How Ascentis’ VP of Product Management Uses Ascentis 360 Degree Assessment to Build a Dynamic Team
I authored a blog post a few months back titled “Empowering Your Workforce Using 360 Degree Assessment Software” and a concept called Team Mojo™. Team Mojo is about building a team dynamic that creates a collaborative, trusting, and human workplace. Inspired by the work of Liz Ryan, creator of Team Mojo, I wanted to learn if my own team had “mojo,” and put it to a real-world test using the Ascentis 360 Degree Assessment solution to have my team judge my performance as a leader and provide me with constructive feedback.
The first part of this test was deciding what useful feedback to gather. The first step in my research revealed some great content including a manager effectiveness survey available from SHRM. We built the survey in our solution, and set a date to distribute and a time frame to keep it open (I chose to keep the survey open seven days). I asked those people who work for me and closely with me to answer honestly.
The survey begins off by the manager (me) performing a self-rating. At first, I felt a bit funny rating myself along the dimensions on the survey. Honestly, I didn’t like it. When I examined that feeling, I realized it was because I was worried that I would rate myself in a way that was different than my team and I would be surprised or embarrassed. The reality is that this is part of the process, challenging your perspective on how you think you are doing, and weighing that against what the people around you think. The dimensions that we looked at were as follows:
- Valuing behaviors – those are questions about values and general fairness
- Examples are: Seeks input from all team members, shows genuine concern for team members, keeps the focus on fixing problems rather than finding someone to blame
- Interdependence behaviors: How we work together and with others we work closely with
- Examples: recognizes and rewards team supportive actions and behaviors, considers the impact of actions and decisions on other departments before implementing, recognizes and supports the work of other departments
- Communication behaviors: How communication is accepted and propagated in the team
- Examples: Encourages other to express different ideas and perspectives, open to negative and/or constructive feedback, Keeps me informed on status of my work and updates in the organization
- Valuing Diversity behaviors
- Examples: Seeks input/feedback from divers individuals and groups, including internal/external customers, treats everyone with respect and fairness
- Leadership behaviors
- Examples: Encourages and embraces change by challenging status quo, actions and behaviors are consistent with works, is trustworthy, uses a coaching management style, rather than an authoritarian boss management style
And we used a five-point scale:
2= needs improvement
3= meets standard
4= exceeds standard
I completed my rating, crossed my fingers, and hoped that my team also thought we had Mojo! The team had a week to complete the surveys and then I received my management reports. The details came back in a streamlined two-page report which broke down each category and rating.
It also highlighted highest rated and lowest rating overall dimension or competency by self, peer, or direct report.
And it covered the top and bottom five behaviors:
Finally we also asked questions about what my team needs me to stop doing, what I was doing to make the work environment enjoyable, and how I could be more effective. There were some great insights provided in those areas and every nugget of feedback helped me consider how I could improve with the help of my team.
All in all, I feel pretty good about the peer feedback I received. What I truly learned is that we are fairly aligned in how we feel about how things are working within the team. I also appreciated the time I spent with my team covering the feedback and drilling down into the comments and talking and working through those areas. Every opportunity to find out how managers can do better always matters. And I think I can say that my team does indeed have the “mojo.”