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What Is a Leadership Assessment?

A leadership assessment measures one’s competencies as a leader. Rather than focusing on specific hard skills, the assessment delves into soft skills and traits required for a leadership role.

These metrics may include:

  • Team management
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Ability to motivate and inspire others
  • Ability to give credit to those who merit it

Keep reading to learn what a leadership assessment is.

Why Are Leadership Assessments Important?

A leadership assessment can be a beneficial tool for recruitment or internal promotion efforts. Company leaders can use the assessment to:

  • Help current and prospective leaders invest in their growth. A leadership assessment facilitates a deep understanding of one’s competencies, strengths, and areas for development. An assessment gives managers a guiding framework to support leadership growth and development.
  • Place the right leaders in the right roles. Finding a good fit is critical to creating alignment between the experience and competencies of leaders and the requirements of their respective roles.
  • Strategically align leadership capabilities with big-picture business goals. Over half of organizations, 55%, work in silos representing different functions. Each unit decides what cross-functional capabilities matter, but the decisions of what matters don’t align across units. Leadership assessments can eliminate these barriers, helping individuals connect seemingly segmented work to the overarching picture.
  • Proactively develop a leadership bench. By identifying those who possess leadership potential, companies can prepare for emergencies or circumstances that merit change management strategies.

Research notes only 11% of surveyed organizations feel they have a capable leadership bench. This is one of the lowest rates in the past decade. A leadership assessment can improve this issue by providing organizations with objective leadership data.

How Often Should Leadership Assessments Be Conducted?

Leadership assessment should be conducted regularly to reap its full benefits. As leaders change and grow over time, so will their areas of strengths and weaknesses.

An ongoing leadership assessment ensures your team stays updated on these evolvements. Consider conducting them on a quarterly or bi-annual basis. This allows you to stay updated and make the right adjustments to continue to meet the organization’s needs.

What Types of Leadership Assessments Are There?

There are several types of leadership assessments available. Three noteworthy ones include:

360-Degree Leadership Assessment

A 360-degree leadership assessment is a well-respected leadership assessment. It gathers feedback and data from multiple sources regarding a leader’s performance. These sources may include—but are not limited to—colleagues, managers, clients, and customers.

The intention of a 360-degree is to help organizations acquire a comprehensive understanding of one’s leadership skills, behaviors, and potential. Because the 360-degree review process is impartial, the assessment helps mitigate workplace bias.

DISC Assessment

DISC taps into communication and psychology to understand one’s behavioral types. There are four types of behaviors:

  • Dominance: An individual is driven and makes quick decisions.
  • Influence: An individual is naturally inclined to build relationships.
  • Steadiness: An individual methodically achieves tasks via collaboration.
  • Conscientious: An individual is motivated to accomplish tasks with quality and accuracy.

Each DISC type brings different strengths and talents to the table. Learn about CMOE’s DISC Express™ to get started.

Needs Analysis and Organization Assessments

A needs analysis and organizational assessment looks for opportunities for improvement within an organization. The objective is to identify trends, ideas, needs, and problems to drive the right change. The assessment achieves this by collecting data via surveys, direct observations, focus groups, work samples, and more.

6 Areas to Reflect Upon When Crafting the Right Leadership Assessment

As illustrated above, there are various types of leadership assessments available. Building an assessment that emulates the needs of your organization requires reflecting upon six key areas:

1. Purpose and Goals

Clearly define the purpose of the assessment and the specific goals you want to achieve. Examples include identifying leadership potential, assessing current leadership skills, or determining development needs.

2. Leadership Competencies

Point out key attributes required for effective leadership within your organization or a specific initiative. These may entail communication skills, strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, decision-making, and adaptability.

3. Assessment Methods

Select appropriate methods that align with the competencies you wish to evaluate. This could include any or all of the self-assessment tools we mentioned earlier. Simulations or interviews may also be included to further inject your process with a holistic lens.

4. Ethical Considerations

Ensure the assessment process is fair, transparent, and free from bias. Consider cultural differences, color-consciousness, accessibility requirements, and confidentiality concerns.

5. Scalability, Cost-Effectiveness, and Time

Assess the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the chosen assessment method. This is especially the case if you need to assess a large number of leaders or have budget constraints.

It’s also important to consider how much time your team has to put together the assessment. There are credible and experienced leadership assessment providers that can help you develop an assessment.

6. Continuous Improvement

Regularly review and update the assessment process to incorporate feedback, new research findings and trends, and changes in organizational priorities. Continuous improvement ensures your assessment remains relevant and effective.

Nurture Current and Future Leaders with Impactful Tools

Design a leadership assessment that develops effective leaders within your organization. CMOE offers assessments that align with our Leadership Development Workshops. We encourage you to learn more about them.