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Traditional versus Strengths-Based 360 Assessments

Joe Folkman is a global expert in psychometrics or measuring psychological factors. He wrote his PhD dissertation on data he collected from 360 assessments. Over the decades he’s developed feedback and measurement tools around a growing database now compromised of over a half million assessments on almost 50,000 leaders. Long-time feedback, executive coaching, and leadership […]

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IBM Study Shows Why Only 20% of Change Efforts Are Highly Successful

Recently I’ve been reviewing our lessons learned on organization and culture development. This is in preparation for our June 17 webinar on Leading a Peak Performance Culture. “Making Change Work … while the Work Keeps Changing” is a new research report from IBM summarizing interviews and online surveys they conducted of over 1,400 leaders responsible […]

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Video Clip: Leadership Sweet Spots and Powerful Combinations

How do you build a leadership strength from good to great? How do you sustain energy and endurance to keep working at developing leadership skills until others notice a substantial improvement? How do you ensure the leadership skill you’re developing is most relevant to what the organization needs or expects from you? The answers to these […]

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8 Factors That Frustrate and Disengage Employees

Whenever we ask a group of workshop participants how many rank employee engagement as one of their top priorities, most raise their hands. We’re encountering a growing number of organizations finding that their engagement survey ratings are slipping — and not just at the frontline employee level. A growing number of people — at all […]

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Webinar: The Secret to YOUR Success

8 Tips for a Better YOU Research shows that people who put proper emphasis on their own development impact their organization in significant ways. Multiple studies show how seeking feedback can increase leadership effectiveness, but ZF’s upcoming webinar on May 27 will take a deeper dive into self-development and the critical role feedback can play. […]

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Two Deadly Assumptions That Make Giving Difficult Feedback Even Worse

Many leaders find courageous conversations to give corrective or redirecting feedback very difficult. Emotions can get in the way, perceptions of the issue can differ widely, relationships may be damaged, and reactions can be volatile. Leaders may be scarred from past conversations where they gave or received tough feedback in a poorly structured and awkwardly […]

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Spotlight on Feedback

Plato once observed “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when people are afraid of the light.” Ignoring or failing to understand how others see our behaviors keeps us in the dark and diminishes everyone’s perceptions of our leadership effectiveness. Those perceptions then shape […]

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Good Advice on Seeking and Giving Advice

A recent Harvard Business School newsletter summarized research from David Garvin, the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Joshua Margolis, professor in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School. They point out that effective leaders need good advice and need to give useful advice to others. “Yet business […]

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Video Clip: Asking for Feedback on Coaching Effectiveness

The research behind development of The Extraordinary Coach included looking at best practices in helping professions such as counseling, clinical psychology, and social work. Two practical lessons that apply to coaching effectiveness were focusing on topics of importance and interest to the coachee and asking for feedback at the end of a coaching conversation. When […]

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Case Study Measures Impact of Building Strengths and Addressing Fatal Flaws

As part of succession planning many organizations are concerned about developing their next generation of senior leaders. Many large companies in well-established industries like financial services, resources, manufacturing, and the like or public sector, education, and healthcare organizations struggle with getting middle and senior managers to embrace leadership development opportunities.   We’ve recently published a case […]

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Strategies to Address Feedback Conundrums, Ironies, and Contradictions

A few weeks ago I reflected on the last three years of partnering with Zenger Folkman (“Re-Fired with Building Strengths“) and their powerful strengths-based leadership development methodology found in The Extraordinary Leader. 360 feedback is critical to building strengths or addressing fatal flaws (as long as it avoids the “Nine Problems with 360 Multi-Rater Assessments“). […]

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Components of a Best-of-Class 360 Assessment

Most 360 feedback assessments search for skill gaps, weaknesses, and training/development needs. We’re running into executives who’ve refused to participate in 360 feedback assessments because they’ve found them negative and often feel beat up by the process — even when they have the counsel of a well-trained coach or psychologist. Some CEOs have banned the […]

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Turning Feedback Into Change

Our research shows that leadership self-assessment correlates to performance outcomes like employee engagement, turnover, safety, customer service, or profitability only half as reliably as ratings from everyone else (manager, direct reports, peers, and others). Some leaders rate themselves much higher than all the other raters. Other leaders don’t see their own strengths and assess their […]

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New Research Paper on Feedback: The Powerful Paradox

Last year Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman conducted a survey among readers of their Harvard Business Review blog readers. 2,700 responded to the online survey with questions about positive and negative feedback and attitudes about feedback experiences. This was an international survey with over half of the respondents coming from outside the United States. Here […]

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Feedback Webinar: You Need It, Your Employees Want It !

We are often asked, “What is the one thing a person ought to do to be a better leader and have a more successful career?” While it is difficult to narrow down the list to just one thing, there is one that seems to surface over and over again in our research. That one thing […]

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9 Problems with 360 Multi-Rater Assessments

Feedback is critical to leadership effectiveness and development. That’s why 360 Multi-Rater Assessments are used by over 90% of Fortune 500 companies. But many organizations are now experiencing these problems: Focusing on a leader’s weaknesses and skill gaps — many participants find the 360 process negative and punishing. Some executives are now banning 360s from […]

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Re-Fired with Building Strengths

It’s been three years since Jack Zenger and I had one of our periodic update conversations after we headed off in different directions over 20 years ago. Our previous companies, The Achieve Group and Zenger Miller, had worked together for more than a decade. When this conversation took place with Jack, my wife, Heather, and […]

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New White Paper: How Developing a Coaching Culture Pays Off

Most people know that the difference between incompetent coaches and extraordinary coaches is huge. What’s often more surprising are these big differences between OK or mediocre coaching at the 50th percentile and outstanding coaching skills at the 90th percentile: 28% versus 46% of employees willing to “go the extra mile.” Employee commitment jumps from the […]

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New Survey Showing a Strengths Revolution in our Workplaces

In 2001 only 2 out of 10 people reported that they had a chance to do what they do best every day at work. In 2015 this more than doubled to 5 out of every 10 people. Michelle McQuaid is an honorary fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education, holds a Masters in Applied […]

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New White Paper: Creating a Competency Model That Works

A friend who hasn’t seen a doctor in years was recently diagnosed with serious heart disease. He was immediately prescribed medication to reduce his blood pressure, control cholesterol, and thin his blood. His wife is fanatically devoted to natural remedies. She found a book arguing for cayenne pepper and garlic to soften and dissolve arterial […]

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