Get the Most Out of Assessments

Have you ever felt stuck in your career and wondering if you will ever find a fit? Is there a  person on your team that just doesn’t get it no matter how you try to say it? Have you been trying to mentor that new hire, but noticing a disconnect between how you are teaching and what they are catching?

These and so much more are personal and leadership struggles that can benefit from a framework that assessments can provide in three key areas for leaders: (1) creating awareness that offers more options, (2) offering tangible next steps to accelerate leadership and (3) equipping and inspiring people to work together. 

Create Awareness that Offers More Options

If I am not aware of why I do what I do, I am more likely to keep doing things the same way I always have. 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

~Albert Einstein

Assessments give us a new lens and a new language. A new lens to see ourselves and hopefully grant ourselves a little more grace and understanding. And a new lens to see others with more appreciation and respect. We now can see more options for what we can do differently and how we can support others to be the best version of themselves as well.

Offer Tangible Next Steps to Accelerate Leadership

Armed with that awareness we can be empowered to try new things more aligned with who we are and encourage others to do the same. Any assessment tool is going to offer you personal development ideas. I know the reports are often overwhelming. Don’t get snowed under and file it away. You are more likely to accelerate your leadership if you pick just ONE new thing to shift. Ignore the rest — for now! Pull the report out again later to pick your next steps for growth.

“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.”

~Zig Ziglar

Equip and Inspire People to Work Together

When teams take assessments together it has a powerful impact on communication, relationship building and even conflict resolution. When people understand each other better it can avoid some problems altogether. Assessments provide a shared language that can serve as a springboard for the more difficult conversations that happen when people work together. Additionally, assessments can be used to offer clarity in defining roles, work processes and collaborations across the team.

I am often asked, “how do I pick what assessment to use?” Here a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Ask around. What did other leaders or colleagues or friends say about an assessment they found useful? What did they like about it? How did they use it?
  2. Try more than one. Some assessments “fit” and others don’t seem to. Most people need more than one lens. So find two or three assessments you like and take them all. You will glean something a bit different from each one.
  3. Ask for feedback. Once you have an assessment or two that seems to “fit”, ask others around you for feedback on how they see what “fits” and what doesn’t. We often don’t see ourselves accurately and will often minimize God-given talents that others can see in us.
  4. Just pick one focus. Don’t forget, no matter how many assessments you take or how much feedback you get, just pick one thing! You are more likely to make change if you have focus.

Ready to Dive In?

  1. Listen into some of our recent Side by Side Podcast episodes on Myers Briggs, Clifton Strengths or the Enneagram.
  2. Set up a complementary 27 minute strategy session with me. I know assessments and I know people who know assessments and can point you in the right direction.
  3. Pull out old assessments you already have on file and put them to good use, use our Busy Leader’s Guide to Sticky Habits to help you figure out what action step will stick!

Let us know! What assessments have you found helpful? How have you used an assessment to help you accelerate your leadership or help your team? What follow-up actions did it prompt? Share in the comments below or send an email!

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Annie Perdue Olson

Annie is founder of Leading Better Together, guiding leaders through the relationship and people challenges that sidetrack ministry. With 20+ years of experience in nonprofit management and pastoral ministry she equips people and teams to work better together. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Change Leadership from St. Thomas University and received her coaching certification from the Center for Coaching Excellence.

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