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The end of the year is near and yet, as it always does, January will peak its head around the corner before we know it. As the New Year approaches, how will you lead you and your team to make a fresh start for 2019? This isn’t about resolutions or goals. It’s a natural time of year for many to “try something new” or “begin again” Make the most of that mindset for both you and the employees, by tuning into the December Monday Moments.

Beginning now, one option to gather much more data about that amazing team you lead, and you, as well, is to use an assessment tool. Certainly, there are many from which to choose, but any assessment or personality profile reestablishes the baseline of understanding for everyone’s strengths, skills, vulnerabilities and areas of development, if it is used properly. The tool we happen to use with great success is the CORE Profile®. Whichever you choose or currently use, heed these precautions to ensure success instead of added stress and mess, when you assess.

Don’t Reveal Results on Their Name Tag

Personality assessments provide tremendous data. Each one provides something different. CORE®, as an example, identifies what you believe your personality is, which personality you actually demonstrate, and how much stress impacts your use of all personality traits. Leaders looking for a quick fix or simple solution to conflict in the workplace will often misuse this data and try to label each team member as only one personality or another. We ALL have multiple variations of our dominant personality traits and we all also have access to all four of the most commonly labeled dominant personality preferences. For that reason, don’t label employees as only one or another. Cutesy signs on their door or name tents are their desk, eliminate their potential to develop new skills. It is important to recognize variation without oversimplifying the labeling system that will do more damage than value.

Avoid 360 Feedback Tools

360 degree feedback assessments focus far less on personality and much more on opinions from others. With many of these tools, the focus is actually on what others think about your personality. If not facilitated with finesse and an advanced level of skill, these types of tools can turn quickly into a “he said, she said” conversation, wrought with hurt feelings, bruised egos, and potential retaliation, particularly if the employees are giving feedback to the boss. 360’s are intended to be positive, but they also only have application in certain environments in which the employees and the leader have an already high degree of emotional maturity and security about who they really are. In the absence of that maturity, high levels of confidence and a high degree of mutual respect and rapport among team members and leader, a 360 is likely to do more damage to trust and forward momentum, than it is likely to build benefit. What we also know is that 54% of the population does not possess this level of understanding about who they are, much less the awareness to effectively share their opinion about who others are or why they are acting in that manner.

Don’t’ Interrupt the Process

Once you begin using a personality assessment process among the team, see it through. Don’t begin with a few, collect the data, and then stop. This leaves others wondering about the value and can also create questions about “now what” or “why did we get left out?” Personality assessments are not really designed to be a mechanism that creates the campaign of the week, but are designed to raise the level of emotional intelligence, self-management, authentic behavior, and understanding of what we do and why, and how to change that with which we are not pleased, about ourselves. This type of data will improve results if carried through, followed through, and used in a way that inspires application, instead of encouraging ignoring differences. If the process is stopped, they go right back to the same level of oblivion they may have had before.

As that stereotypical “get it done”, results oriented personality, here is my recommendation of what to do if this is an area in which you want to make a fresh start. Research assessments that are in the market. Find one that addresses the data you need to solve the problems you may have or address the behaviors missing that are keeping you from your desired results. Find a facilitator, trainer, or consultant you trust, who conducts these assessments regularly and can guide you through the process as an advisor. Meet with them. Engage them. Then, hold a kick off meeting explaining the process, and then begin assessing the team. Follow that up with training on how to use the data and then, much like shampoo, rinse and repeat with the next level of team members. Much like any worthwhile endeavor, the more effort and expertise you put in, the more value you are likely to get out of the process.

Your leadership style and strengths change how you lead and are perceived by others. Find out how you lead with this quick online assessment.

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