Talents Tested: 360 Reviewed

Dan Donovan - Core Leadership Competencies

"Dan is definitely a strategic ideator which means he not only possesses a talent for innovation but he can also identify the best path to achieve the desired results. He has an innate sense and passion for helping others grow and to become the best they can be.".....

"I would like to see Dan be more timely with approval processes.".....

Late last week, I received my own version of a Yelp Review - the results of a "360" Survey.  Several weeks prior, leaders in my company were asked to submit rosters to include a cross-section of colleagues and reports.  Then, these individuals were sent surveys and asked to provide feedback.  The result was a report generated from multiple levels and perspectives (thus "360 Degrees").

Like most well-designed 360 Surveys, ours aligned well with our core competencies, values and culture.  Unlike a performance review, which is weighted heavily on achieving specific annual objectives, the 360 focuses more on the talents and contributions of each participant.

I personally haven't received 360 Survey feedback in several years and certainly not since becoming an evangelist for StrengthsFinder.  While I opened the link to my results with some angst and trepidation, I was looking forward to seeing how my StrengthsFinder Top 5 Signature Talent Themes and Bottom 5 "Non-Talent" Themes might align with the 360 feedback.

There was certainly alignment.  My highest scoring 360 Survey questions revolved around Team Recognition (Positivity #4), Team Leadership (Strategic #1) and Innovation (Ideation #2).  My lower scoring areas (but still solid!) include Decision Making (Analytical #29), Problem Solving (Context #30) and Open Communication (Harmony #34).

One approach to managing weaknesses is to aim your talents towards mitigating them. For example, I am currently leveraging my Strategic (#1) and Futuristic (#3) Talent Themes and inspiring everyone in my work unit to think of ways to "make it easy" for customers and clients to do business with us.  In doing so, I am hoping to relieve some complexity, making the decision and problem solving processes much faster and easier for all.

I am also collecting a database of Talent Themes throughout my department and organization.  My immediate response to managing my lower scoring 360 Survey results will be to gather people whose Top 5 Signature Themes contrast my Bottom 5 "Non-Talents".  Perhaps this old dog can learn some new tricks from these folks, but likely I will just have them on speed-dial when I need to think through a complex issue or solve a sticky problem.

I would encourage you to consider "unlocking" your full report of 34 Talent Themes.  You do not have to take the assessment again, as Gallup has stored your "34" already.  There is an added fee to access the report and occasionally you can stumble upon special offers (current offer is $49.99). You can access and purchase the full 34 report from the Gallup Strengths Center website.   

An alternate approach could be to use leadership or peer feedback (like 360 Survey) and compare your areas of lower performance (or tasks that drain you) to the 34 Talent Theme definitions on the Gallup website or in the back of your book. Tip: find someone with the Context talent to help you!  

I have included a grid at the bottom of this post showing contrasting themes.  While some people could have contrasting themes together within their Top 5 Signature Talent Theme list, it is likely that several of the contrasting (opposite meaning) themes are near the bottom of your list of 34.

If you do not unlock your full 34, look for your top 5 Signature Talent Themes in the first column and study the contrasting themes in the second and third columns.  If you have a 360 Survey report, compare the descriptions of the contrasting themes (found in your book or on the website) with your lower scoring 360 competencies.  Even without the 360 report, it is great to be self-aware of your "non-talents".  

Another action step would be to find a peer in your organization with contrasting themes in their Top 5 list and meet with them to identify how they define those talents.  Keep these people close as they can become an amazing support network.  

Dan is currently serving 20 years to life as the Sr. Director of Destination Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  He prefers white-water rapids over data lakes and lists Ideation, Futuristic and Positivity amongst his signature talents.    Find him on Twitter @dpddonovan


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