DISC. True Colours. Personality Dimensions. MBTI. These are just some of the many self-assessment tools available on the market. It’s no wonder that there’s a lot of confusion about the best choice.
So how do you choose?
A sound approach is to begin with the end in mind. What results do you want to achieve by using an assessment tool? Do you want to use the information for personal and career growth? Are you looking to use the tool as part of a fun team building exercise? Will you be using the information to address a specific situation, or are you looking to use it for longer term coaching in a variety of situations? Defining how you plan to use new insights will help you decide which tool is the best choice for you.
While I have found the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® to be a valuable tool for a broad range of situations, there’s always room for maximizing the potential of any given tool. When contemplating which assessment tool to use, consider collecting information on the tool itself as well as the administrator. Both can have a profound impact on the value and insights you gain from self-assessment. Here are some questions to consider:
Five ‘must ask’ questions when choosing an assessment tool:
- How long has the tool been in use?
- For what purpose is the tool typically used?
- Has the tool been tested for validity and reliability?
- On what theory or set of principles is the tool based?
- What is the anticipated cost versus potential value derived from using an assessment tool?
Five ‘must ask’ questions when choosing an assessment tool administrator:
- What formal training or qualifications does the administrator hold in delivering the tool?
- What is the administrator’s stance on assessment tools, in general?
- How has the administrator used the assessment tool in the past?
- What feedback has the administrator received about the tool?
- How is the tool delivered to ensure maximum benefit to the client?
Introduce one tool at a time. Even if you are considering using a battery of tools, take some time to explore one tool before moving on to the next one. Each tool is different in its approach. Delivering too many tools at once can create more confusion than confidence.
Choose a tool that you believe in. No amount of data generated by any assessment tool will be valuable if you don’t believe in the integrity of the tool itself. Do your research and choose the tool that suits your specific situation.
Decide how much or how little you will do with the information you receive. You can use the information you receive to address a specific situation, or use it as a starting point for more in-depth work. What you do with the information will make all the difference in deriving value from any self-assessment exercise.
Article published in The Bulletin, a quarterly publication dedicated to career development.