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Are You Using Multi-faceted Assessments?

Today I want to discuss an issue found in organizations using assessments – actually using assessments is a good thing. The fact is – most are doing some things wrong while only a few are getting it right.

The issue comes from using only One Assessment and believing it is an end all tool. Unfortunately, in most cases the users are creating more problems for themselves – unless the assessment being used is correctly used. An example of one assessment, which has multiple uses, yet, is not the end game solution for everything is the DISC assessment tool.

The DISC tool is a great report for understanding “How” a person delivers results using their behavioral style. It uncovers observable behavioral traits that are actually hard-wired in a person’s mind. Behavioral style is the primary method for communication and creates the most conflict issues.

Other assessment tools are available that uncover additional areas related to an individual’s ability to perform at higher levels.

Job Assessments: A Great Hiring Tool When Validated

Job assessments are an important tool in ensuring that you get the right people hired in the right jobs!   We have all seen the disastrous results when a bright and energetic person is hired for the wrong job.   It’s a mis-match that hurts everyone.  We have also likely seen what we “thought” was the right person for the job who simply “interviewed well.”  Their skills, values, and behavior did NOT fit the job.  YIKES!

We have all also seen people—and hopefully have been one ourselves—who have been matched perfectly for the right job in the right company.   Bingo!   This is a match!

Judge Things and People on Content rather than Looks

This week I have had several conversations regarding the old cliche:

“Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover.”

And, it appears that this simple phrase is more important than ever. Let me give you a few examples from my recent conversations with people.

Workplace Motivators Tell the “WHY” We Do Things

Using assessments in business is still important since it is the only true source for objectivity in understanding people. Since people are the key source for performance, productivity and results, it is important to know “WHY” each person does the things they do.

Some people believe they only need a behavioral assessment to answer all the questions on people issues. My answer to this – DISC only gives you the “HOW” a person does things. Since it is behavioral based the broadcast media that people use to communicate, listen, walk, talk, etc.

Workplace Motivators on the other hand get into the reasons “WHY” a person makes decisions the way they do. It answers the question about what they value and what they devalue – showing the sources of passion or indifference.

Identifying the source of passion or what is valued will tell a manager why a person prefers a certain type of job or why they make decisions or what positions they prefer due to the rewards of a particular position.

An example of these Workplace Motivator showing high performance can be traced to outside sales positions. In research of top performers in sales in the United States and Europe, we found that 93% of the top performers in the US and Europe had a certain Workplace Motivator as the number one or number two driver. This driver was the need to get a return on everything they did. It sounds logical, yet, every day sales people are hired who do not possess a passion for a return on everything they do. This are the same people who later de-hired by their sales managers due to a lack of results!

What are you doing in the hiring process or the evaluation of performance process that involves Workplace Motivators? If the answer is nothing, then you are risking your job. Excellent executives understand the value of objectivity in decision making and understanding what makes people tick. People skills is the main issue for success or lack of success. Assessments are the key component for finding the objectivity needed in a subjective area – such as people.

Want to know more about Workplace Motivators? First, go to our assessment site and read about Workplace Motivators and then download a sample report to review what is identified. Now one thing about a sample, it will not be as meaningful since it is not about you or someone you know. But it will provide a glimpse into the information format.

Next contact or call me to discuss how to use Workplace Motivators in your group, team, or organization. You will benefit in several ways using these assessment tools and we need to discuss exactly how they can help you. Call me at 901-757-4434 and we can discuss how to make you more productive and effective with people skills.

DISC tells You the “How” People Do Things

So, you want to know “how” a person communicates, talks, walks, listens, deals with people, handles processes and rules, makes decisions, goes after goals and problems? Then you need to look at a DISC assessment to answer the question.

DISC assessments answer these questions and more. The tool tells you if a person is feeling minor or major stress. It can tell you when a person is trying to be “all things to all people” and again feeling unusual stress in the process.

If you are looking for a sample of a DISC report and what it covers, go to our assessment site (which explains all the assessments we offer and what they will do for you) and download a sample “behavioral” report. They come in different formats – one for executives, managers & staff, sales, customer service, team building and even time management.

Someone asked me, “Is the DISC report a personality test?” My answer was “no.” The reason for this answer is the DISC reports have no psychology involved in the assessment. Only behavior is recorded or the behavioral tendencies of an individual. Yet, behavior is the most dominant factor since it is what everyone sees or hears. Behavioral traits are on display for everyone to see and “judge.”

I prefer the power and insight of the DISC reports because it is easily validated by the person who takes the assessment and everyone who interacts with this person. However, one major issues comes up between people. When people or staff are unaware of the types of behavioral style, they tend to judge others based upon their “own style preferences.” This can create natural conflict and misunderstanding of actions or intent.

85% of conflict in organizations can be linked to different behavioral style. This has been our experience working in the corporate arena.

People need to understand the power of behavioral style and how it influences our actions and our communication effectiveness with others. Our number one workshop is based upon helping people understand how behavioral tendencies influence our actions and results. Check out our number one workshop: Effective Communication for Results.

If you are interested in this assessment and the impact it provides an organization, please contact me at 901-757-4434. We can discuss how it can help you and your organization or team. Call now and get more effectiveness and productivity in your group, team or organization.

T.E.A.M.S. Uncovers What Makes Your Teams Successful or Not

Ran across another Dysfunctional Team last week and since books have been written about this topic, I thought you might want to know about how to uncover just what makes a team great, poor or average. The interesting thing about this process is when you ask the team using an assessment or interviews, they will tell you what’s going on, what’s causing any issues and why they are doing well.

Team members know the answers to these questions, managers and leaders just need to take the time to ask them for the facts. They are ready, willing and wanting to share with everyone the details of the team performance.

While there are several methods to uncover information about any team, department, division, group or in the case of a small company – the whole company. So what does this assessment called T.E.A.M.S. measure?

Do YOU Have a Public Image?

How We Either Survive or Succeed with Adaptive Behavior

Like President Obama, most of us have various roles in our lives in which we do have a public image. At the current moment, you may be in any combination of roles, such as a spouse, parent, executive, volunteer, student or mentor. In each role your adaptive behavioral style will likely change to fit the situation and its demands. Still, you will consistently maintain the same natural behavioral style, or the real you.

Adapting to Survive or Succeed?

While your natural behavioral style is your true identity, it is not always the behavior we create for others to see. In fact, our adaptive behavior is more observable because we will often make changes to either survive or succeed. Whether the change is dramatic or slight, knowing why the change is occurring is important. Most often, those changing to survive will tend to follow rules and regulations. On the other hand, those changing to succeed will tend to adapt to the behaviors called for by the environment.

Your Public Image at Work

Think of situations where you have to be more conscious of adapting your behavioral style on the job. Maybe it is when you speak publically, are faced with quick decisions or have to comply with strict rules. Do you feel stressed, exhausted and uncomfortable?

It is important to understand how your natural and adaptive behavioral styles are affecting your work. A simple assessment and review of your personal results is a great step toward harnessing your natural behavioral styles for improved communication, productivity, teamwork and overall enjoyment on the job. Then, you can uncover even more about your personal strengths by assessing personal motivators, skills and emotional intelligence.

How to Choose the Right Assessment for Your Company

How do you choose the right assessment from so many choices? That is a question that shows up every day. Some people have the answer and others just keep using the one that was introduced to them while in school. Others use the ones recommended by their boss or someone they trust or respect.

The above methods are subjective at best. So how do you choose the right one for you or your organization? There are seven factors to review, so let’s get started:

  1. Price – Some choices are made only based upon price. Price per assessment, per project or per group. Price is a consideration, yet, it should not be the only issue to review for using assessments. There are other more important considerations.
  2. Validation – Now this is another important area, yet it can be overused. Validation of personal assessments should be validated in several areas – accuracy, relationship, construct, and consistency. However, not ALL assessment are in need of validation. There are numerous situations that call for job related accuracy only. In fact, we see this element being a key factor in several assessment processes – are there job related benchmarks being used in the interpretation?
  3. Legal – Are the legal requirements of the assessments being met? In the 50’s and 60’s some assessments were used in an illegal manner to eliminate certain classes of people from employment opportunities. And, laws were passed to stop this practice. However, today, several people still have a misunderstanding of what is legal and what is illegal in the use of assessments – particularly in the hiring and selection of people. While you will want to check with your legal advisers – the EEOC and the Department of Labor are very clear on the use of assessments. It is perfectly fine to use assessments – especially if they are focused upon the needs of a job or position rather than an individual. Benchmarking that is job specific is good for legal requirements.
  4. Norms – What norms are being used by the assessment provider? If the provider cannot “show” you when and where the norms for their assessments were established, then decline to use them. There are many “copy cats” in the marketplace that have not done any research and development to keep their assessments current. Most behavioral assessments were normed on the baby boomers population. Therefore, the X and Y Generation individuals do not get accurate results. Thus a disconnect between the report generated and the belief that the information is accurate. Your norms should be set from the 21st century not the early 20th century.
  5. Easy of Use – The assessment process should be difficult for the user or the benefactor of the results. The instructions and deliverable should be easy to understand and implement. Simple and clear is the key.
  6. Support – Do you have a provider that has experienced and certified individuals to support the debrief of information provided from the assessments. To often, you will have a “certified” individual that has no practical experience. Therefore, the insight into how certain factors or combinations impact an individual or organization could be missing. This lack of insight will hurt you in the long run.
  7. Language – During the 20th century one language was okay. However, today with the global presence and multi-cultures in the marketplace the question of “What languages are available for this assessment?” is key. A quality assessment should be available in multiple languages over the same system that everyone uses. By the way, our experience is the base language spoken by participants is important for taking assessments. To much time is wasted trying to interpret the definitions of words used in the assessment with misunderstanding and inaccurate results commonplace. However, when people use their primary language while taking the assessment – the accuracy is improved.

Review these points before making your decision as to how to which assessment or combination of assessments you should be using to get the results you want. If you need samples of assessment reports, then go to our assessment only site – use the Individual Focus or Corporate Focus tab to find the specific report you want. Call us if you want to get an assessment – 901-757-4434.

Assess Your Talent to Understand Their True Potential

This is the third step of the five part Leadership Development Process. The third step is to Assess Your Identified Talent. The assessment process will provide you with objective data and understanding of your current talent. This includes both the current level of performance and the potential for growth and improvement.

There are four methods of assessing your talent. All four should be utilized for leadership talent assessing. Each method is used for specific information. Here are the four methods for Assessing Your Leadership Talent:

  1. Interview – This method is used to find out specific answers to a list of predetermined questions related to the potential leader’s accomplishments and personal ambition. Some of the information to undercover includes what workshops or developmental education have they taken? Do they want to move into a higher level of responsibility? Do they want to work more with people than task or develop people more than do the job? Are they comfortable stretching their goals or multi-tasking within important projects?

What is a Personal Strength?

In the landmark book by Buckingham entitled “First Break All the Rules” statements were made about how the best managers utilized the natural strengths of their direct reports. There were two additional points contained in the book and verified through experience. People are hard wired with certain traits that are impossible to change in the long term. And, you must know what the natural strengths of each individual on a team.

Personal Strengths are the things that an individual does with passion and shows up everyday wanting to use them in everyday life. They are the traits that make each individual unique and like others at the same time. Now if that seems a little confusing, image how difficult it is for managers with no people managing skills. The interesting thing about this scenario is that some of these traits are “hardwired” in the person’s brain and is a preferred method of operating. Other traits are learned and will be more subjective or changeable with training or knowledge.

Managers need to understand all the possible combination of hardwired traits so they can assign tasks and projects based upon the natural abilities or traits of each individual. Too often, a person is asked to do daily tasks that are the opposite of their natural strengths which leads to major issues in the long run.

First, the manager may have expectations that a task should be done a certain way based upon “certain hard wired traits.” When the job is not done using the preferred methods, then the direct report is considered to be at fault and gets a low job performance review.

Second, the individual that is mismatched regarding their natural strengths and a task or job will become frustrated and usually loses their personal motivation. Then their confidence goes down and they become more demotivated. The reason for this downward cycle is the lack of accomplishment or high performance possibilities. The individual wants to perform well and therefore feel good about themselves – yet the job mismatch with their personal strengths creates more issues.

Finally, human nature being present in all situations, the individual begins to look around for a new job or assignment. The higher the self-confidence the more they will actively engage in seeking new situations or employment. The lower self-confident individuals will hang in until the manager gets so frustrated that the manager takes action dehiring the individual.

Learn what your natural strengths are using assessments. InnerActive Consulting Group offers a complete personal assessment that uncovers your natural strengths and weaknesses. You can be debriefed on the best practices for your strengths – learning how to manage others, select qualified high performers for open positions and how to motivate each individual within your team for high performance. Contact us at 901-757-4434 for more information or a demonstration of how this process will work for you.