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Feedback Report on: Jane Smith Prepared by

Stratagem Learning and Development Ltd This Feedback Report is designed to provide an assessment of behaviours, skills and knowledge in relation to specified competencies. It is based solely on the collated observations of performance in the tests and exercises associated with the Management Development Centre. It is intended as a tool for further discussion. Although all possible steps are taken to provide an objective analysis on performance and suggestions for further development no liability can be accepted by Stratagem Learning and Development Ltd for the observations and recommendations contained within the report.


Insights (Jane Smith)

The Insights profile provides information about cognitive preferences not capabilities. At the centre the exercises and tests together with the 360° tool are intended to provide indications of capability to read against the background of Insights. A separate full Insights profile is provided but in summary it suggests that Jane is enthusiastic and outgoing. She tends to be bored by facts, details and repetitive activities but is skilled at understanding others’ needs and motivations usually appearing friendly, tactful and sympathetic. The profile also suggests she may benefit from sometimes slowing down and paying closer attention to the finer details of her projects. INSIGHTS WHEEL POSITION: Classic Motivating Inspirer Summary of contribution

Team Exercise (Jane Smith)

Jane immediately filled the gap at the beginning when everyone wondered what to do by taking the responsibility of going through the brief and trying to explain to colleagues what was needed. She tried to involve her colleagues in the planning and made a number of suggestions herself e.g. for the use of the flip chart which a colleague took on. The first phase was rather a slow process for the group and they did not fully get hold of the task but Jane continually tried to involve them and make progress although she missed one or two important aspects of what was needed. In the operational phase she did not attempt to take a leading role but fully mucked in trying to make things work and let others push the process. But when it came to the review phase she again took the lead and tried to co-ordinate comments although this time there was much more input from elsewhere and at times she was not able really to control the discussion and keep it to plan. However she nevertheless got together quite a lot of suggestions for improvement and summarised their position quite effectively. Summary Simulation 1: Jane carried out this interview with a direct and open style, good body language and eye contact and a pleasant tone. She outlined the agenda clearly although did not seek to agree it with the interviewee and confidently confronted the issue of under performance. She did this in an unthreatening non judgemental style which worked with this interviewee and made him feel comfortable and able to be open in return. She also offered support and answered questions although there were perhaps one or two points she did not pick up on – e.g. the impact of being a team member short.

Simulation (Jane Smith)

Simulation 2: Similarly in this interview Jane came over as warm and friendly using a conversational style. This made the meeting feel positive for the interviewee. However it would have been helpful to ask more questions and involve herself more directly in what the interviewee needed – use of the “we” pronoun on occasions distanced her as manager from the action or views she expressed. Her solutions also seemed clearly to be driven by business need without the balance of the interviewee’s own needs. Overall it was a well structured interview and there were positives in the style and tone but as it developed Jane had a tendency to move a little too far into a “tell” mode when a more questioning and involving approach might have been more successful – there were occasions when she interrupted the interviewee and seemed to make some assumptions without checking them out.

Summary of examples by competency Develops and maintains networks Jane said that networking is vital to the projects she works on – it is a case of seeking out experts for new areas of development. It’s important to get people with “clout” involved at an early stage and then operational staff to follow up. She feels she is able to network effectively as she generally feels she is good with people, knows what she is talking about in procurement and can read other people quite well. For networking to be successful it is necessary to have a planned approach and for someone to take clear responsibility – in her area the process often starts at a high level. The things that can go wrong are a failure to get people to focus on priorities, getting sign up to the process by those involved and getting the right people involved. Takes a big picture view She feels that the overall purpose of the organisation has a tendency to get a bit lost. She focuses on projects to achieve what she sees as the purpose and has put in some brand new contracts achieving savings of £4m this way. The way her area works projects and priorities come direct from senior management. Interfaces with stakeholders/users Interview (Jane Smith)

Jane sees this very much tied in with networking – her networks become stakeholders and she talked about one of her contracts as a good example of influencing a range of stakeholders – including the unions – by working through various sub groups to a successful conclusion. She took a hand in carefully focused lobbying. Early on this process involved potentially difficult meetings e.g. with unions and she feels she achieved success because she was open and honest and provided as much information as possible. One of the most difficult parts of the process was explaining the reasons to unsuccessful suppliers – she had both to be sure of her legal ground and remain calm and sympathetic in what were to them upsetting circumstances. Project management Working in a new area she has felt a reactive approach has been best but more generally in looking at potential projects Jane emphasised the need for careful research before deciding what to recommend. Her networking skills are also important in securing the necessary resources. While she does not necessarily use a specific project management methodology on each occasion she has used PRINCE on one project and loosely used the principles on another maJaner project. Overview From this Interview Jane comes across as experienced and knowledgeable about procurement. She has a clear view of the organisation’s objectives and is prepared to take initiatives particularly in terms of networking to further these. She is not currently managing a team directly and clearly her apparent ability to network and persuade is important to the success of the projects she undertakes.

Result Jane is friendly and sociable towards others but there are very few people with whom she would choose to spend any significant amount of time. The discrepancy between her expressed and wanted inclusion behaviour is not a problem for her; on the contrary, her interpersonal skills may serve as a useful screening device for finding the very few individuals with whom she genuinely does want to associate. However, it could be a problem for others if they assume that she wants her expressed behaviour to be reciprocated. They may be disappointed and discouraged if they try include her in their activities to the same extent that she includes them.

FIRO B (Jane Smith)

The opposite is true with regard to close personal relationships, as distinct from superficial social ones. The effort that Jane puts into establishing this kind of relationship is not quite sufficient to provide her with the degree of closeness that she wants, so she may experience a certain amount of frustration in this area. She is quite cautious about initiating close relationships, and others may assume that she prefers to remain detached when this is not the case. Her caution may inhibit others from initiating close relationships with her and providing her with the attention that she seeks. This pattern of behaviour is combined with a fairly strong need for personal autonomy. Jane may have a tendency to refer to her own internal standards in deciding what to do, as well as rules and procedures laid down by others. Given the choice she might prefer to work independently and reach her own decisions rather than collaborate closely with others as a member of a team. Jane is unlikely to be strongly interested in taking on managerial responsibilities, nor does she want to be closely managed by others. If she were moving into a more senior position or taking on additional responsibilities she would want to do so at her own pace, and in her own way. Jane has a slight preference for responding to situations and events as they occur rather than imposing a preconceived plan on them, and she is not very interested in undertaking detailed tasks personally, preferring to delegate them to others if at all possible. Consistent with her current role she tends to focus on the big picture and possibilities for the future rather than the details of the current situation.

HJ17 (Jane Smith)

She is more decisive and independent-minded than the average UK manager, and more open to change and new ideas. She likes to take quick decisions that can be modified at a later date if necessary rather than analyse a situation in great depth before taking action, and she prefers to take decisions independently rather than in close collaboration with others. Jane would have no difficulty in using her initiative and working out what to do in a situation where she was unable to consult and refer to others before taking action. However despite these qualities she is fairly easygoing in her attitude towards personal achievement. She does not tend to set herself ambitious personal goals or targets, perhaps drawing satisfaction from aspects of her work unrelated to success and achievement. In other areas of personality measured by the HJ17 she is similar to the average manager. Result

BDA (Jane Smith)

BDA looks at the ability to discover and apply concepts involved in business decisions, data about which is provided. In looking at the results at the centre we used a norm established by managers from a large utility business taking part in an internal development centre. A range of functions is represented with 36% coming from IT systems roles. The age range of the norm was 25 to 59 with a mean of 41 years. Because age can have an impact on speed of performance it is possible that for delegates over the age of 50 the scores achieved may underestimate true performance. Jane completed 75% of the questions in the time allowed and achieved a score just th under the norm for this group placing her on the 40 percentile – 60% of this norm group would be expected to score higher.


360° Tool (Jane Smith)

This questionnaire provides for assessment by self, line manager, team member or peer of performance against a number of generic management competencies thus allowing different perceptions to be identified and explored. Jane’s own ratings are for the most part similar to those of the line manager and peer. However she should take confidence from the fact that although she sees herself as needing to develop the ability to confront difficult relationships and defuse conflict the line manager and peer ratings show this as a particular strength


Summary interpretation against competencies (Jane Smith)


Jane is clearly well aware of the importance of networking and from the Interview discussions it appears she carries it out effectively on a regular and wide basis. She took a leading role in the unstructured environment of the Team Exercise and seems at home in relating this way to different people.


Jane’s role is about developing new contracts and clients and she is clear in her own mind about the strategic environment in which she does this and the ultimate objective of the organisation.


The 360° questionnaires suggest that Jane focuses clearly on targets and is committed to delivering them. Given her remit she does this in a rather uncertain environment and in the Interview discussions she explained some of the planning and preparation she does to ensure she can deal with this. While her BDA test was just under the norm she made a reasonable attempt to get to grips with the data in the Team Exercise although missing some points and the questionnaires do not suggest she has a problem in matching up to the analytical needs of her role.


As shown in the Interview discussions Jane sees this as very much part of networking. Getting stakeholders on board and keeping them there is central to what she does and she appears to approach it with conviction.


Jane showed in the Interview an awareness of formal project management tools and approaches and while not using them slavishly sees value in the principles and is able to use them when she thinks it is necessary.


Throughout the Centre exercises Jane’s communication style was clear, open, warm and friendly. In the Simulation Interviews this led to a positive atmosphere and one in which the interviewees felt comfortable. In these one on one situations, however, there was a tendency to move into a “tell” mode as she progressed and it would have been helpful to proceed more by questioning and thereby engage the other person more in the process.


Jane works in new areas and she comes across as having a fairly positive approach to change and the need to seek continuous improvement. The 360° questionnaires support this. In the Team Exercise she took the lead in the review phase questioning performance and seeking ways of improving the Team’s processes.


Jane seemed naturally to take the lead in the Team Exercise and the questionnaires are positive in relation to leadership. She does not at present lead a specific team and her leadership will generally come out in terms of influencing through the networking and other contacts she engages in. Her results on the two personality questionnaires suggest that she is capable of taking on the responsibilities of a leadership role but is perhaps not highly motivated to do so.


The comments on leadership are relevant. She also in the Simulation Interviews showed a willingness to confront performance issues when necessary.


Jane comes across as being confident and self aware and she appears to approach her work in a direct and open fashion and is prepared to speak up when this is necessary.

Key Feedback Points: Jane Smith Strengths: Through the Centre exercises, questionnaires and tests Jane demonstrated a number of positives:  Strong willingness and ability to engage in networking  Clear, open and friendly communication style  Ability to lead and influence others when not in a position of formal leadership  Clear understanding of her role in the bigger picture Areas for development: To further enhance what is already a good level of performance it may be helpful for Jane to:  Consider ways of improving questioning techniques in one on one situations to gain greater engagement  Look at developing further use of project management methodologies and also tools to help in terms of data analysis  Work to ensure that her message does not lose clarity when she is personally uncomfortable about the circumstances

A Challenge for Jane  Having had your feedback how will your strengths help yourself and others manage in the structural change the organisation is going through?  What impact do you think the change will have on your personal motivation?  What do you now see as your key development needs and how do you propose to follow them up?

Management Assessment feedback report  

Management Assessment and development centre feedback report