Decrease to Increase

“Really? They think I’m good at that?”

In a more perfect world, 360* assessments would be unnecessary.  We’d stay “current” with each other, always delivering praise or asking for the new behaviors needed in real time. But that’s extremely rare. Colleagues withhold behavior feedback for many reasons, including fear of conflict, an overdone sense of ‘respect’ for hierarchy, or a history of failed response to the information. 

When I use a 360* assessment with my clients, one of the most powerful sections of feedback is opening up blind spots. Blind spots, which can show your hidden strengths or hidden weaknesses, are areas seen by others but not seen by you. 

There are three reasons for blind spots – either you have a skill that you don’t recognize, you don’t have a skill, or you aren’t demonstrating the skill. 

In the first case, you don’t value the skill that you have at the same level that others do. You believe that the bar is higher than it is and as a result, may apply unnecessary energy to (over)developing new behaviors. 

In the case where the blind spot is caused by lack of a skill, you are unskilled or unaware  of the behaviors required to show competency. Sometimes simple awareness is enough to change the behavior, sometimes further development work is needed.

Lastly, you may not know the importance of demonstrating a skill by applying behaviors you already possess. Take the competency of Informing,  for example: you may inform your board but not your staff, possessing the skill but only showing skill with one group but not with another. 

When was the last time you decreased your blind spots? It’s an easy way to improve effectiveness. Decrease one to increase the other.

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