The value of assessments

There are times when we get stuck because we’re lacking a piece of the puzzle. Why can’t this person and I get on the same page? What’s keeping me from tackling that task that never drops off my to-do list? Why does my work feel so overwhelming or confining?

These are situations in which an assessment could help. Assessments help us better understand aspects of our personality, habits, and approach to relationships. With this new awareness, we are more equipped to lean into our strengths, read rooms, develop systems that compensate for our weaknesses, and surround ourselves with people whose skills provide the yen to our yang.

A lot of ministers are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (which was my first introduction to assessments), the Enneagram (which I’m still learning about), and Prepare-Enrich (which many regard as the go-to for counseling couples before and after marriage). Here are some others I really like:

Core Values Index. In this 10-minute assessment takers identify 72 words that best describe them. The combination of words chosen reveals the taker’s innate nature and primary motivators. This test helped me understand how two very disparate parts of my personality and work preferences relate to one another. (A free version of the test is available here.)

Mindframes. This free test is based in neuroscience. It assesses which parts of the brain the taker operates out of most frequently for thinking and doing. Mindframes uses this information to identify how the taker’s brain processes information most efficiently. This test showed me my preferences so that I could capitalize on those strengths – and it revealed which areas of the brain I need to access when the situation calls for a perspective shift.

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. This assessment measures how much the taker uses each of five approaches to conflict. It’s useful for identifying conflict-handling modes the taker might want to utilize more or less often. It is also helpful in team work for helping the members understand one another’s conflict style.

5 Love Languages. This might sound like an odd addition to this list, since the 5 love languages are primarily used for relationships with loved ones. I have found it useful in ministry, though, for pinpointing how to relate with others more effectively, particularly in pastoral care or shared leadership.

Learning styles inventory. This free assessment is geared toward educators so that they can strategize how to communicate best with their students. I have found it helpful for realizing that I remember best information presented to me visually. The test also reminds me to utilize other learning styles when working with others.

This is far from an exhaustive list, but I hope these assessments provide some pathways to deeper understanding of self and others. Your results can be a great jumping-off point for coaching – now that I know this about myself, what do I do with this information? – so contact me if you’d like to explore that possibility.

Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash.

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