Where leaders are really made


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Super Speech Evaluators – that’s us.

It’s what we do and we know how to do it: objective, motivating, indiscriminately. We even have a contest to measure our skills with our peers. We seek out tips and we all agree becoming a good speaker is a learning path. But when it comes to evaluating leadership roles we sometimes seem to have lost or forgotten this expertise: we give no feedback at all or only when there’s a problem, or we talk about them instead of with them.

Sure, we evaluate the leading roles at the club meetings in our manuals and we have the High Performance Leadership project. But do all officers make a personal success plan at the beginning of their term and seek out tips to become more competent? Or do we assume we all step into a role as an expert? Speaking for myself: I still have a lot to learn when it comes to leading  and coaching teams.

Do we tell our event organisers and committee members what went well and where we see room for improvement?

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Do we know what we are looking for when we look for our successors? Do members know what is expected when they accept a role? We miss some opportunities here for personal growth and for our pipeline of emerging leaders.

Now leadership feedback is a 2 way track, it’s about receiving and giving.

First step if you want to receive feedback is to define what you want to learn in your role, and then simply ask for it. Ask your fellow officers, team or committee members, mentors and predecessors. **

Giving constructive feedback on leadership roles is for the biggest part similar to evaluating speeches.

Use ‘I’ statements, be specific and timely and focus on behaviour that can be changed. Highlight genuine strengths and achievements. Feedforward, explore how future scenarios could be even more successful.

My tip: let’s try it out and make it a habit.


* Courtesy of Jean Gamester who inspired me to address this topic.

**This Feedback Form of one of our International Directors might be helpful

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