Can leaders and managers get to know more about themselves, become more self-analytical and self-aware? Is there a systematic way of improving the competencies and behaviors that will better equip them for their continuing growth and career progress?
The answers are: yes and yes! The first comes about through the use of behavioral intelligence (BI) assessments, more specifically DISC and EQ (emotional quota, the measure of emotional intelligence). The second is through the use of 360° reviews. And they are a powerful combination.
The effectiveness of BI assessments was reinforced for me a few weeks ago in Accra, Ghana, where I conducted a workshop for 27 participants — deans, chairs of academic departments and heads of operations — from GIMPA (Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration) and Ashesi University College.
The program consisted of two days of individual one-on-one coaching based on each participant’s BI assessment results, followed by a two-day workshop — a day on leadership and self-awareness and a second day on performance management. The latter focused on goal-setting, reporting and accountability, coaching skills and difficult conversations.
I routinely use DISC and EQ assessments because they enable executives and managers to better understand the effective use of emotional intelligence in managing their relationships, particularly when coaching or in conflict situations. The increased self-awareness that’s derived from the analysis and interpretation of the results, and the consequent identification of opportunities for behavioral change, are significant. As frequently referenced by Dr. Daniel Goleman, self-awareness is the cornerstone of successful leadership.
The 360° review zeroes in on the competencies that need to be either celebrated or improved and, in my experience, always substantiate the findings from the BI toolset. In contrast to standard online 360° reviews, I also find it extremely worthwhile for executive coaching to conduct one-on-one meetings with reviewers since it allows issues to be probed in-depth.
Who should have access to the reports generated by these tools?
- Behavioral intelligence assessments: the person completing it, but with guidance and coaching from trained HR professionals; external coaches; or professional trainers.
- 360° review reports or findings: the reviewee; the consultant conducting the review and responsible for providing coaching and feedback; and/or coaches (internal and external).
Naturally the coachee or reviewee may share these reports with whomever appropriate.
The impact of both these tools — the behavioral intelligence assessment and 360s — is, in many cases, a major stepping stone to higher levels of leadership and management.