Thursday, May 23, 2013

Have You Been Assessed?

The unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates

Taking personality and trait assessments throughout my life has contributed to better self-management, better coaching practices, and to better facilitating of teams, tribes and communities. Assessments are like mirrors. They reveal some interesting things but not necessarily the essentials! They are tools to help explore and discover more about oneself and others. Assessments are a starting point and not a be-all, end-all summary.

The most powerful assessments are of the 360 variety where you get anonymous feed back from supervisor, peers, direct reports, friends and others. They can create powerful “AHA” conversations. They can be catalyst for personal growth.

Here is a summary of the assessments I have taken:

Strength’s Finder
- My five strengths include: Strategic, Connectedness, Learner, Maximizer, Belief 

Engramme - 9 (Peacemaker) 
Big Five - Open to new experiences, neither organized or dis-organized, both social and reserved, considers the feelings of others and calm in tense situations 
Herman Brain Dominance Inventory - D > C > A > B 
Devine Inventory - Action oriented, can turn arguments into discussions, seen as being on top of the situation, tactful and diplomatic, not satisfied with the status quo, stimulated by learning, enthusiasm for the audience, can create change, able to prioritize, has high energy 
Gregoric Style Delineator - Concrete Random (CR) 
DiSC - Promoter (i/D) 
MyHardwired - Yellow 
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - ENTJ (Qualified MBTI practioner) 
Temperament - NT 
Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) - strong in all five areas of leadership including: modeling the way, challenging the way, enabling others to act, inspiring a shared vision and encouraging the heart
Emotional Intelligence EQi 2.0 - 113 (Certified)

Recently, as part of emotional intelligence certification, I took an EQ-i assessment. The assessment looks at self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision making and stress management. The results indicated moving towards the high range for emotional intelligence. My “happiness” factor was also high.

Since the EQ-i is a self-validating assessment, I talked with the EQ-i facilitator. She asked if I was surprised by the results. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised. The assessment validated much of what I know about myself. I acknowledged my strengths as well as areas for growth. I am still a work in progress!

Couple of things I’ve learned about assessments. We human beings are very complex. We are a bundle of habits shaped by nature and nurture. Add other human beings to our environment, lives and work and things become very interesting!

It’s not enough to be given results or feedback on the assessment. When your doctor screens you for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar or any number of things, the results do not mean a thing without understanding how they impact the quality of life.

The same is true of assessments. Couple assessment results with experience-based learning labs, you can discover and understand how you show up and how others experience you. You can learn to bridge the gaps of reality-perception, knowing-doing and sighted-blind spots.

The tough questions can be asked. What habits need to challenged? What behaviors need to changed? What behaviors do I need to do more? What do I currently understand about myself? What do I need to do to better understand? What heart-to-heart conversation do I need to have with myself? Where can I get support?

Socrates was right!

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