I use assessments in a lot of the work I do with team development, individual leadership and career coaching. Why? It gives you a baseline of information about yourself and your group. You learn about different personality or behavioral styles which influence how well you communicate and work together. It helps to identify the areas for you to develop and can pinpoint what is limiting you from reaching your goals more quickly.
Once in a while, someone thinks their assessment feedback is inaccurate or are dissatisfied with their results. There are a number of reasons why that might be, so consider if any of the following situations apply:
- The assessment was not valid or reliable. A poorly designed assessment or one that has not gone through the rigor of testing is more likely to deliver false results. It is tempting to go for those free assessments, just understand that free comes at a price – the lack of solid data, feedback or follow up.
- The person giving you the feedback was not qualified or certified to deliver assessment results. The majority of assessments that deliver accurate feedback require the coach or other trainer professional to have specific training in interpreting and delivering assessment results. While you may believe that the written report is enough or that someone can interpret a graph without training, it is not as easy as it looks. There are often subtle clues or interpretations that trained professionals can pinpoint that may hone into an area that is not covered in a general written debrief.
- You tried to outsmart the assessment or you did not take it seriously. If you take the assessment to try and beat it or you were so bored you just checked any box, you have already lost. One of the instructions you receive from a qualified assessment practitioner is to answer the questions without trying to over-think them. Do not answer them the way you want to be or the way you think someone wants you to be – just be you. Well engineered assessments use the information you have given them to provide you insights into who you are or how others might perceive you. The quality of the information you provide will directly affect what you receive back.
- Your scores on the cusp of another assessment category, quadrant or description. This is not an unusual situation. When you receive back your scores, you may find that your assessment profile or assessment results are close to another indicator – it might be another quadrant, descriptor or element. The best assessment products provide you with data points to show a range of where you stand within their scales and you can visually see that you are close to another indicator. Trained, certified and qualified assessment professionals will encourage you to explore the areas where you are close, so that you can determine if the alternative profile or description more accurately describes you better.
- The assessment really does describe you, but you don’t want to believe it. I have had a few people swear to me that their assessment profile does not accurately describe them, yet if we are in a group, the other people will resoundingly say “yes, it does”. Take this opportunity to share your assessment results with people who are close to you – your wife, significant other, family members or other friends. Ask them for their perception without trying to sway them. It can be difficult to accept our limitations or to embrace our own quirkiness.
Ultimately, your feedback is your own. You can choose to use it, redo it or ignore it. You may also decide to take other assessments which measure similar or different attributes to see if there is a correlation between the data, information and feedback you are receiving.
Finally, do not underestimate the value of using an excellent qualified or certified coach or practitioner, ideally someone with extensive experience. He or she can help you find answers more quickly and apply what you learn to your everyday life. That’s priceless.
Interested in researching assessments in general? Visit AssessmentRatings.com or see the assessments I use with my clients.