startled by 360° feedback
Brian is an upper level manager in a
mid-sized service organization. He recently participated in a 360° feedback process and
was shocked by some of his results. While generally positive, he was startled to find that
he rated himself significantly higher than the group did. He also realized that his
self-perception in certain areas is significantly different than those of others.
|New organizational structure affects
The context of Brian's need to change is important to note. The organization
has implemented a self-directed team structure in the operations area, and
this year the thrust is to expand some aspects of that model to how support
services do their work.
Brian and his boss decide
that in order to address the deficit areas identified, team motivation and
decision-making, he could benefit from an executive coach who is skilled in the areas he
needs improvement in. They elect to use a coach versus sending Brian to classes because
they know that the coach their company uses has a solid reputation for creating change.
Further, both feel like most training sessions do not get to the level of skill-building
required for change behavior to occur. Executive coaching will allow Brian to apply new
skills immediately in real work situations and will provide him with the privacy to
practice with his coach rather than in front of others.
|The coaching begins
In his first session, the coach
about his emotional reaction to the scores. Brian is initially defensive about his scores,
but through the course of their session he begins to realize that there may be some
legitimacy to the results. His coach helps him look at the data in more depth to enable
him to understand the scores in many different ways. He realizes that his
interpretation of the data was quite superficial now that he sees the inter-relationship
between competency clusters.
Next, his coach
evaluates how he learns most effectively. This knowledge will allow her to create coaching
process that reflects his particular way of gathering, processing and assimilating new
knowledge and skills. They next develop the coaching plan and review it with his boss.
This review is critical as it insures that the plan supports his divisions
direction and strategies.
Brian begins to work on
improving his knowledge of, and the behaviors required to support self-management in a
team. Before he moves forward in these areas, his coach picks up that there may be some
resistance to making such a change. Together they address this hesitancy and recognize
that some attitude or belief was getting in the way of Brian trusting his teams. It
becomes clear to the Emersus consultant when he begins to describe his working experiences
in the past. Brian has had career success by getting things done
but usually on
his own. He also has had numerous experiences with co-workers in which he has been let
down. Further, he admitted that if he let go of control, he did not know quite what he
would do with his time!
Over the course of 6 months, Brian
learns how to use a variety of facilitation techniques to build his teams confidence
and ability to function more independently. He also realizes that his low score in
decision-making reflected his lack of knowledge of different ways decisions can be made
and when each is most appropriate. He also learns some specific tools to get to best
decisions, such as paired matrix, criteria rating and the nominal group methods. He realizes the power of participation
when he allows his team to solve their own problems, plan their work and make decisions on
their own (as long as they are within the parameters laid out for them.)
As Brian improves, so does his
team. Morale improves, efficiencies develop and productivity increases. The effect is not
immediate, though. Brian has learned that when teams are implemented, they often perform
more poorly for some time as they learn new ways to get work done. This knowledge helps
him persevere and continue to do what he has learned.
Brian was pleasantly surprised by one
big change. Before his "awakening," turnover in his team was much higher than in
others across the corporation.
Turnover in his team has now dropped to lower than the average in the organization!
Later, after the second administration of the feedback instrument, he finds that
his scores in all areas have improved, not simply in team motivation and decision-making.