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Assess - Don't Guess

#eqfit #assess #assessment May 29, 2023

When you have an important decision to make, how do you go about doing that?

Most people have a process. Somewhere in that process is gathering information. As an example...if you were going to buy a new car, what information would you like to have before you make your decision?

  • Make and model
  • Price
  • Gas mileage or mileage per charge
  • Horsepower
  • Safety ratings
  • Reliability
  • Retained value

Maybe you have other specific information you would like. The point is that we try to gather the best information we can get before we make an important decision.

Assess - Don't Guess

When it comes to making decisions about people, do we do the same thing? How about when you want to make a decision about what you need? What is your "assessment" process?

Life is about growth. Growth is about change, or what I prefer to call transformation. But what changes make for the healthiest and most productive growth? This is where people may settle for less than the best insights. Why? Probably because most people are not aware of what is available to them.

Have you ever invested in something that you hoped would bring transformation in your life, only to be disappointed? I think we have all been there and done that. Why didn't that investment work? Was it something that did not work? Maybe. But more likely, it did not fit our needs as well as it should. So, how do we identify our needs and what will fit for us? By taking the time to assess:

  • Ask good questions
  • Take a validated online assessment
  • Ask other people
  • Do our research

These are a few ways we can gather better information so we can make a better decision.

I am one of those people that likes spontaneity and using intuition. My "gut feel" is important to me in how I make decisions. I used to think that taking a more methodical approach to gathering information and gaining insight was a waste of time. I had supreme confidence that I could discern the right solution or approach with my internal gifts and talents. In truth, I did make some good decisions that way. But in reality, the percentage of doing that consistently was a lot lower than I realized. Choices I made just using my intuition tended to be disappointing.

Enter assessments. About 40 years ago, I was introduced to a new world. The world of assessments. For the purpose of this focus, that includes:

  • Asking good questions
  • Gathering data from available resources
  • Interviews
  • Psychological assessments

I tell people that my psychologist father poked and prodded us kids with all kinds of assessments over the years. While I may poke fun at this, I am profoundly grateful to him for introducing me to the entire world of psychological assessments. Why? Because it is foundational to the work I do with people.

Why do we look in the mirror? To see an accurate reflection of ourselves. Why is that important? So that we know what we need to do. When it comes to our personal and professional development, growth, and transformation, that is what psychological assessments can do for us. They are a different kind of mirror but one that is critical to gaining deeper understanding.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When it comes to using psychological assessments, for yourself or for others, there are some traps to avoid. The free stuff you find on the Internet is likely worth what you pay for it. Using one assessment (like a personality assessment) alone can do more harm than good if you don't have the guidance you need to interpret the information and limit it to the appropriate uses. Don't let someone sell you on one assessment being the only thing you need, that is simply not true if you want to get the best results. I recommend you find someone who is certified in multiple types of assessments and they only utilize highly validated assessments. This is what I do for a living. I have seen the profound impact this can have on people. Think of it this way...are you worth investing in? Is accurate and insightful information important to you, your growth, and achieving your life goals? If the answer is yes, then find someone like myself that can be your guide.

Looking in the crystal ball

What if you are making decisions about other people? Maybe you are hiring people or leading people. Do you know what candidates best fit your needs, culture, team? Do you know how to best impact the growth and development of the people you lead and support? This is a great place for assessments. The more good data and insights you can attain, the better your plans and decisions will be.

I had a senior leader tell me recently, "Your assessments on candidates are like having hindsight in advance." I love that statement. It is similar information that you would learn about someone if you worked with them for a year, but you get to see it before you hire them. Hindsight in advance. Is this a perfect predictor of candidate success in a job, no. But in my experience, it almost doubles the success rate as compared to the national average. That's a great investment when you consider the cost of turnover. Latest turnover statistics put the cost of turnover at 30-200% of annual compensation for the role. The cost of assessments to diminish turnover expense is a small fraction of that.

What can assessments do for you

There is a lot of noise out there about assessments. I have been using them for over 35 years in my business, and I have worked with hundreds of companies and thousands of people, so I have seen the impact assessments have in many areas.

  • Personal development - if you want to improve your life, your success, your satisfaction, learn new skills, identify areas you want to transform, then assessments are the mirror you need to get the insights necessary to help you gain clarity, make your best decisions, and get the transformation you desire.
  • Professional development - assessments can give you the insights and information needed to create the best path forward for your (or others) professional development, growth, and transformation. Assessments can also be used to track your progress over time, ensuring you are on track to meet your goals and achieve what you desire.
  • Workplace - assessments are available to measure what matters in people, leaders, teams, and the entire organization. Better data leads to better decisions. The more important the decision, the more need there is to gain good information and insight. That is the strength of good assessments and a certified professional to help you understand and interpret that data.

What assessments should you consider

When thinking of assessments, think first about what you are trying to discover. Most people think of a type of assessment first. For example, personality assessments are the most prevalent type of assessment, and there are a multitude of different kinds. The funny thing is, the vast majority are based on the same 4 quadrant personality model; Dominance, Inclusion, Steadiness, Compliance. So how do you choose what is best? Talk to someone who is a professional in this area, not just a friend or acquaintance that has used one they like. Here are different assessments that I would recommend you explore:

  • Personality (DISC or similar)
  • EQ (emotional intelligence)
  • Cognitive and aptitude
  • Competency based assessments
  • Hard skills
  • Soft skills
  • Spiritual
  • Your personal assessment of the situation

Depending on your needs, whether for life or work, this is a great place to start. By now, you can probably see that my focus is on a more comprehensive approach to assessments. There is a reason for that. Back to our buying a new car scenario...would you want to drive around in a new car that you selected based on only one choice point? Probably not. The same is true for utilizing assessments. A well designed assessment package will give you multiple insights so that you can make your best decisions. While I used to make decisions based on my intuition, I now balance that with good data that comes from a variety of assessments.

Stay tuned for an entire series on different assessments, what they are, what they can do for you, and how to use them.

One last thought...if assessments can give you deeper insights and better information, so that you have greater confidence in your decisions and choices, is it worth the investment? I think so. That is why this has become my life's work.


For more, check out our other resources:

EQFIT® YouTube Channel


EQFIT® Podcast

 Copyright © 2023 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected].

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