Do I inspire my colleagues? 20 questions to ask yourself

Written by Ian McRae Wednesday 09 June 2021
Is your management and leadership inspiring and bringing out the best in your team during the pandemic? Time to find out...
Person using tablet to complete a questionnaire

This short self-assessment helps you reflect on your key leadership competencies in relation to the past year. For each section, score yourself on a scale of one to five (one = strongly disagree; five = strongly agree).

Bring this perspective to your answers: have I become more aware of how my behaviours affect other people’s performance since the pandemic started?

Reflect on your answers and, if you feel you’re lagging in one area, visit CMI’s Career Development Centre, where you’ll find a huge range of resources, checklists and articles covering each of the self-assessment categories.



1. I make time to speak with my direct reports individually.

2. My colleagues trust me to manage conflict effectively and appropriately.

3. My direct reports would feel safe coming to me if they made a mistake.

4. I consider employees’ personal communication preferences (eg, phone call, Zoom, in-person, in groups versus individually).



Prioritising well-being

1. I make sure employees are included in conversations about well-being.

2. When talking about the importance of physical and mental health, I lead by example.

3. I regularly check in with direct reports and teams, to see how they are doing.

4. I’m realistic about expectations when assigning work and deadlines.


Focusing on productivity (not hours worked)

1. I am clear about what my team needs to accomplish by the end of this month.

2. I set clear expectations based on specific outcomes.

3. I follow through on my commitments in a timely way.

4. Employees are rewarded for performance, not hours worked.



1. My direct reports have a sense of purpose in their work.

2. I celebrate large and small wins, and share credit among the team.

3. I champion flexible working, where employees take the lead on how they manage their tasks and schedule.

4. I have a good understanding of my team’s goals (both personally and professionally).


Commitment to inclusivity

1. I make time to communicate the importance of diversity and inclusion.

2. Reverse mentoring programs have been set up and are used effectively.

3. I am personally involved in programmes and processes that have been set up to address diversity and accessibility.

4. Selection, development and promotion decisions are regularly reviewed to consider accessibility and diversity.


Once you’ve answered these 20 questions, we recommend heading to ManagementDirect, where you’ll find Checklist 280 – Reflective practice skills. This contains ten steps to take you further in your reflective journey. It will also walk you through the tried-and-tested “What, So What, Now What” model, and it has links to many other resources.

Ian MacRae is head of workplace psychology at Clear Review and managing director of High Potential Psychology. His psychometric tests have been used by tens of thousands of people from dozens of countries around the world. He has written six books including High Potential: How to spot, manage and develop talented people at work. His new book Dark Social: Understanding the dark side of personality, work and social media will be published by Bloomsbury in November.

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