Countless books exhort leadership skills in the workplace. They go on and on about different styles of leadership, the key qualities of a leader, and steps to becoming a better leader. All these books can be useful tools, but at the end of the day, the most valuable knowledge you can have about leadership is understanding what kind of leader you are and how your team likes to be led.
Now, many leaders make the mistake of putting that second part first. They assess their employees to find out what they respond to, how they like to be managed, how they flourish and how they’re stifled. However, these same leaders often fail to turn the microscope on themselves. A thorough, unbiased assessment of your own abilities is essential to understanding your strengths and weaknesses.
You may have always thought that you were great at motivating your employees, but your style of motivation may be in stark contrast with what your employees actually need. Likewise, you may know that you’re great at detail work, but that strength might get overextended and become a vulnerability if it results in micro-managing. You may feel like you have a strong understanding of your own strengths and vulnerabilities (we all have both), but you may not understand how those strengths and vulnerabilities affect your employees.
That’s where employee assessments come in. At Level Up Leadership, we use a suite of three assessments to help leaders and their team members understand their own values, wants, needs, strengths, and vulnerabilities, so that they can work together better. As a leader, your assessment can help you get a sense of how you are most effective at managing your team and what areas could use improvement.
Take 3 Simple Steps toward Change and Growth
- Know that knowledge is the first step toward change and growth and an assessment can give you a better understanding of your strong suits as well as what you can improve upon.
- With your assessment in hand, the next step is to understand how your behaviors affect your employees, both in positive and negative ways. With this understanding, look for concrete examples of how you may have handled certain situations well and other situations poorly. Accept the ways that you can improve, and commit to making a concerted effort to change.
- Finally, take action. Knowledge of your strengths and vulnerabilities won’t help your professional development at all until you make the conscious choice to use that knowledge for positive change. You can take action by setting a few professional goals and working toward accomplishing them, getting help from a mentor in your field, or even participating in leadership coaching and development.
By taking these three steps, over time you will notice profound change that not only benefits you professionally and even personally, but also produces positive changes amongst your team and those you manage.