THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – How do you demonstrate your personal qualities?

We’ve often talked about leadership qualities through this blog and this week we do so again, with  no apologies.  This blog is about improving your personal contribution in the workplace and leadership is just one domain of that menu.

Effective leadership requires individuals to draw upon their values, strengths and abilities to deliver high standards of service. To do so, they must demonstrate effectiveness in:

  • Developing self awareness by being aware of their own values, principles, and assumptions, and by being able to learn from experiences
  • Managing yourself by organising and managing themselves while taking account of the needs and priorities of others
  • Continuing personal development by learning through participating in continuing professional development and from experience and feedback
  • Acting with integrity by behaving in an open, honest and ethical manner.

Look at statements below:

On the scale next to each statement, choose a rating that reflects how frequently it applies to you then total your scores after each domain and reflect on how you have scored yourself.

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This interesting exercise will stand you in good stead for the first part of any future leadership assessment programme.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Are you a problem child or a superstar?

Get 360Spotting potential and developing yourself or those in your teams take a certain degree of judgment and a whole lot of effort! To avoid developmental activity is to contribute to raising problem children.  There is absolutely no reason why everyone, with developmental help and an atuned sense of professional self awareness, cannot all be rising stars for the organisation’s they work for.  Aresko can help, in all sorts of ways.  The first step is usually a vitally important 360° feedback exercise.  This exercise can help to spot where on the matrix below you might be now, and it can give us some developmental ideas on the way to affect the shift into “Superstar” status.  So what are you waiting for?

Here are a few tips for managing your team now:


High performance, low potential. Give recognition for good work, use to coach others, do they really have no potential? (Use Aresko for development purposes)


Low performance, low potential. Could contain potential stars and backbones.  Counsel, establish trust, agree aims, and take action to help, including outplacement if best. (Contact Aresko for strategies to improvement)


High performance, high potential. Agree challenging work to stretch them.  Coach and mentor (Aresko supplies both services!).  Agree projects and career development.


Low performance, high potential.  Counsel (boredom or low challenge?)  Inspire, motivate, encourage and reach potential. (Contact Aresko for improvement strategies and assistance).

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So were are YOU on this grid?  Where would you put your TEAM MEMBERS?  Is it where they see themselves?

The gap that this final question will inevitably reveal is where a 360 exercise can really help. The result will be inevitable improvement – for both of you 🙂

THURSDAY THOUGHTS! – Do you keep a reflection diary?

Self-improvement is grounded in honest reflection.  Unless you can be honest with yourself, about your own performance/behaviour/attitude/actions, then you will always be fighting a losing battle on achieving the sort of professional self-improvement, which others will see and be appreciative of.

Try this snakes and ladder approach to keeping a reflection diary.  Keep it simple, don’t overdo the compilation or you will avoid doing it again, and then print them out and store them for future review.  What gets written down,  will maintain your future attention, and this way you will have a true portfolio for all your appraisal conversations in the future.

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  • Each stage is optional – seek feedback as often as possible
  • Write only what you want, and when you want
  • Date each entry – you will need to review over time
  • Use this “root” template for each issue/event – it should become routine
  • Keep in a ring binder for ease of review, and revisit it at least twice a year

If, like many, you prefer a spreadsheet workbook approach to this, I’ve put together a template for you here:  THURSDAY THOUGHTS! (3) WORKBOOK.  Whatever floats your boat is useful, but most of all, do compile one and let me know how useful you found this simple technique.

Mentorship & Me – Part 13 – Peggy Edwards – 360 Feedback Exercise

Well it’s done and I have the results! I have put off doing a 360 feedback exercise for years as I have always been scared of the results, and now I don’t know why. The results were great, not saying I am perfect but nearly everyone provided really positive feedback which was not only touching but also has helped me realise that I am a valued member of the team. There wasn’t a huge gap between my own scoring and the scoring of others which is reassuring that I have a certain degree of self awareness. It has also provided me with new perspectives to take to my manager to inform my PDP and gave me pointers on where I can improve my support of the team and my behaviour in my workplace, which gives me a great way forward. The whole process was very easy and the delivery of the feedback from my mentor was (as always) supportive, professional and also probing about next steps.

So my advice to others? Go for it!  I intend re-doing the exercise in 12 months time but with far more people to get a wider view.

Mentorship & Me – Part 12 – Peggy Edwards – Will I ever learn?

I have spent many years teaching people how to investigate patient related incidents. I emphasise that hindsight is a wonderful thing and on many occasions people are “too busy doing it instead of thinking whether they should” (points for those who can name the 80’s film this is quoted in).

Do you think I listen to this philosophy myself? Well I didn’t this week. I had a very difficult workshop to facilitate which was vital to a key development at work. It involved external delegates whose input would be invaluable. So did I excel, did I perform at my peak and was it a success……NOPE. It was a nightmare!  I tried to run a workshop over video conferencing, web ex and face to face across five different sites; why did I ever think this was going to work?

So, after a rather large Gin and a good whinge I decided to follow my mentors advise and reflect; what went well, what didn’t and what I would do differently? One of my personality traits is that I want to please people and help; I thought I was helping and being supportive by allowing this farce to go ahead. I knew it wouldn’t work but I wanted to ensure we bent over backwards to engage with as many people as we could. Instead of getting people on board we actually alienated them and some even walked out!

Too busy doing it instead of thinking whether we should…what would I do differently? I will never ever use VC again for workshops, it doesn’t work, it isn’t good enough for multiple sites. It is web ex or face to face from now on. If I have to run workshops regionally so be it, I will never be in that situation again. I am also going to be a bit more assertive about my concerns, I knew this wouldn’t work so why didn’t I just stand up and say so? I was trying to please again, but that isn’t my job, my job is to manage risk and I didn’t manage the risk of that workshop going wrong. Lesson learnt, onwards and upwards………

NEWS! 360 feedback process available now!

Contact 07932 641313 to access your own 360 feedback process

Aresko can now offer and deliver junior, middle and senior management 360 degree feedback exercises and personal reports.

The Chartered Institute of Professional Development define 360 degree feedback as a performance appraisal system that gathers feedback on an individual from a number of sources, typically including colleagues, direct reports and customers. This can give managers and individuals better information about their current skills and performance, as well as their working relationships, compared with more traditional appraisal arrangements based on line managers’ assessment alone.

Overview of 360 degree process

With 360 degree feedback, typically eight to 10 people complete questionnaires describing the individual’s performance. Often individuals fill out a questionnaire for themselves too, assessing their own performance.

The rationale is that, in more complex organisations, managers may not always fully understand the contribution of the people they manage – as they may be part of many different teams and engage in autonomous or semi-autonomous relationships with customers or colleagues.  There is, therefore, a strong argument for obtaining wide-ranging information to form an accurate picture of performance.

The 360 degree feedback questionnaire usually consists of a number of statements rated on a scale, for example from one to five, and often includes the opportunity to add free text comments. The ensuing report will summarise the answers given. It often shows the actual ratings given for each question, as well as averages for each question and for each competency, and any written comments (a ‘competency’ is an area of behaviour or performance measured by a group of questions).

It is important that individual employees receive regular, honest feedback on their performance, as they need to understand how their role contributes to overall organisational aims and objectives and how they are performing against agreed criteria. 360 degree feedback can enhance this process greatly.

Have you undertaken one in your present role?  If not, get in touch to find out how you can set one into motion now!

Get in Touch with Aresko on Facebook

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Start a discussion, ask questions and generally find out more about us.  No excuses, we are gaining a great social media footprint now so catch up with us in any of multiple SM platforms.

Best of all, let us know what you think and what you would REALLY like to see or know more of.  We aim to please (dig deep on the old Greek lessons and realise our name means just this!) So ask the questions you’ve been burning to ask, but never really found the right time or place to ask them.

This is both the time and the place – so go on, get in touch!

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