I am very committed to the process of continual improvement. We live in an ever changing world with new opportunities, new people and new technologies constantly presenting themselves to us. As such what may be considered “good enough” today is unlikely to be equally good in the new context in a years time, or possibly a months time, or maybe even tomorrow. Due to this it is important to continually strive to improve.
The step I am currently undertaking as part of my bid to continually improve is to seek some anonymous feedback from colleagues with regards leadership where I myself am one of the leaders to which those invited will provide feedback.
Sticking your head above the parapet so to speak is never easy and never without some worry or concern with regards the feedback you may receive.
From a research perspective the responses received will be based on the interpretation of the questions being asked and then the perception of the individuals providing the feedback. Their perception may be coloured by recent events, which due to ease of recall will appear more important than more frequently occurring events which may have resulted in an inverse response. An individuals state of mind and emotional state on the day they provide their feedback may have an impact on the feedback they provide. Where a person is having a good day and therefore feeling positive, they are more likely to respond in a positive fashion however where they are having a bad day, where the world is against them the opposite is also true. If they have recently received bad news the response is also likely to be less positive.
From a statistical point of view I know there are various ways I can interpret the data with each approach potentially resulting in different findings. A simple look at the highest and lowest average scores may seem to suggest the strengths and areas for development however a look at standard deviations may indicate a high average resulting from some widely fluctuating scores. This initially apparent strength may therefore turn out to be either inconclusive or even an area for development.
Given all these variables it may be easier to decide to avoid asking the questions. My choice however is to ask the questions as I would prefer to have data which may upset me rather than having no data at all. At least if I have upsetting data I have a position to work from and to improve from as opposed to existing in blissful ignorance and therefore having no clue that things need improving. I also have a baseline to work from in terms of checking if any actions taken have made any difference.
I await the results of the feedback with an element of trepidation and an element of anticipation.