience. Next list the negatives too? What didn’t go quite so well? Were there any conflicts? Any misunderstandings? Things that went wrong? You should be able to list at least five positive leadership experiences and five negative leadership experiences. If you’re unable to do so then you really need to either develop your self awareness or you may need more leadership experience and practice.
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Assess yourself against core leadership skills
When assessing yourself in terms of your effectiveness as a leader you should assess how competent you are in relation to some core leadership skills. Ask yourself questions and try and be brutally honest with yourself. For example rate yourself on a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 is you have no skill or competence in that area and 10 is you’re a subject matter expert in that particular leadership skill. Some questions to consider might include:
- How strong are your listening skills?
- How strong are your writing skills?
- How creative are you?
- How good are you at problem solving?
- How good are you at motivating people?
- How self-motivated are you?
- Are you a good delegator?
- How creative are you?
- Are you innovative in terms of seeing ideas through to successful completion?
- How organised are you?
- Do you effectively manage your time?
- Are you able to effectively prioritize tasks?
- How intuitive are you?
- How good are your project management skills?
- Are you a good coach and mentor?
- How assertive are you?
- How good are you at budgeting and finance in general?
- How proactive are you?
- How driven are you?
- Are you good at making decisions?
I could go on but I’m sure you get the idea! Once you’ve marked yourself out of 10 for each of the leadership skills you believe are important to assess. Go down the list and pick out the skills that you are most competent at. Conversely pick out the ones that you need to develop most.
Get Feedback from Others
Give the same self assessment questions you answered yourself to a friend, relative or work colleague. Are there any similarities in their answers as to how you assessed yourself? This can be an interesting and enlightening exercise as others may see strengths that you didn’t even realise you had. Alternatively you may feel you’re strong in a particular area but others who know you or work with might not agree. You may want to consider asking why they scored you as they did. What might you need to change in order for others perceptions of you to change?
(Photo Credit: Karl Horton)
Don’t dwell too much on any negative comments. Question them first and then if valid simply use them as actions for further growth. Try and cast your mind back to what may have triggered the negative comment. Are the comments based on fact or perception? Reflect back and consider if you could have done anything different from what triggered the comment.
A self assessment can tell you a lot about yourself. You should take the information you have learned about yourself and act on it.
Consider spending more of your time on skills that you’re already strong at. These will often be skills that you enjoy doing. Skills where you do your best work and are most productive. But also, in order to be more of an all round leader, set some time away each week to focus on improving your skills in areas that you had identified as being weak.