Designing and Developing 360 & Full Circle Feedback Tools

T. V. Rao, Chairman, TVRLS
Raju Rao, Director

TVRLS has been in this task of designing and developing 360Degree Feedback Tools since its inception and has gained a lot of experience. This paper presents and extract of the lessons from these tools. The most significant learning from all these years is that the RSDQ model is a powerful model of behavior change and leadership development. The RSDQ model (Roles, Styles, Delegation and Qualities model) is well known and very popular. The model gives feedback on more manageable aspects of behavior to less manageable aspects.

The following have been found to be the advantages of this RSDQ model over the other models available from the west.

  1. It is based on Indian experiences and indigenously evolved. And is therefore more relevant to Indian organizations and suits Indian psyche.
  2. It provides feedback in a gradual manner from simple to complex issues.
  3. It provides feedback on more easily and faster changeable areas to less amenable and slow change areas
  4. It is comprehensive leadership building tool
  5. It has flexibility to incorporate any aspects within the RSDQ framework
  6. It has been incorporated and tried out successfully with Top management, CEOs, Senior and Middle level executives, Youth, Sales and Marketing persons, Head Masters, Principals, Family Heads and all categories of persons.

These advantages have been explained below:

It is based on Indian experiences and indigenously evolved. And is therefore more relevant to Indian organizations and suits Indian psyche.

The work on RSDQ model began the eighties at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahemdabad. The first program on Leadership Styles and Organizational effectiveness offered in 1986 at the IIMA did not have such a neat RSDQ model. It merely focused on leadership styles, managerial styles, decision making styles, delegation and other personality and managerial effectiveness variables. It is out of the experiences of those attending these programs the Roles part of it was added. It was the discussions in the initial programs that have lead to the formation of the focus on Roles and Activities. The participants of these programs generated these activities. Prof. Khandwalla added a lot to the listing of these tasks and roles. Over the last decade and half the roles list got enhanced, tested and retested, consolidated and experimented. Reliability studies conducted (Test-Retest reliability studies with a two month gap) indicated that these are relatively stable across a two month period with no feedback and any other significant intervention taking place. Recent studies of a service organization also indicated that feedback can help change the nature of performance of these roles in Indian settings.

Indian mind is a little role bound. Roles are incorporated into the performance appraisals. Roles and activities are measurable and manageable. Given these consideration the Roles part of RSDQ model is clearly more suitable and powerful for Indian Managers and leaders.

The Styles questionnaire is based on long years of experience and research by the author (T. V. Rao). The three styles identified are very much Indian and at the same time have a research base. The three styles correspond to the four stage maturity model of Abigail Stewart. This model is based on the premise that the psychosocial maturity of an individual is an indication of the corresponding maturity and growth stages envisaged by Sigmund Freud and Erick Erickson (Rao and Stewart, 1975).  Both the author and Abigail Stewart worked with David McClelland who got his data of TAT stories written by Indian and other country mangers analyzed for their maturity and depiction of leadership styles. The three Leadership styles therefore have both a theoretical base as well as insights based on observation of Indian Managers across the last two decades. The three styles are: Benevolent (correspondence to Oral stage and dominated by the use of mouth- charismatic leaders use their oral skills to influence people and enjoy loyalty), Critical (corresponding to anal and phallic stages where order and assertiveness are the qualities and discipline is the focus) and Developmental (corresponding to Freudian Genital stage of differentiated ego formation). Interestingly working over the last two decades another former student of David McClelland, Daniel Goleman recently came up with six style model of leadership. These six styles of leadership envisaged by Daniel Goleman (2002) include:

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