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Leadership 360 Complete Report, the first thing that stood out to me was the dramatic difference in how I perceive myself and how others perceive. I rated myself higher than the others rating me did on every single dimension. There was not one area where my perception of myself was lower than my raters' perceptions of me. In addition, my personal choice raters rated me more highly than my teammates did on every dimension but assertiveness, suggesting that I am not interacting in a teamwork setting in the same way that I might in other social contexts. It was, furthermore, disheartening to see that my teammates ranked me below average on every dimension but assertiveness. This indicates to me that I am not being realistic about how I interact with a group situation. I see myself as a more competent and more capable leader than I am actually being, which could be a pretty significant problem. Therefore, I was interested at looking at not only the raters' quantitative judgments about me, but also their qualitative judgments of me.
In each of the major areas, I saw a disconnect with my own perceptions of my behavior and how my behavior is actually impacting others. I consider myself capable of reading people, but their responses suggest a certain level of obliviousness to how my behavior impacts others. In terms of motivation, it is clear that I was not reaching the potential the personal choice raters recognized when working with my teammates, particularly in pushing myself out of my comfort zone. My listening, assertiveness, and teamwork rating skills were all lower than I would have imagined. However, while I ranked my communication skills higher than my teammates and personal choice raters did on many dimensions, I actually feel that the results in that category were closer to what I would have predicted than the results in the other categories, as were my results in managing conflict.
Root Cause Analysis
Looking at the raw scores given to me in each overall category did not highlight a specific weakness. In other words, I cannot say that my weakness is that I am not good at reading others or need to develop my listening ability. However, looking at each of the dimensions measured in the categories, it quickly became apparent that I have a significant weakness that impacts my teammates' perception of me across all of the dimensions. Apparently, I do not work hard enough. Prior to this assessment, I would have honestly stated my belief that I do my fair share of teamwork and that I do not avoid responsibility for work. However, it is clear that I am not doing the amount of work that others in the team think that I should be, and this is a significant weakness. It is impossible to develop leadership skills if the team members believe that I am unwilling to do the work necessary to make the team a success.
The first hint of this weakness appears in the decision-making category. When asked about whether I use creativity to come up with innovative ways to solve problems, the Personal Choice raters and I both ranked me relatively highly in that dimensions, but my actual teammates ranked me lower. That difference indicates to me that when challenges occurred in the group, I failed to expend the extra effort to help develop new solutions to meet those challenges.
Likewise, when examining the motivating self and others category, it is clear that I was not living up to what I believe I am capable of doing and what they personal choice raters saw I was capable of doing. My teammates did not rank me highly on my ability to maintain focus and follow a task through to completion. In addition, they did not think that I was good at setting challenging, yet achievable, personal goals. The feedback I gave to the group was not considered constructive or helpful, which is at odds with my own perceptions, because I thought of my feedback as always constructive or helpful. However, the most interesting aspect of this may have to do with my comfort zone; my teammates did not think that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and sought growth.
As far as the results in my team work category, there again my teammates' ratings were indicative of a perception that I was slacking-off and failing to do my share of the work. They believed I demonstrated a lack of initiative. Moreover, they ranked me as very unlikely to take over the work and get it done, excluding others. While this is a positive in a teamwork environment, it also reinforces the idea that I believe my teammates perceived me as lazy and unwilling to do the necessary work to complete the task.
My perceptions of the quantitative analysis were reinforced by the qualitative comments that the raters gave about me. They suggested that I excelled when given a specific task, which may be an appropriate skill for a team member, but reveals a lack of drive in a team leader. My team members noted a lack of effort on my part, specifically saying, "I would suggest her to put more efforts into her work and focus on it more" (Leadership 360 Report, 2012). Another team member reiterated a perception that I lack drive, encouraging me to be strong about my viewpoints and not to give up on my own ideas. One of the more difficult comments to read was one that said, "she is not very responsible and has no desire to accept extra responsibilities. doesn't go out of her way for the team" (Leadership 360 Report, 2012).
When the qualitative comments are placed alongside the quantitative results, it becomes clear to me that I failed to provide my best efforts in this team project. My teammates perceived me as someone who was coasting through on a project and only willing to do what had to be done for the project to be a success. Therefore, while I do not think any of them perceived me as a negative team member or considered my behavior to have a negative impact on the team or the project's success rate, I believe that I failed to demonstrate leadership potential in the task.
I am fortunate in that the area that I believe is my weakest is also one of the areas that should be the easiest to remedy. My teammates felt that I lacked focus and attempted to avoid taking on extra responsibility for the project. In future projects, I can make sure that I am able and willing to devote sufficient time and energy to a project. I can also make sure that I am able to meet all deadlines so that I do not hold up any of my teammates' efforts because of delays in my work.
One of the problems with this my behavior on this particular project is that I do not believe I truly understood the scope of the project. A specific component in my action plan is to ask more questions and engaging in more fact-finding at the beginning of a project, so that I will know the scope of the project and be able to meet expectations. This way, I will know how much time and resources I need to have to devote to the project. Furthermore, I need to talk to my fellow teammates and find out about their ideas about scope. For example, I may be fine with an academic project receiving a "B" if that frees up time for another class or project; that is a trade-off that students have to consider.
The measurable component of my action plan refers to additional work that I can do to…[continue]
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