How Assessments Can Make You a Better Leader

I am thankful when clients share their successes with me. Shannon recently emailed to describe her epiphany on using assessments to do a better job of leading her team:

"After I attended Talent@Work® and learned about my own communication style and motivators, I knew I wanted to have assessments done for my entire team.

These assessments did more than give us a common language for communicating and collaborating. They also gave me the insights I needed to do a better job of leading.

One of my team members wasn't performing as well as I thought he could. Kevin was smart, capable and talented, yet he wasn't pulling his weight. I couldn't figure out why, so I pulled out his assessment and started to review it.

When I looked through the information about behaviors and motivators, I realized that I had assigned Kevin all the wrong tasks. I had asked him to complete projects involving big picture thinking when he excelled at analyzing details. No wonder he was floundering! 

Immediately, I reassigned him to a different role. The difference was dramatic. Kevin started accomplishing things right away and that fueled his confidence. Other teammates also saw Kevin's successes and began to have a new appreciation for the value he brought to the team.

The most interesting thing? Once I put Kevin in a role where he could excel, his confidence grew to a point where he was more willing to step outside his comfort zone. Though innovation wasn't initially his strength, it eventually became one of his strengths because he was more willing to take risks.

Now I completely get how assessments help you be a better leader. It made all the difference for Kevin and it helped the team become collectively more productive. Now I wouldn't think of trying to lead a team without these assessments as a guide."

Shannon's story makes me think of this quote: 

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

Quality assessments are enormously valuable in helping leaders put people in roles where they can experience success and all the joy that comes with it.