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Servant Leadership In The Workplace: Engaging In Honest Self-Evaluation

Updated: Mar 10, 2018


In the fourth article of this series, I will spend some time discussing 'Engaging in Honest Self-Evaluation' and what it means to me as a leader.


According to Irving and Longbotham (2007), "honestly evaluating themselves before seeking to evaluate others is a significant predictor of team effectiveness" (p. 7). So, as a leader, why is it important that we look inward before examining the performance of others? Page and Wong (2006) argue that servant leaders in high-involvement and high-impact teams model for others by setting a personal example in meeting high standards, and investing considerable energy to champion the common goals of the organization (p. 8). For me, it is important that I look at how I have been leading before I evaluate my staff.


When I take the time to evaluate inward, I don't do it alone. I ask questions to those I interact with, I ask questions to my mentors, and most importantly, I ask questions to my team:

  • How would you rate my leadership abilities over the past few months

  • How can I be a better leader?

  • Have there been any situations where I have not provided you the assistance you needed to be successful?

  • Have there been any situations where I did not communicate effectively to you?

These are just a few of the questions that I ask to my team. For me, it is important that I obtain feedback from those I directly work with on a daily basis. Additionally, I will ask my supervisor to provide me feedback on a recent decision I made, my response to a recent situation, or how he would have handled a certain situation. While you may find that you did everything you could with what you had at the time, you may also find that there were certain actions you could improve on in the future.


Self-analysis is hard. While it was easy for me to write the questions I listed above, actually going through with asking them is a different story. I find that I have to encourage myself to ask these questions and I have to be okay with receiving information that I may not want to hear.


Irving, J. A., & Longbotham, G. J. (2007). Team Effectiveness and Six Essential Servant Leadership Themes: A Regression Model Based on Items in the Organizational Leadership AssessmentInternational Journal of Leadership Studies, 2(2), 98-113.


Page, D. & Wong, T.P. (2006). A conceptual framework for measuring servant-leadership. Retrieved April 28, 2006 from http://www.twu.ca/leadership/reading/faculty-writings/conceptual-framework.pdf


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