Before embarking on a leadership development journey, you need to understand what the changes you want to make are and why it is important to make them. We can not get to ‘point B’ if we do not know where we are at ‘point A.’ Completing a leadership assessment survey provides us with clarity about our current capabilities. We can identify areas for improvement and create a pathway to help us achieve our goals. Reviewing our competencies will allow us to track our progress in real time and make ongoing, valuable change that make us better leaders.
As an Individual
A leadership assessment can reveal insightful nuances about an individual person’s behaviour and way of thinking. When developing leadership excellence it can be helpful to understand these nuances so that training programs can be tailored to suit the individual’s thinking preferences and so, be more effective. Leadership assessment tools like the HBDI® and Everything DiSC® look at leadership through a personality based lens. The decisions we make are intrinsically biased by the ways in which we prefer to operate. Knowing what our unconscious biases are allows us to mitigate their impact, or leverage them at times they can be most effective. Knowing which traits we avoid is also useful in providing us with a place to start our learning. Effective training programs will be able to frame these limitations in ways within the scope of the individual’s preferred leadership and learning style. This makes the skills they are still developing more accessible when approached from a place of familiarity.
As a Team
The importance of leadership assessment at an individual level should extend to benefit the teams being led. There is a great value in assessing the leadership capabilities of an entire team. It is of course important that the members of a team get along and work well together. But there is also a risk that a lack of diverse perspectives will lead to stagnating performance. The benefits of leadership assessment for teams is that it discloses areas where there are gaps in skills and ways of thinking. Understanding each other’s thinking preferences makes us better communicators and effective problem solvers. Building balanced, well-rounded teams provides more opportunities for collective growth.
It is not enough to simply fill out a survey about your skills and be done with it. You have either chosen, or have been asked, to complete a leadership assessment because you want to know yourself better. This includes accepting the areas in which you lack strength, and being willing to put in the effort to improve those skills. The best leadership assessment tools can, and should, surprise you in some way. Recalling why it is important for you to undertake this assessment holds you more accountable to yourself, your team, and helps you ‘show up’ in your leadership as someone open to opportunities for growth.
Assessing leadership excellence creates a space for individuals and teams to deepen their understanding of themselves and how they show up to face challenges. It allows us to form stronger relationships and improve performance through harnessing the differences in where our strengths lay.
About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and high trust organisation.