If you’re a leader, it’s likely you’ve taken an assessment or two identifying your personality, temperament, or strengths. Maybe you took StrengthsFinder or Myers-Briggs or some other human resource assigned personality test. How you apply what you’ve learned from these assessments can help you lead with confidence, even during times of uncertainty.
Admittedly, assessments can feel uncomfortable. After responding to a few seemingly random questions, you’re assigned new adjectives, descriptions, or acronyms. Your identity is revealed. Your behavior is explained. Your strengths are highlighted and your weaknesses are exposed. Assessments can leave you feeling deeply understood or unfairly labeled. Yet, despite the imperfections of these tests, knowing more about yourself helps you lead with confidence when you understand how you’re wired. Greater awareness is a powerful confidence builder and helps you lead yourself and others more effectively.
Here are 3 ways assessments help you lead with confidence.
- Confidence saying yes and no. As a leader, your strengths and self-awareness are your filter for saying yes to work that aligns with your strengths and no to things that don’t. While every team needs all hands on deck from time to time, organize your daily work around the 2 or 3 things you do best. In his book, Next Generation Leader, Andy Stanley describes two secrets of leadership: (1) The less you do, the more you accomplish. (2) The less you do, the more you enable others to accomplish.” The best leaders aren’t well-rounded. Instead, they hone in on what they do well with crystal clear focus and are better equipped to lead with confidence.
- Confidence in your teammates. One of the most valuable opportunities you have as a leader is to know and coach the strengths and unique personalities of your team. Assessments give you a language to communicate and understand one another. You can confidently guide your team and rearrange tasks and roles to fit them best. If, for example, you know your team member is an Introvert based on their Myers-Briggs results, you know they need time to work independently and uninterrupted. Better performance is the natural outcome of giving your team members a chance to do what they do best in a way that’s best for them every day.
- Confidence in your unique contribution. According to Gallup’s latest statistics, the chance of another person sharing your exact strengths profile is 1 in 33 million. You are uniquely designed to contribute your leadership to the world in a way only you can. Knowing how you make decisions, what your values are, and how you see the world will help you lead with confidence and inspire others to do their best work. If you are leading in a hybrid workplace, confidence in yourself and your team is even more important.
Assessments give you information, but to lead with confidence the power is in the application. Confidence comes when you apply what you know about yourself and those you work with and watch how quickly the camaraderie and team performance accelerates.