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When you're driving in your car, you check your mirrors before changing direction and speed. Self-assessment evaluations for managers are a little like the mirrors of a company and it's leaders on the move.

Self-assessment evaluations can be useful exercises for gaining insight into management mis-directions and miscues, but they need to come with a warning. Like car mirrors, a self-assessment evaluation can reflect distorted images. Those doing a self-assessment have more knowledge about the subject than anyone else, but they also may be blind to their own biases and unconscious actions. A 360-degree survey with the questions reworded for employee feedback will add to a more accurate manager assessment. Also, others may see self-identified strengths as weaknesses, and vice-versa; or a particular situation may require a response that may be seen as a weak characteristic and undervalued.

We can also have different interpretations of a statement based on wording alone. For example: "Past conflicts have been resolved in a timely manner with my manager." The person assessing the manager (whether self or employee) can have different ideas of what "timely" means. The more we are aware that the images in the mirror may not be exactly how they appear, the more insight we are able to acquire from a self-assessment evaluation and the more we are able to understand ourselves as managers. A good manager should ask their employees a number of questions related to their relationship skills and management style on an ongoing basis.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. For companies, the price of that kind of insanity is too high. Managers who neglect to do regular self-assessment evaluations put a business at risk.

For managers to understand which of their behaviors bring positive results and which continually create negative outcomes, some time investment into formal self-assessment evaluations is critical.

When do you plan on doing a self-assessment? And who can you count on to give you feedback on your assessment?


Larry Hart

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