It is now five months into 2017, and it is safe to say that the great majority of people have abandoned their New Year’s Eve resolutions. Approximately 92% of people don’t reach the goals they set each year and more than 1/4 of people abandon their New Year’s goals after one week. In fact, the average person makes the exact same resolution 10 different times without success. So, why do these resolutions consistently fail in the long run? You wouldn’t set out on a road trip to a specific destination with no road map, so how could you expect to reach your future goals without a plan of action to get there?
After receiving valuable feedback data from the colleagues with which you work closest to, it is vital to use that information and act on it to improve. Here are our 5 best tips for the last step in the loop of leadership development: Action planning.
- Listen to Your Raters: While it is absolutely normal for 360 feedback participants to experience shock or disbelief at their raters’ perceptions, it doesn’t mean they still can’t add value to the action planning and leadership development process. You don’t necessarily have to agree with the ratings – but you should listen to them. Using survey items with the lowest rater responses and creating action items accordingly can show raters that their feedback is being heard and acted upon.
- Leverage Strengths: While it’s easy to focus on the negative and improving weaknesses, leveraging strengths can be just as beneficial in the leadership development process.
- Create Goals and Steps: Perhaps Antoine de Saint-Exupéry explained it best when he famously stated, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Goals focus on WHAT will be accomplished, while action steps focus on the HOW, which is the critical portion in creating lasting change.
- Add Dates: Incorporating deadlines and review dates to stay on track with action steps is the best way to make sure the process doesn’t get lost when day-to-day business becomes hectic. Adding your action plan items to your calendar just as you would any other deadlines or meetings helps keep leadership development at the forefront of your to-do list.
- Share Your Plan: Add accountability to your action planning by sharing your action plan with your manager, leadership coach, or even your direct reports.
If you have already started your action plan, you’re already 80% more likely to improve than those who haven’t. However, the 5 above steps will provide the best framework for making the most of your 360 feedback to create positive change for yourself, your team, and your overall organization.