You need to learn how you’re viewed by others so you can take action to change the view if necessary. So ask. Many companies provide some sort of 360-degree interview exercises to senior people — but don’t wait until it’s offered to you. Initiate your own version. When you do, be open to the results. Be careful not to become defensive.
Here is a list of questions to work with:
- How well do I look for ways to meet or exceed customer needs?
- How well do I look for ways to meet or exceed manager’s needs?
- How well do I take a positive approach to business?
- How well do I work effectively with people in a wide variety of circumstances?
- How well do I analyze complex situations accurately and in a timely manner?
- How well do I minimize activities that do not add value to the organization?
- How well do I value others’ thinking; champion others’ thoughts?
- How well do I understand how to get things done in the organization?
- How well do I have in-depth industry knowledge?
- How well do I overcome obstacles?
- How well do I quickly act when I see an opportunity?
- How well do I demonstrate intellectual curiosity?
- How well do I make sure I can be counted on?
- How well do I remain in control when stressed or pressed?
- How well do I gain trust?
- How well do I admit responsibility for failures or mistakes?
- How well do I help others?
- How well do I follow through to get results?
- How well do I set a good example?
- How well do I see and understand the broad view of business?
You don’t want to ask in an anxious, aggressive, or intimidated manner. Just straight out seek the person’s opinion with genuine interest and inquisitiveness. Pick one or two questions to try with one person, ask others, and continue over time. If the person says something you don’t quite understand, ask for an example. Sometimes you have to ask the same question 3-4 different ways to help someone answer.
Take note if any pattern emerges that is not productive for your career advancement and decide to do something about it. Thank the person for their candor and later report back to him and her as to what you’ve done following up on the feedback and the results you’ve experienced.