I was recently selected to be part of a leadership training program for DoubleTree by Hilton North America that focused on self development. The purpose was to further improve your already well-honed management skills with the intent to improve overall understanding of yourself. In doing so, you learn to leverage your own strength, to understand and control your potential challenges, and to deal with and lead through change.
I would like to share some of what I have learned and how it can help impact an organization’s morale, teamwork, and, ultimately, overall performance.
A good first step is to implement a 360-degree evaluation, an exercise that will enable you to see how others perceive you on all levels in the work place. The evaluation I used was conducted electronically through an outside company.
A 360-degree evaluation seeks input from multiple levels of contact within an organization, so the person in the center of the figurative circle gets a complete picture of how he or she is seen in the workplace. To complete my evaluation, I first conducted a self evaluation and then selected five individuals each from my peer group, my direct reports and my superiors to do the same. The combined feedback provided a report for review.
A 360-degree evaluation is a powerful tool that provides an inside view of how you are being perceived by superiors, peers and subordinates. It gives you a better understanding of how you come across to others in your management style.
Based on that feedback, it enables you to make the needed adjustments to change behavior or leverage what you do well.
If you’d like to try a 360-degree evaluation, simply Google “360 assessments” to find one of the many companies and sources that provide this service.
Another powerful assessment tool is “StrengthsFinders 2.0” by Tom Rath, one of many evaluations that will help you identify your natural talents and strong tendencies. This particular book has an individual code (one per book) that is used to do the assessment online. It identifies your five top natural strengths based on 30 human themes. The findings reveal we all have different combinations of top strengths, making us all individually unique.
Likewise, the challenge assessment revealed the areas of lesser tendencies and areas that could become risk factors—those that make us especially vulnerable when under stress. We used the Hogan Assessment tools for this exercise.
Through these various assessments, our group has learned to recognize and better understand each other’s differences. We have identified individuals who can complement one another’s most powerful strengths, and we can now pair them to create stronger teams.
Affirmations boost morale
We all like to be praised, recognized and acknowledged for what we do well. Such positive reinforcement lifts self esteem and encourages us to do even better. In an effort to involve our entire hotel community, we instituted a week of affirmation.
Every department installed a poster board upon which each team member could post positive comments about another individual, acknowledging their strength and talents. This process created an opportunity to identify talent in each team member that might not have been publicly recognized previously. It also allowed members to be “discovered” for more development and learning. It certainly boosted morale.
Through these exercises, we have all become more cognizant of our own personalities and strengths. We can utilize this insight to form more effective teams and ultimately become a stronger and better work unit.
I strongly believe that it is healthy to examine yourself and look at yourself from the outside in.
As a member of the Kokua Hospitality, LLC’s management organization team, Birgit Radin serves as the managing director for two properties in Chicago, The Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile and the Inn of Chicago. Reach her at email@example.com. To learn more about Kokua Hospitality, LLC, visit www.kokuahospitality.com.
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