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The “What’s Your ‘What’” post described self-assessment as a means of determining and then communicating the best way for individual employees and teams to talk, interact, and work with one another. Uncovering What’s Your What1 for leaders and teachers is important so that leaders can best shape work with individual teachers and visa versa and teachers can best establish work with individual students and parents. So, what follows for leaders once their “whats” are identified? One option is for leaders to conduct an informal 360º evaluation.

In “Conduct an Informal 360º,” a video blog in the HBR Blog Network, Edinger initiates that “most effective leaders identify their strengths and then decide which ones to develop further.” To do this, Edinger states, a leader must first have a clear view of him/herself. Edinger’s video blog message was condensed in an online “Management Tip of the Day” in July from Harvard Business Review. The Tip suggests to leaders:

If your company doesn’t offer a formal 360-review process, you can conduct your own informal one by asking your colleagues the following questions:

  • What are my strengths? Have them start by thinking in broad buckets such as character, getting results, or leading change. Then have them identify specific traits.
  • What are my fatal flaws? Ask them to identify which traits could cause you to fail in your current position.
  • Which of my strengths is most important for the company?Inquire as to which of your abilities— if it was truly outstanding— would have the biggest impact on your company.
  • What works best for you? Ask each person which strengths they value most.

Edinger ends the video by stating, “An informal evaluation like this will not only help [leaders] identify [their] strengths and weaknesses, it will also show [their] colleagues that the [leader] is working on [his/her] leadership skills” (Video Blog). Comparing feedback from Edinger’s four questions with the leader’s completed self-assessment and identification of his/her “whats” may assist the leader identify priorities of skill development and personal trait change that help build better communication and lead to more effective outcomes.




Edinger, S. April 3, 2012. Conduct an Informal 360 º. HBR Blog Network. Retrieved 08.08.2012 here.

Find “Management Tip of the Day” at Harvard Business Review. See http://hbr.org/tip/.

Contact us to request more information about determining and addressing leader, teacher, student, and parent “whats” and implementing self-assessments for teachers and leaders.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. To do this we teach teachers and leaders how to get the best student learning results and create results-oriented school cultures. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com to learn more about Studer Education Teacher Development Institutes (TDIs), Leader Development Institutes (LDIs), and Evidence-Based Leadership. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, the recipient of a 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.