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Starting with the Man in the Mirror: Using Assessments to Drive Your Accomplishments

Note: Here is the first sequel to my ‘Coach Clinton 7-Steps to Accomplishment Methodology’ article where I had set the stage for putting you on the track of accomplishment. If you want to pick up something practical from this article and the ones following, I would suggest you to read the aforementioned article first, if you haven’t already.

If you are ready to do something that is nothing less than remarkable and committed to breaking all the barriers that are blocking your path to success – you are set to follow the Coach Clinton 7-Steps to Accomplishment Methodology.

Today in this post, we will dissect the first step ‘Appraise’ which is the starting point of your journey. You are starting the journey toward your destination by analyzing the person who is staring back at you in the mirror. The process of appraising yourself falls under the first phase i.e. the Mind Mapping phase. Now the first question that you should be asking is ‘What on earth is a mind map?’ Well, that question is best suited for Tony Buzan, the inventor of this technique:

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“A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, color and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.”1

In other words, a mind map is a graphic or a visual thinking tool that lets you plot your ideas and generate new ones by breaking large blocks of thoughts into smaller intelligible pieces. In the mind mapping phase, you will create a visual log of your goals and plan your journey effectively.

As mentioned in the last article, appraising in this context means assessing your current state of performance and identifying the factors that aid in enhancing your performance.

There are a number of assessment tools out there, and you need first to decide the tool that will bring out the best results for you. These tools focus on a number of aspects of your personality, your actions and habits, your strengths, your behaviors under stress, or your career options. In completing the assessments, it is imperative that you are specific about what you are assessing and answer each question honestly. It is also important to have a clear understanding and appreciation of your results. Do not judge yourself or your responses. The only way to effectively maximize your potential and create change is to accept what you’ve learned from the assessments and seek to comprehend them. Once all results have been received, the information will later be used to create an actionable plan for improvement.

Use of assessment tools is absolutely necessary. In order for you to reach your desired ending destination, you must first have clarity on your starting point. The assessments offer you the requirements needed to accelerate the speed of your journey.

The first step is to understand the nature of the tools available for assessment and then move on to deploying a specific tool that seems to fit the bill.

The discussion that follows is aimed at introducing you to a few assessment tools that are worth considering, when you are shopping for the most suitable assessment:

  • The Innovator’s DNA Assessment – As the name suggests, this tool’s foremost focus is to unearth the innovative or creative capabilities of an individual. This assessment is based on five specific skills i.e. Associating, Questioning, Observing, Networking, and Experimenting. The renowned developers of this assessment system, Jeffrey H. Dyer, Hal B. Gregersen & Clayton M. Christensen, have identified these five innovation capabilities after years of rigorous research. The Self & 360 Assessments tools provide individuals with a personalized Innovation Profile, detailed scores for their Courage to Innovate, Discovery Skills, and Delivery Skills.
  • Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment – This assessment tool digs deep into the test taker’s personality and reports the most prominent strengths of the individual. These strengths then can be used to identify the types of activities that will be most suited for a certain person. The assessment presents the individuals with 177 pairs of statements that offer the opportunity to describe themselves in a number of different angles and perspectives. The test-takers are then required to choose the statements that best describe them in a limited period of time.
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Personality Inventory – MBTI is a widely used personality assessment tool that categorizes people in 16 different personality types – based on a number of individual characteristics derived from Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. The main ingredients of a MBTI profile is made up of a 4-item combination of these characteristics:
Extraversion or Introversion (E or I)
Sensing or Intuition (S or N)
Thinking or Feeling (T or F)
Judging or Perceiving (J or P)

So the result that you will get a four-letter profile (for example ISTJ or ENTJ) along with a detailed insight about that profile including the most suitable professions for your type of personality.

  • DiSC Personality Test – DiSC is another powerful personality assessment tool that provides the opportunity to have a closer look at one’s self – including the motivations, conflict management / self-management capabilities and problem-solving skills. DiSC is the acronym for:
Dominance – emphasis on accomplishing results
Influence – emphasis on influencing or persuading others
Steadiness – emphasis on cooperation, sincerity and dependability
Conscientiousness – emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise, competency

Now that you have been introduced to the idea of using assessment tools to achieve the optimum performance levels, you should dig into the tools discussed above and see which one seems to stand out to you the most. This is not a comprehensive list; it is however, a list of a few of my personal favorites. This evaluation should be based on the objectives that you plan to achieve from this crucial exercise. If you really want to get the most out of it, I will advise you to research additional tools that are best suited for your personal needs.

For now, I’m leaving you with the task of looking at yourself in the mirror and throwing some tough questions at the person staring back at you – who is this person and how can I make use of assessments to know this person inside out. The answers to these important questions will pave the way for the next step that is goal-setting for realizing your dreams, discussed in the next article in this series.

Until then, start the process of honestly getting to know yourself.

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