The Power of Digitally-Enabled Assessments
“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
The quote has been attributed to both Socrates and Aristotle, but regardless of the source, the words are still relevant today. Understanding ourselves — our strengths, shortcomings, and why we do the things we do — is the starting point for personal growth and accelerating leader development.
For decades, we’ve assessed leaders using personality tests, psychological inventories, 360 surveys, and evaluations by trained observers. These tools are immensely helpful in giving leaders critical insights about themselves and the impact they have on others and on the organization as a whole. But now, HR leaders have an opportunity to take assessments to the next level by:
- Providing leaders with new feedback sources to enhance their decision-making about what leadership areas to target for development.
- Giving leaders real-time feedback to enhance their ability to lead.
- Offering leaders more personalized guidance with a clearer picture of their development journey.
Technologies that leaders use to enrich their personal lives such as immersive games and simulations, intelligent personal assistants, social networking sites or apps, and biometric monitoring are now helping leaders get a deeper look at who they are, including how they show up in the digital workplace. Within seconds, we can assess personality based on social media posts. Wearable devices monitor our stress level around the clock.
Instead of waiting for the next employee survey, new tools let leaders ask for and receive feedback as often as needed.
Emerging digital assessments are a welcome addition to the leadership development toolkit. Organizations that take advantage of these new approaches are giving their leaders valuable insights they can use to lead their teams more effectively. But it would be a mistake to assume these new offerings will replace traditional approaches that rely on humans rating themselves and others. Rather, these digital tools help the leader more quickly focus on development areas that really matter.
This means that leaders have more time for the actual development work — trying out new leadership skills, connecting with peers and mentors about new approaches, and reflecting on what’s working and what isn’t. These digital tools also benefit leaders because they provide more real-time feedback on-demand, reinforcing what new approaches are working and suggesting when it may be worth tweaking or changing up.
Leaders need feedback from both traditional and new assessment tools to meet their development goals. We believe human input, combined with digital data, can help leaders transform their work and lives.
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