leadership skills

360 Degree Feedback: Its Role in Employee Development

The case study addresses the following issues: the functions of the feedback within the organization, with a special emphasis placed on its use for employee career development; the benefits of such feedback to the organization and the individuals involved; the mechanisms used to obtain feedback; and, finally, the pitfalls of 360 degree feedback and its implementation.

Nowack presents a useful summary of some of the reasons for the increased use of 360 degree feedback in organizations: a need for a cost-effective alternative to assessment centres; the increasing availability of assessment software capable of summarizing data from multiple sources into customized feedback reports; the need for continuous measurement of improvement efforts; the need for job-related feedback for employees affected by career plateauing; and the need to maximize employee potential in the face of technological change, competitive challenges and increased workforce diversity.

360 degree feedback: the organizational and individual perspectives the use of 360 degree feedback can be examined from two perspectives - the organizational and the individual perspective.

London and Beatty, on the other hand, suggest using an introductory strategy which involves 360 degree feedback for development for several years before using it as an input to supervisory evaluations and decisions about pay and promotion.

The literature recommends that a trained professional handles the feedback and follow through process, but for many organizations this will depend on how many managers are involved and the size of the organization.

360 degree feedback will succeed in a developmental context only where the core values of the organization are also supportive of training and development, and the organization is committed to the training and development process as a means of enhancing its competitiveness.

Recent notions of the learning organization advocate the need for open feedback systems and the need for continuous improvement.

While it is accepted generally that feedback is invaluable within organizations,especially in managing employee behaviour, much research suggests that theflow of feedback in organizations is typically constrained[1]. Numeroussuggestions have been put forward to free up feedback channels – is one such mechanism. The focus of this article is on 360 degreefeedback which is defined as a contrived method of providing a flow offeedback to employees from all directions. The article addresses the followingissues: the functions of the feedback within the organization, with a specialemphasis placed on its use for employee career development; the benefits ofsuch feedback to the organization and the individuals involved; themechanisms used to obtain feedback; and, finally, the pitfalls of 360 degreefeedback and its implementation..Although the names are different, the process is essentially the same. Theredoes not appear to be a distinct individual who founded or invented this processand, according to Moses et al.[2], the term “360 degree feedback” is misleadingas it suggests a newly discovered concept, whereas they argue that perceptionsof people have been available as long as there have been people to observe them.Their argument suggests that 360 degree feedback is a case of “old wine in newbottles”; the process has always existed within organizations but lately hasdeveloped the new label of 360 degree feedback.Whether it is old wine or new wine, the bottle is certainly new and feedback’s use by organizations is on the increase. It is estimated that Americancompanies spent $152 million on this form of feedback for developmentpurposes in 1992[3]. According to Van Veslor et al.[4], the number of feedback instruments has increased significantly in the past 15 year. 

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Posted on:2016-02-17

Transformational Leadership and Self-Deprecating Humor

Based on this understanding of the differential nature of transformational and pseudo-transformational leadership, and how humility and narcissism contrast leaders' self- vs other-oriented motivation, we examine how leaders express their values and concern for others using humor.

We chose humor as a mechanism through which leaders express their concern for others because of the potential for humor to be both a weapon to harm others and a tool to build relationships.

Humor and leadership Humor in the workplace has been identified as beneficial for reducing stress, promoting a "Fun" culture, encouraging group cohesion, and encouraging communication.

Although those perspectives are seemingly contradictory, our conceptualization of the relationship between transformational leadership and humor allows for both of these perspectives to be correct: some forms of humor are destructive, such as those that demean others, whereas other forms of humor are constructive, such as those that preserve and even strengthen the leader-follower relationship.

The nature and effects of aggressive humor can be gleaned from the superiority theory of humor, which posits that aggressive humor reinforces and maintains existing norms and hierarchical structures so that the interpersonal distance between leaders and followers increases.

We found a main effect for type of humor on humorousness of speech, F(3, 150) 3.15, po0.05, Z2 0.06, such that those in the control group reported the speech to be significantly less funny than those in the self-deprecating condition, and no additional significant differences were found among the self-, in- group-deprecating, and aggressive humor conditions on humorousness of the speech.

As a sign of high relationship quality and closeness, distinctive humor practices between the leader and follower may result, and thereby echo previous research which has documented the emergence of distinctive humor practices in group contexts.

A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of gettingthings done (Dwight D. Eisenhower).The power of humor has been well documented in a range of literatures, includingneurology (e.g. Bartoloet al., 2006; Coulson and Williams, 2005), communications (e.g.Gorham and Christophel, 1990; Wanzeret al., 2005), and applied psychology(e.g. Cooper, 2005; Ford and Ferguson, 2004). In organizational studies, there has beensome focus on leaders’ use of humor (e.g. Romero and Cruthirds, 2006) and itsconsequences on work satisfaction (e.g. Davis and Kleiner, 1989), collegiality (e.g.Bowlinget al., 2004), and psychological climate (e.g. Taylor and Bain, 2003). Extendingprevious research, we focus on whether the type of humor that leaders use is associatedwith perceptions of their leadership, in particular transformational leaders. Transformational leadership is comprised of four components: idealized influence,inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration(Bass, 1998). Idealized influence occurs when leaders treat followers fairly and earnfollowers’ trust and respect, thereby serving as a role model. As such, there are twoparts to idealized influence: an attributional component made on the part of thefollower, and a behavioral component enacted by the leader. Inspirational motivationencompasses expressing a compelling vision of the future for followers, andmotivating followers to surpass their expectations. Intellectual stimulation involvesencouraging followers to look at problems in new and different ways, to be creative,and to think independently. Last, individualized consideration entails leaders beingattentive and sensitive to followers’ individual needs and skills. Collectively, the goalof the four facets of transformational leadership is to elevate followers, and to this end,transformational  leadership  has  been  associated  with  higher  organizationalperformance (e.g. Dviret al., 2002), employee satisfaction (e.g. Nemanich and Keller,2007), organizational commitment (e.g. Barlinget al., 1996), and employee proactivity(e.g. Madzar, 2001)

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Posted on:2016-02-17

Leadership Skills and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has become a populare topic in the business press in recent years. ALthough we have not used the term "emotional intelligence", the Center for Creative Leadership has helped many leaders understand and develop emotional intelligence competencies for over thirty years. One way that we have successfully helped managers move beyond intellectual know-how and expand their emotional intelligence is through Benchmarks, a multi-rater feedback tool. This study compares scores on Benchmarks to self reported emotional intelligence as measured by the Baron EQ-i. We learned that key leadership skills and perspectives are related to aspects of emotional intelligence and the absence of emotional intelligence was related to career derailment.

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Posted on:2011-06-13