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Crystal Salt

Unboxing Workplace Assessments

When I suggest taking an assessment to clients I get an expression similar to when their kindly relative offers a less than favorite dish at dinner. Polite resignation? Most are nervous of what the results will tell them about themselves. It’s as if the client has no choice in the matter, or if they disagree, they are simply confirming they have blind spots and are unwilling to change! How dare you!!! Lol.

Here is the good news. What an assessment says about your approach to others and your methods is not immovable like a tattoo. It gives you a scientifically accurate reading of how you tend to act in most situations. Two popular assessments I use are DiSC from Wiley and CliftonStrengths Online Talent Assessment | EN - Gallup. DiSC stands for 4 key qualities one might represent, Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. Strengthfinder identifies 34 different strengths one might have and ranks them 1-34. The report suggests you focus on the top 5 as a set of qualities most like you.

Here's more good news. One might think, as a coach, I am using assessments as a short cut to identifying strengths and gaps for my client. In fact, I am using a detailed debriefing with the client to note what is as well as what is not being reported. I firmly believe leaders who are more self-aware are better leaders. The path to this heightened self-awareness is agreeing that while 5 strengths are an accurate description of how you operate, there are 29 strengths that are less like or not like you at all. Or with DiSC there is about 75% of the circle that might be worth noting. To what end you ask? The qualities that are not close to your comfort zone might give a clue to your biases or blind spots. An even better end is to build a level of familiarity with all the qualities and see if you can begin to recognize them in others, especially people you have a difficult time working with.

Seeing yourself and others as a collection of qualities that either feel comfortable or not is a bridge to defocus from “this person just rubs me the wrong way” and toward “they have a different approach to work and I can adjust for the success of the project.”

Rather than being frozen in our prominent qualities reported, both assessments ask us to build this broader awareness so, rather than resist those with different qualities, we become comfortable and resilient in expending some extra energy to adjust and accept difference toward a greater team outcome.

Let’s talk more if you would like to learn more about an assessment for yourself, a team or your organization.


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