Keys to Assessment Successes & Failures: Which of the Seven Dwarves are You?

“Which of the Seven Dwarves are you?” 

“What character in the Wizard of Oz?”  

“Which TV office would be ideal for you?” 

If you are active on Facebook, you’ve seen links to these types of quizzes.  Maybe you’ve taken one yourself.  They are popular because most of us want to know who we are like, how our style is described, and how we are perceived by others. 

Workplace assessments are used for some of these same reasons. Unfortunately, they are often used as cavalierly as these internet quizzes---a quick diversion, quickly forgotten and never effectively used. So, how do you take insights from leadership assessments and use them effectively?

Let’s say you work at a company that appreciates assessments and integrates them into its talent development strategy.

What are some keys to successful use of leadership assessments?Leadership Assessments

  • A company culture devoted to organizational and professional development

  • Alignment to a learning and development strategy

  • A clearly defined process for selecting, administering, and following up on assessment results with participants

  • Clear expectations established upfront regarding the purpose of the assessment and the use of the findings

  • Commitment to an action plan, based on the results, by the organization and the participant

What are some common pitfalls?Leader Development

  • Assuming that participants---individuals and/or the sponsoring organizations--- know how to use assessments effectively and/or appropriately

  • Skipping an in-depth discussion before the assessment to determine the readiness of participants

  • Investing minimal time with participants to discuss and explain the results of their assessments

  • Not producing and implementing through continued coaching conversations a specific development plan with participants and their supervisors

  • Not following up with a planned three to six month call or visit, to reinforce the learning and further progress development with additional coaching or consultation as needed

There are many ways in which assessments can be helpful to an organization and the participants, just as there are many ways in which they can be harmful when used incorrectly. By ensuring that insights from assessments are appropriately and expediently utilized, an organization can effectively begin its journey down the yellow brick road to organizational success.

By the way, I am Sleepy, I am the Tin Man and I should work with Tina Fey at 30 Rock!

Career Partners International provides top quality talent management services to organizations of all sizes. Their offices around the world help assessengagedevelop, and transition talent in any industry. To find out more about Career Partners International and how you can maximize your organizational performance, reach out to an office near you or contact us today!

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  1. Ed Szrom's avatar
    Ed Szrom
    | Permalink
    Interesting points. It sounds like this is really a time consuming process, but probably worth it in the end.
  2. Melinda Brown's avatar
    Melinda Brown
    | Permalink
    I agree - I think coaching is so important after going through an assessment because it then puts the person onto a path of actually putting time aside from their busy schedules to focus and invest on themselves and their professional development. Otherwise, the only thing they get out of it is a nice report that will sit on a shelf somewhere.

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