CCL has been studying leaders and their development for 40 years. Many of our practices have become “tried-and-true” ways to develop leaders and leadership. Here, we highlight ideas, strategies and tactics that we have developed and refined over many years and by working with many thousands of clients.
Evaluation Leads to Learning
An evaluation mindset is not for researchers or specialists alone. Managers can improve their effectiveness by using evaluation and learning as a natural part of the way work is done.
Leaders who want to develop an evaluation mindset should use four processes for continuous learning according to Rosalie T. Torres, author of “Continuous Learning” in The Handbook of Leadership Development Evaluation.
- Ask questions. Torres writes that the act of questioning as an ongoing and natural part of work can stimulate continuous learning and a sense of connectedness among those involved. The key is honing the ability to ask the “right” question.
- Facilitate dialogue. Good questions lead to discussion. Torres explains that leaders who facilitate dialogue — as opposed to telling, selling or persuading — have the opportunity to produce new knowledge and understanding.
- Reflect. Torres describes reflection as a process through which individuals and groups review their ideas, their understanding and their experience. This allows people to look more carefully and to think more deeply and holistically about an issue, leading to greater insights and understanding.
- Examine underlying values, beliefs and assumptions. An evaluation mindset is one that seeks out and considers a variety of views and possibilities.