Competency Assessment

Competency Assessment

We were among the first to introduce assessment tools to scientifically measure soft-skills such as Leadership, Customer Service, Communication, and Sales. Since then, we have expanded our tool library and also the range of our assessment tools to include assessments for Team Effectiveness, Coaching, and Personality Development topics.

If you would like to know what our current best-sellers are, please refer to the limited list provided. For more information, please contact us and we would be happy to send you complete list of tools or an outline of any tools in our current list.

Achieving Peak Performance

What does it take to increase a person's satisfaction at work? Using the well-known, time-tested model of Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs, Achieving Peak Performance provides front-line supervisors and managers at all levels with a simple yet powerful tool for identifying employee needs. Using this information, managers are then able to positively influence employees toward higher performance levels.
  
Maslow's theory offers a very practical way of looking at motivation issues for individuals or teams. This approach makes good business sense: provide employees with goals they find meaningful and engage them in activities that satisfy their individual needs, and they will naturally feel motivated to perform at higher level.

Becoming A Customer Service Star

Everyone has a favorite customer service story, but few people can identify the specific behaviors that will result in outstanding service. Executives, managers, and employees all have different, pre-conceived ideas of what constitutes great customer service. And since each person, with his or her personal values and ideas, impacts the customer, the need to change behaviors associated with customer service must begin with the individual.

With Becoming a Customer Service Star, employees and managers evaluate their behavior in 5 critical service areas, examine their attitudes about service, and learn ways to boost their customer service performance.
 
Learning Outcomes

  • Create a profile of individual customer service strengths and weaknesses
  • Recognize the opportunities to improve customer service and retention
  • Identify an individual action plan to enhance attitude, encourage customer feedback, improve problem response time, and develop and sustain a positive relationship with customers

Theory

Five categories of excellent customer service have been identified based on current theories of customer service, as well as the author's personal experience in consulting with customer service personnel.

Benchmarks of Team Excellence

Get the tool that measures a higher level of team functioning. Benchmarks of Team Excellence reveals important information about the experience and attitudes of those who know the team best — the team members. Benchmarks will help you measure the extent to which teams possess the 6 indicators of excellence:

   · Alignment
   · Team Effectiveness
   · Empowerment
   · Passion
   · Commitment
   · Results
 
By examining scores for 6 indicators of excellence, team members can identify areas of strength and weakness, discover overall patterns of agreement, and surface differences in perceptions about how the team is functioning.

Learning Outcomes
 
   · Measure the extent to which teams possess the 6 indicators of excellence
   · Compare a team’s performance with other excellent and high-performing teams
   · Determine action steps to help teams move farther and faster along the journey
     toward excellence
 
Theory

Benchmarks of Team Excellence was developed as part of an extensive research project that investigated the relationship between various leadership behaviors (visionary leadership behaviors and good management practices) and the level of excellence in the manager's team. A thorough review and synthesis of the literature revealed 6 indicators of excellent work units: alignment, team effectiveness, empowerment, passion, commitment, and results.

The 6 indicators of excellence:

1.

Alignment — a deep sense of vision or purpose that is shared among team members.

2.

Team effectiveness — strong internal processes that allow coordinated efforts, such as shared values, trust, open communication, flexibility, and decision making.

3.

Empowerment — feeling empowered to do what is necessary; personal and collective power.

4.

Passion — high and sustained levels of energy, enthusiasm, excitement, and confidence.

5.

Commitment — deep commitment to the purpose of the team and to each other.

6.

Results — accomplishing outstanding results based on high standards.

Benchmarks Of Team Excellence Assessment

Get the tool that measures a higher level of team functioning. Benchmarks of Team Excellence reveals important information about the experience and attitudes of those who know the team best — the team members. Benchmarks will help you measure the extent to which teams possess the 6 indicators of excellence:

   · Alignment
   · Team Effectiveness
   · Empowerment
   · Passion
   · Commitment
   · Results
 
By examining scores for 6 indicators of excellence, team members can identify areas of strength and weakness, discover overall patterns of agreement, and surface differences in perceptions about how the team is functioning.

Learning Outcomes
 
   · Measure the extent to which teams possess the 6 indicators of excellence
   · Compare a team’s performance with other excellent and high-performing teams
   · Determine action steps to help teams move farther and faster along the journey
     toward excellence
 
Theory

Benchmarks of Team Excellence was developed as part of an extensive research project that investigated the relationship between various leadership behaviors (visionary leadership behaviors and good management practices) and the level of excellence in the manager's team. A thorough review and synthesis of the literature revealed 6 indicators of excellent work units: alignment, team effectiveness, empowerment, passion, commitment, and results.

The 6 indicators of excellence:

1.

Alignment — a deep sense of vision or purpose that is shared among team members.

2.

Team effectiveness — strong internal processes that allow coordinated efforts, such as shared values, trust, open communication, flexibility, and decision making.

3.

Empowerment — feeling empowered to do what is necessary; personal and collective power.

4.

Passion — high and sustained levels of energy, enthusiasm, excitement, and confidence.

5.

Commitment — deep commitment to the purpose of the team and to each other.

6.

Results — accomplishing outstanding results based on high standards.

Best Boss Inventory

Why help a boss become a “best boss?” One study found that 50 percent of work-life satisfaction is determined by the relationship an employee has with his or her immediate boss. And, a 1999 Gallup poll determined that employees leave bosses, not organizations.

Help reduce turnover and foster better boss-employee relationships with the Best Boss Inventory. The instrument provides a model for emulating the traits of “best” bosses, giving individuals insights into their behaviors in leading, motivating, and inspiring their employees. The Best Boss Inventory assesses 6 key skills, including Connecting People with Purpose, Encouraging Ownership, Focusing Efforts on Smart Work, Building Competence, Recognizing Achievements, and Respecting the Individual.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the behaviors that are linked to “best” bosses
  • Determine strengths and areas of improvement in 6 best boss categories
  • Expand and enhance best boss skills
  1. Theory
     
    The underlying premise for the Best Boss Inventory is that really good bosses are the ones who understand what people want from work and provide the environment for success. The Best Boss Model consists of 6 categories, or Best Boss Indicators:
  • Connecting People with Purpose
  • Encouraging Ownership
  • Focusing Efforts on Smart Work
  • Building Competence
  • Recognizing Achievements
  • Respecting the Individual

The extent to which bosses demonstrate these 6 skills is the extent to which they are effective at leading people, offering employees the opportunity to pursue both professional and personal goals, and creating an enjoyable workplace that is rich in trust, respect, and fairness.

Breakthrough Creativity Profile

Creativity isn’t a trait that belongs only to entrepreneurs, artists, and geniuses. The fact is, all of us are born creative. And in today’s world, in which old ways of doing business are constantly being challenged, the ability to produce different and valuable results is the competitive edge for individuals and organizations.

The Breakthrough Creativity Profile by creativity expert Dr. Lynne Levesque is based on a well-grounded theory and the personality research of Carl Jung. The 16-item assessment reveals one’s dominant and auxiliary preferences among the 8 creative talents and helps individuals define what is needed to achieve their creative best.
 
Learning Outcomes
 
   · Identify preferences among the 8 creative talents
   · Better understand creativity and its impact on individual success
   · Recognize the contributions and challenges of preferred talents
   · Practice tapping into creative talents
   · Develop an action plan to better utilize one’s creative talents

Once individuals have discovered their creative talents, the profile can be used to assess the creative talents of a team.
 
Theory

The 8 creative talents at the heart of the Breakthrough Creativity Profile are based on Jung’s personality research and a 3-part theory of creativity.

The Breakthrough Creativity Approach:
  
· Everyone is creative.
   · Creativity must be broadly defined.
   · There is no ideal model or one best way to be creative.

The 8 creative talents as they relate to Jung’s theory include:

 
Introverted and Extraverted Talents

How it Works

First, participants recognize the many ways to define creativity through a series of exploratory questions. They gain insight on their individual and team creative talents through interpretive information, an exercise, a team profile, and discussion questions. The action planning section of the Participant Guide then gauges individual rating of creativity and prompts thinking about behaviors that will help individuals and teams enhance creativity.

Career Anchors

Lead your employees, clients, or students on a career path to success with Career Anchors, the training package that’s been an industry standard for more than 40 years. Developed by Edgar Schein, a well-known author and professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the learning starts with a 40-item self assessment that pinpoints one’s perceived areas of competence, motives, and values related to work choices. Schein cites eight different “career anchors:”

  • Technical/Functional Competence
  • General Managerial Competence
  • Autonomy/Independence
  • Security/Stability
  • Entrepreneurial Creativity
  • Service/Dedication to a Cause
  • Pure Challenge
  • Lifestyle

Following the diagnostic assessment, the Participant Workbook walks individuals through the next steps in analyzing and understanding their career values. Together, it’s a comprehensive tool that helps people to:

  • Understand what career development is all about
  • Analyze and create a personal career history
  • Relate career anchors to both current and future jobs
  • Develop actionable “role maps”

The Facilitator's Guide Package explains how to administer and debrief both the Self-Assessment and Participant Workbook. It also includes a section on job/role analysis and how to use it in career coaching and several workshop designs that range from a 30-45 minute job/role analysis to a half-day workshop.

About the Author

Edgar H. Schein is Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books, including Career Dynamics, Process Consultation Revisited, Organizational Culture and Leadership, and The Corporate Culture Survival Guide
.

Change Reaction - Understanding Your Response to Organizational Change

Organizational change is happening all the time. And when change happens, people respond in particular ways – whether or not they are aware of it.

Understanding one’s own reactions to change is the first step in dealing with it. An excellent starting point, Change Reaction is an effective learning tool for understanding personal reaction to change. The 24-item instrument helps individuals learn about
their typical reaction to change – and identify ways to manage it effectively.  

Learning Outcomes

  • Determine one’s typical response to change: Resistant, Neutral, or Supportive
  • Explore the behaviors that characterize the three responses to change
  • Identify action steps one can take to embrace and foster change

 

 

Theory

Research indicates that organizations are in a continuous state of change and that some type of resistance is inevitable. No matter what type of reaction a person has, there is always motion in response to change:

  • Some people have a natural tendency to move toward or support change
  • Others are noncommittal and typically move away from change
  • Still others typically move against change by resisting it and creating resistance to change in others
  • The Change Reaction Model shows the three categories of responses to organizational change.

How It Works

Individuals respond to 24 statements that describe different approaches to handling organizational change. After scoring is complete, participants chart their results by applying their data to the Change Reaction Profile. Sample profiles and interpretations of all possible reactions and combinations of reactions provide insight.

Conflict Strategies Inventory

Some people thrive on conflict; others shrink away from it. But no matter how we react, it’s important that we understand our conflict-related behavior — and learn to manage it more successfully.

The Conflict Strategies Inventory Second Edition gives participants valuable new insights into the strategies they use in conflict situations. Presented with 10 short cases of typical, work-related conflict, respondents choose the actions they are most likely to take — actions that are indicative of 5 basic conflict strategies:

  • Avoiding
  • Smoothing
  • Competing
  • Compromising
  • Integrating

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify one’s own preferred strategies for dealing with conflict
  • Understand strengths and weaknesses in dealing with conflict
  • Learn how to deal with conflict effectively

Theory

The Conflict Strategies Inventory Second Edition combines the works of Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, M. Afzalur Rahim, and many other respected researchers in the area of conflict management. It is based on 5 conflict strategies that are adapted from the conflict styles originally named by Mouton and Blake.

5 Conflict Strategies

  • Avoiding: Staying away from or withdrawing from a conflict.
  • Smoothing: Giving in to the other party and ignoring one’s own goals.
  • Competing: Forcing an issue to one’s own way.
  • Compromising: Giving in on one need in order to get another satisfied.
  • Integrating: Focusing on one mutually satisfying outcome.

These strategies can be described in terms of two stages of a conflict encounter: Stage 1: Non-Compatible Goals and Stage 2: Outcomes.

How It Works

Individuals respond to 10 conflict-oriented work situations presented in the inventory. For each situation, individuals choose 3 out of 5 strategies and rank them in order of most likely reaction to third most likely reaction. Ultimately, the CSI results allow individuals to view their preferred strategies and help them to consider modifying conflict strategies where appropriate.

Dealing With Tough Negotiators

You can't turn a tough negotiator into a collaborative, problem-solving partner. But you can achieve win-win outcomes if you apply the right negotiating techniques. This Program will help your negotiators develop the skills they need. This 30-item assessment helps respondents identify their areas of strength and weakness in 5 key negotiating skill areas: Maintaining Composure, Developing Data, Refocusing the Discussion, Being Creative, and Handling Information Strategically.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn 5 key skills for dealing with tough negotiations
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in 5 skill areas
  • Practice handling tough negotiations
  • Understand how to enable win-win solutions with tough negotiators

Theory

Dealing with Tough Negotiators is based on a study of the relevant literature and the Model of Negotiating Behavior. The literature on collaborative negotiating points to 5 skills that move a negotiation back to constructive, objective discussion. These skills prepare the collaborative negotiator for both offense (proactive collaboration) and defense (wariness, solid research, and constant questioning).

The 5 negotiating skills are:

  • Maintaining Composure
  • Developing Data
  • Refocusing the Discussion
  • Being Creative
  • Handling Information Strategically

How It Works

With a particular situation and difficult negotiator in mind, participants respond to the 30 statements on the assessment. Participants then learn about the  Model of Negotiating Behavior, score the assessment, and chart the results for each of the 5 negotiating skill sets. Interpretive information provides insight on scores and thought-provoking questions help participants think of ways to practice the 5 skills.

Decision-Making Style Inventory

The Decision-Making Style Inventory is an assessment for management development training. It identifies one’s preference for one of four decision-making styles and then helps individuals learn how to use their style to communicate most effectively with others.

Recent research into decision making suggests that the most effective leaders are those who are able to adapt their decision-making style over time as their roles and responsibilities change.

The Decision-Making Style Inventory is a proven, easy-to-understand way to assess decision-making style. It identifies a personal preference for one of four styles: Systematic-Internal, Systematic-External, Spontaneous-Internal, or Spontaneous-External. What makes The Decision-Making Style Inventory different is that it doesn’t measure who is smart or dumb, right or wrong. Rather, it’s about how individuals differ in the way they gather information, organize, and then process it.

The assessment is a powerful tool that has many applications, including leadership training, coaching, and performance appraisals.

Learning Outcomes

  • Define the four primary decision-making styles
  • Identify one's preferred style of decision making
  • Understand the strengths and liabilities of each style
  • Learn how to develop the ability to flex one's decision-making style 

Theory and Development

Detailed research shows that success or failure with executive managers is in large part a function of their ability to change their decision-making styles as they progress in their careers. The Decision-Making Style Inventory provides individuals with an understanding of four unique and empirically validated decision-making styles that emerged from hundreds of interviews with people facing career choice decisions. The styles complement most traditional organization development styles such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, the Campbell Leadership Descriptor, and the Social Styles Profile.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® is a trademark or registered trademark of MBTI Trust, Inc., in the United States and other countries.

The assessment approaches decision-making style on a two dimensional scale that includes two structural styles and two processing styles. Structural style refers to how a person seeks, organizes, and weighs information. A person’s structural style can be either Systematic or Spontaneous. Processing style refers to how people make sense of information. A person’s processing style can be either Internal or External.

Four very different decision-making styles result when the two dimensions are combined:

  • Systematic-Internal
  • Systematic-External
  • Spontaneous-Internal
  • Spontaneous-External

Uses for the Assessment

The Decision-Making Style Inventory can be used as a self-study tool, a standalone assessment, or as part of a larger training initiative.

How It Works

If you are planning to use The Decision-Making Style Inventory in a classroom training session, we recommend you allow approximately one hour for interpretation of scores, topic discussion, debriefing, and action planning. The Facilitator Guide includes everything you need to lead a successful training session, from comprehensive background information and activities, to reproducible handouts and a professional PowerPoint presentation. The Facilitator Guide also offers an easy-to-follow workshop outline that expands The Decision-Making Style Inventory into a 3-hour training program.

Diversity Awareness Profile

Most people don’t sit down at their desks and make a mental plan to discriminate, judge, or isolate their colleagues. Even so, these behaviors still exist in today’s organizations. Understanding the presence of these biases is the first step to recognizing that diversity brings many advantages.

Here is the self assessment that’s helped millions of individuals in organizations improve working relationships among diverse co-workers and customers. How so? The Diversity Awareness Profile, commonly known as “DAP,” is a powerful 24-item assessment that helps people to:

  • Increase their awareness of the perceptions they have of others
  • Assess the behaviors that most influence interaction with others
  • Modify behaviors to build respect for others

Based upon data gathered from focus groups, interviews, and thousands of diversity training sessions over the past twenty years, the assessment provides individuals with a Diversity Awareness Spectrum comprised of five categories of awareness:

Naïve:
People in this category do not realize they exhibit biased behavior.

Perpetuator:
People in this category are aware of their biases and prejudices and are aware that their behavior offends others.

Avoider:
People in this category are aware of biases in themselves and others. They are working on their known prejudices, but they are reluctant to address inappropriate behaviors by others.

Change Agent:
In this category, people are not only aware of biases in themselves and others – they also realize the negative impacts of acting on those biases.

Fighter:
People in this category are constantly aware of any behavior that seems to be biased or prejudiced, and they confront others strongly.

Use the Diversity Awareness Profile to:

  • Kick start a diversity training program
  • Improve upon an existing program
  • Gauge diversity awareness and the necessity of action within your organization

Transform your diverse workforce from a liability to a strategic advantage

Effective Team Member Profile

Organizations are finding that they can accomplish their goals and reach new heights of performance by harnessing the collective energy of teams. But arriving at these results is not easy, nor does it happen overnight. Creating a team-based environment takes a lot of effort and coordination. We know that a team is only as good as the sum of its parts, so what makes an effective team member?

The Effective Team Member Profile helps individuals understand what it takes to be a viable and potent member of a team — and how their behavior clearly indicates the extent to which they are (or aren't) effective.

The 36-item profile focuses on 6 "Effectiveness Factors":
   1. Understanding Team Direction
   2. Clarifying Team Roles
   3. Showing Commitment
   4. Encouraging Open Communication
   5. Learning Continuously
   6. Sharing Leadership Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

· Recognize the importance of individual contributions to team success
· Gain insight into one’s effectiveness
· Learn ways to improve performance in 6 important areas
· Develop a plan to become more effective

Theory

The Effective Team Member Profile focuses on 6 key elements of effectiveness. The concepts underlying the 6 Effectiveness Factors are derived from a compilation of research including Larson and LaFasto
(1989), Parker (1996), Riechmann (1998), Redding (2000), and Rees (1997) among others.

How it Works

Each individual creates two profiles. The first is based on the individual's own perceptions of his or her effectiveness. The second is created from feedback given by other team members. Finally, action planning assists team members in transferring what they have learned to their day-to-day efforts. Teams may also discuss their collective effectiveness and identify ways to improve overall team performance.

Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment

The Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment (EiSA) is training tool that promotes individual and organizational success. Designed for management development training, the EiSA measures adult emotional intelligence on five scales: Perceiving, Managing, Decision Making, Achieving, and Influencing. The EiSA can be used as a standalone training resource or powerful complement to address leadership development, team building, and communication effectiveness.

Quick Links:

A new way of measuring the key indicator of success

You’ve probably heard the buzz about emotional intelligence being a scientifically-proven predictor of potential, performance, and professional success. Those who are emotionally intelligent are able to manage their emotions to achieve goals, build relationships, and influence others. On an organizational level, this translates into better decisions, better teams, and better leaders.

The EiSA combines a self-assessment with a workbook and workshop to quickly identify emotional intelligence levels and provide a framework for discussion and growth. From new hires to senior managers, this tool can help anyone develop their emotional intelligence and improve their performance. It’s more than a measure of potential and performance; it’s a tool for true personal development.


Learning Outcomes

After taking the EiSA Self-Assessment in combination with the Participant Workbook and Workshop, individuals achieve greater awareness of their ability to manage and perceive emotions, and better understand the effects of their emotions on themselves and others. This knowledge opens the door to increased emotional and social functioning by directing one’s developmental efforts to the areas of greatest opportunity and potential for growth.

  • Discover the major components of emotional intelligence
  • Recognize the behaviors and characteristics of an emotionally intelligent person
  • Identify areas where emotional intelligence skills can be applied
  • Evaluate personal strengths and growth opportunities
  • Generate action steps to improve emotional intelligence and success

Empowerment Profile

Wise leaders know that power is an unusual kind of currency. The more you give it away, the more you end up having. 
  
Help leaders understand this essential concept with the new edition of the Empowerment Profile - an in-depth instrument that provides leaders with a measurement of the degree to which they perceive themselves to have power at work.
  
Participants create two profiles: one based on their assessment of their own empowerment, the second profile based on scores compiled from the leader's employees' assessments of their own empowerment. The 40-item assessment measures perceptions of empowerment along 8 dimensions, including autonomy, climate, control, and influence. Together, the two charts provide a complete look at empowerment in the leader's work environment.

This program helps leaders understand how to empower themselves and their employees. 

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