01 Mar The Power of Assessment Tools
Imagine with me for a minute that you could open a door into each of your team members’ brains, including your own. You could understand how and why they behave a certain way, and how they think. What if you could anticipate how someone might react to a big change before you implemented it? What if you knew the best way to communicate to each of your employees? What if you understood how best to engage each person in discussion and problem solving? What if you were not only armed with this knowledge, but if each member of the team understood each other better too? And what if they also could understand you better?
I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s possible to gain all of this insight and knowledge and more, and this information can and will substantially improve the way your team works together. No crystal ball required…just the power of a good assessment tool.
While there are a number of great assessment tools on the market these days, the one Heidi and I are most excited about is Emergenetics. For less than $200/employee and only 20 minutes of their time, you can gain powerful insight about what makes them tick, how they prefer to work, and how they like to communicate and behave. The Emergenetics Profile reveals a person’s preferences within 4 categories of thinking and 3 styles of behaviour, with room for degrees of preference that eliminate strict, black + white categorizations. Armed with this information, you can easily develop strategies in your organization for improving communication, collaboration, and problem solving. You can also make informed decisions around what preferences and styles you might be missing on your team when it’s time to grow.
To better understand the effectiveness of the tool, let’s say you’ve discovered that you need to vacate your current office by the end of the month. You currently have 20 employees, and with less than 20 days before the big move, you’re going to need all hands on deck. The standard approach might be to gather your team together in one big room and lay the sudden news on everyone, and then head into a quick brainstorming meeting about how best to tackle the move. This approach, unfortunately, almost guarantees you will leave some people behind, as there are individuals who require time to process change and new information. If you assume everyone can handle a quick announcement that leads straight into a call for productivity, it is likely you will be met with a degree of resistance, some quiet faces, and possibly some overall unhappiness or even resentment from some people.
If you understand the preferences of each team member, however, you might recognize that a number of your employees need to process information internally before leaping into action. You might be aware that still others are very resistant to change and will want to talk about the reasons for the sudden move. There might also be someone who will take over the brainstorm out of eagerness for talking and new ideas, and who might not leave enough space for the full group to participate.
You hired each member of your team because they have something unique and valuable to offer. When we take the time to better understand what drives and motivates them, how they process information, and how they prefer to think and work, we can bring increased productivity and harmony to our organizations. We can navigate change and conflict more successfully, we can create roles that fit our employees better, and we can ensure that communication is positive and smooth. Investing in an assessment tool can help create high-performing teams, which in turn leads to better ideas, improved engagement, healthier companies, and better results.