How 360 reviews can help leaders develop as coaches

Executive Coach Exchange coaching space #wocintechchatThe Dunning-Kruger effect is the theory that underskilled people tend to hold overly favourable views of their abilities, with the corollary that highly-skilled people can tend to assume that tasks that are easy for them are also easy for others.

Both of these tendencies present clear challenges in management.

A recent article suggests that the Dunning-Kruger effect is present when leaders self-assess their ability to coach their teams.

Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman reviewed data on leaders who self-assessed their coaching ability, and then had their skills assessed in 360 reviews. They found that for coaching, as for other skills, there is a noticeable tendency to estimate skills incorrectly.  About a quarter of subjects significantly over-estimated their skills.  Those who under-estimated their skills were also out by a significant margin.

The authors recommend attending targeted training, self-assessing and seeking feedback, to get a clearer picture of both overall coaching effectiveness and specific areas to target, such as listening well, collaborating effectively and encouraging diversity.

360 feedback can be personally confronting, especially for a leader who takes these issues seriously. Engaging with an external executive coach can provide a safe space to work through the results of 360 feedback, and to recognise how to apply the results in developing management skills.

Coaching’s value for high performers

Coaching for Olympians and executivesMara Vizzutti has written this interesting article, Coaching for both Olympians and executives, about the value of coaching for high performers: “For businesses to grow into their next level of success, providing coaching to valued people transforms their leadership. In turn, these leaders are in a better position to help create transformational change within the organisation.”

We like this positive view of the importance of executive coaching in helping high performing people to be their best.