Overview of Activity
Leaders must be sure to share their successes with others. This module helps leaders practice the skills necessary for self-appraisal.
- To identify the pros and cons of self-appraisal.
- To create a self-appraisal plan.
- Card-sort activity
- Flipchart and markers
- Sets of cards
- Attached Document: Introduction to Self-Appraisal
- Self-Appraisal Cards
Tables and chairs arranged so they are facing the flipcharts
Leaders need to exude confidence and contribute to appropriate information. The art of self-appraisal ensures that just the right amount of information is shared and it is done in a professional manner. This activity helps participants to recognize and use that fine line between saying too little or too much.
Step by Step Instructions
- Introduce the concept of self-appraisal by asking participants to list the reasons why people should not engage in self-appraisal. (Write them down on a flipchart.) Tell them to look at the challenge from the standpoint of a prosecuting attorney trying to do away with the practice. Possible arguments include:
– Working hard should be enough.
– My good work will be recognized without me bragging about it.
– It feels like bragging.
– I don’t know how to go about it.
– I never thought of it as a necessary part of my career.
– It wastes my time.
– Why would I choose to do this when I have real work to do?
– Others will think I am acting like a politician.
– Others will think I am too aggressive.
- Divide participants into groups of 4 to 5. Distribute the attached document titled: Introduction to Self-Appraisal and ask people to discuss their responses to the questions. Review the differences between Passive, Aggressive, and Assertive behaviors:
– Passive: Say nothing, hint around the subject, and do nothing directly.
– Aggressive: Attack the person, moralize, and use put-downs.
– Assertive: Directly and honestly express your own feelings and opinions.
- Now explore the advantages of self-appraisal by making a defense lawyer’s case as to why self-appraisal is a good thing. Write the ideas on a flipchart. Possible answers include:
– We need to be able to ask for what we want.
– There is value in having allies in the workplace.
– Appropriate self-appraisal is a proactive strategy that enhances our careers.
– We need to display our skills because others may not be observant.
– The more I know about the business and its leaders the more effective my contribution will be.
– Self-promotion is an important skill and might be a necessary part of my overall plan as a leader.
– Other successful leaders are political.
– I can be appropriately political and assertive.
- Remind participants that they have heard prosecution and defense arguments. Now ask them for their “verdict.” “How do we find on the issue of self-appraisal—for the Prosecution or for the Defense?” (Note: In all the times we’ve done this activity, the Defense has won!)
- Summarize the verdict, and return to the arguments in favor of using it as a leadership strategy. “Because we agree that self-appraisal has some value, we will now take time to develop a plan to promote ourselves.” Steps to develop a Self-Appraisal plan
a. Review which aspects of self-appraisal will contribute to leadership development. Pass out sets of cards each one bearing a different title from the list below. Ask participants to put the cards in three piles: the things they do well already; the things that are critical to developing immediately; and those to consider in the future.
b. Set goals that are specific and measurable. Provide an example: My goal is to “get noticed” twice as often for my exceptional work. This could include a verbal mention to the Board or management, a write-up in the company newsletter, or a congratulatory note sent by the boss. Ask participants to write goals for those categories in the “Critical” pile.
c. Develop a “Personal Board of Directors” for yourself. The facilitator should now handout: My Personal Board of Directors document, telling participants to think about all the people they know from work: colleagues, managers, administrative assistants, customers, vendors, industry experts, trade association members, and leaders who influence others. Identify key people who have a broad base of knowledge that can complement their own. Use the handout to make your lists. Develop a plan for enhancing a relationship with these people. Get on a committee they chair, join a community organization they are interested in, ask them to speak to your team or professional trade organization, or call and ask for a meeting to learn more about their area of the business. Develop a set of questions around industry trends, technology innovation, or regulatory impact, and ask for their opinions. When you ask good questions and they do all the talking, you become known as a great conversationalist.
“Write down what you plan to do with the people on your lists.” (Allow 25 minutes for this step.)
- Bring the activity to a summary close, asking the group: “What other ideas do you have for increasing your visibility?” Remind people that the goal is to form a permanent Board of Directors for your personal use that includes people who want a collaborative exchange. Relate the idea of self-appraisal to leadership. Ask participants to review how self-appraisal can be a useful leadership tool.
Take time shortly after conducting this activity to reflect on how it went, how engaged the participants were, and what questions they raised. Write down notes that include how much time you actually spent on the activity.