Most of us have taken personal inventory assessments such as StrengthsFinder and DISC and for various reasons. Whether as part of employment screening, leadership training, or as a team building exercise. The results of these assessments help to create a snapshot of our current mindset. The findings will be largely reflective of your role and perspective at that time. As we accumulate experience, knowledge and through interactions with others we evolve our skills, and therefore, our position and our mindset. Retaking the assessments help to gauge progress and change, and what if anything, you want to improve. In pursuit of your next role, you need the required education and experience, but its also good practice to understand what other skills is needed to propel you. I recently decided to revisit a couple of the assessments to see if and how my thinking had changed.
I took the Strengthsfinder personal assessment a couple of years ago and again last year. While it did not change drastically, it did illustrate growth in some skill/competency areas and a slight shift in mindset that went along with the additional experience and knowledge I gained. This isn’t to say that we need these assessments to tell us something new. Most are self-aware of our abilities, our thinking and how we show up to others in the world. These tools help us to pull it all together and allow us to do some personal data analytics to gauge our own career and personal development track.”>StrengthFinders personal assessment last year. The tool generates your top 5 traits, what your best at. I wondered what about all the other traits listed in the book. Wouldn’t it be great to know the middle pack of traits so I could work on those? I discovered the book and assessment tool, “Hidden Strengths”. The Hidden Strength assessment tool is designed to identify those traits that are flying under the radar but could potentially be developed into strengths. In addition to the top tier, a ranking is provided for all 28 of the leadership traits identified. Your natural tendencies – the top 20%, describes those solid traits that you possess. Then, there is the hidden strengths – the middle 70%. A graph is provided which illustrates percentages for each trait and also groups them by core competencies. We also get to find out our lower order traits – the bottom 10%. It turns out that you can also identify the full 34 traits (for an additional cost) on the StrengthFinders website. In the book, “What Got you Here Wont Get you There” by Marshall Goldsmith, he proposes that you have to swap out some of your existing strengths in order to advance to the next level. The skills have to evolve to meet the needs of the role. Having a good understanding of those you have and those you need will help you to obtain your desired goal. Isolating those traits and developing an action plan are the first steps to achievement.
While my strengths did not change drastically, it did illustrate growth in some skill/competency areas and a slight shift in mindset that went along with the additional experience and knowledge I gained. This isn’t to say that we need these assessments to tell us something we don’t already know. Most of us are self-aware of our abilities, our thinking and how we show up to others in the world. These tools help us to pull it all together and allow us to do some personal data analytics to gauge our own career and personal development track.
What if we started gauging our personal development like we track project success or annual budgets. Did we hit our goals, meet deadlines, show progress? It may be worthwhile to revisit and develop a plan of action to improve on the traits required for that next move. Do you know your strengths?