Developing leadership competencies in your company is a great way to advance personally and professionally. Over the next five years, 84% of organizations expect a shortage of leaders, providing opportunities for employees to improve their skills and take leadership positions in their organizations.
Leadership skills assessment has become so crucial to today’s business that many companies are investing in development programs for their employees, thus helping team members become stronger leaders and improve business productivity.
Read on to learn why leadership skills are so essential for today’s workforce. Also, we’ll answer the question: What tests, surveys, and tools can you use for an accurate leadership skills assessment and to improve your employees’ abilities?
What is a leadership assessment?
A leadership skills assessment helps employers determine a person’s ability to manage, lead, and guide others. It should answer whether employees have everything they need to become prominent leaders.
Companies spend countless hours training staff on improving systems and creating a better work environment. A leadership skills assessment brings the social sciences to the forefront by looking at the characteristics, behaviors, and even temperaments that determine a leader.
Leadership comes in many forms, and different leadership styles are always in demand. Understanding who has the specific characteristics and attitudes that synergize with these new work styles can be a significant advantage.
According to Lee Cockerell, an executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, and leadership consultant, there are seven vital leadership skills:
- Knowing self
- Making sense of experience
- Stabilizing values
- Building a constituency.
The biggest challenge is finding employees with the skills and characteristics to lead. Whether that’s succession planning, workforce development, or even side hiring in an organization, knowing what to look for is essential to creating the right environment to build a team leader. Luckily, various practices and tools can allow you to identify and assess leadership skills.
Leadership skills tests
Leadership tests help pinpoint and assess the abilities and skills of individuals as they relate to the leadership, management, and guidance of others, and how their characteristics and skills fit into their leadership positions. Leadership tests help to:
- Start your employee career in business and show the potential or lack of potential to be a leader.
- Improve the career of leaders and develop their position in the company.
Types of leadership skills tests
The role of a leader is directly related to the future success or failure of the business. Using these tests helps determine who can lead and who can create a vision for the future. Here are five types of leadership skills tests that company executives and hiring managers can use:
Harvard’s Implicit Association Test (IAT)
According to Harvard University, the IAT measures attitudes and beliefs that people are unwilling or unable to report. It reveals the attitudes or assumptions people make daily, even if they won’t publicly admit to it.
There are 14 different categories of IAT: gender, skin tone, career, weapons, weight, race, presidents, Arab Muslims, age, religion, disability, sexuality, and Asian.
Leadership competencies assessment involves classifying images and phrases and associating them as “good” or “bad” as soon as possible. Then, after a quick survey, the results roughly match the attitudes and assumptions.
Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The MBTI is derived from the psychological theories of Carl Jung. The assessment considers what many people understand under random behavior variations, orderly and consistent, based on fundamental traits. These representations include:
- Introversion (I) vs. Extroversion (E)
- Intuition (N) vs. Sensing (S)
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
- Judgment (J) vs. Perception (P)
Leadership skills assessment determines personality type from 16 different archetypes. For example, the combination of INFP traits are considered to be “idealist”, or someone focused on finding meaning in the world. INFPs can be great communicators and are restrained and value-driven creative types. Well-known INFPs include Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, and J. R. R. Tolkien.
By knowing your or your employees’ attitude and personality, you’ll be better prepared to assign tasks, delegate responsibilities, work with others, and communicate in difficult situations.
The IHHP Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Assessment
This test determines a person’s level of emotional intelligence. In collaboration with Harvard Business School Research, the Institute for Health and Human Resources created this leadership skills assessment.
The IHHP defines emotional intelligence as the ability to recognize, understand, and manage the emotions of yourself and others.
Assessing emotional intelligence can help you identify your emotional weaknesses as a leader when you struggle with pressure, criticism, and failure.
Princeton MCG Leadership Blind Spot Assessment
The Princeton MCG test helps determine the level of understanding of the head of your business or organization. Assessing leadership blind spots helps senior managers identify areas of oversight in four main categories:
- Blind spots about yourself
- Blind spots about your team
- Blind spots about your company
- Blind zones about your markets.
Each category includes ten questions with a score from 1 to 5, one with the lowest probability of neglect and five with the highest. At the end of the evaluation, you sum up your score — the lower your score, the fewer blind spots you have.
If you’ve held a leadership position for five-plus years, this survey can help you summarize all your management achievements and failures.
MindTools Leadership Skills Assessment
MindTools is an online resource that you’ll probably reach for during your lunch break. The questionnaire contains 18 questions, to which you choose from 5 answers (Absolutely, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Very often).
The test doesn’t just give you an out-of-context score. MindTools provides resources like an article or some other interactive tool for each leadership trait.
Leadership surveys are a set of standardized questions that stakeholders who evaluate people in leadership positions use. They help stakeholders understand organizational leadership from different perspectives. At a school, a startup, or a large enterprise, leadership surveys provide first-hand information to stakeholders to help make objective decisions.
A good leadership survey helps an organization identify untapped leadership potential by finding people with the right skills and charisma to lead small and large teams in the company.
The results of the leadership skills assessment show how people in your company can work, and whether you need to improve. Understanding your organizational leadership styles can help employees function better and improve collaboration. If you find it difficult to focus on asking employees or evaluating yourself, there is always the opportunity to use templates.
Types of leadership surveys
1. Leadership survey for employees
To find out what employees think about your organization’s leadership, you can ask them to answer leaders’ surveys and questionnaires. These surveys and questionnaires will focus on critical areas of leadership in terms of values, behavior, qualities, and the performance of team leaders and managers.
Leadership surveys allow employees to assess managers’ leadership abilities according to specific criteria. Based on the answers to the survey, you can get helpful ideas that will improve your organization’s leadership style and performance.
2. Leadership survey for managers
This survey takes the form of a self-assessment, where managers assess their skills and reflect on their strengths and weaknesses. The questions should encourage managers to acknowledge and emphasize their achievements and show how they have helped the organization achieve its goals.
As a leader, you’ll need to hone your skills over many years of experience. However, thanks to the active development of various technologies, you don’t need to invent everything from scratch; you can use leadership tools that will facilitate that process.
Top 5 opportunities for leadership skills assessment tools
1. Opportunity to identify gaps in leadership skills and managerial competencies
Leadership assessment tools will make it easier to identify shortcomings in leadership skills and managerial competencies.
Assessing leadership development considers a variety of skill sets, from personal leadership skills to business management. Leadership assessment tools can help the HR department assess whether a manager has the qualifications to take on a new role.
2. Opportunity to quickly plan the future of your organization
Leadership assessment tools allow you to see whether business managers are ready to take on new roles and responsibilities, or not. If your management has run into issues, you may need further training and development for yourself and your employees.
3. Opportunity to effectively create training programs for the workforce
Leadership assessment tools focus on various areas, such as team leadership skills, conflict resolution skills, and negotiation skills. These tools can help assess business management skills in project management, strategic planning, and problem-solving.
4. Opportunity to research the continuous training of business leaders
Well-known leaders acknowledge that they never stop learning during their careers. Career growth and development go on indefinitely, through regular work performance. A top-level business school can put you ahead of the competition in a challenging management learning environment. You can find excellent guidance on which training to take using the Leadership Assessment Tool.
5. Opportunity for employees to choose the most appropriate career path for them
Individually, highlighting your strengths and weaknesses and assessing the level of your leadership development can help you decide on the most appropriate career path. These strategies can give practical advice on what leadership education programs to complete to achieve your personal goals.
Once you identify your strengths and weaknesses, you can be confident in creating a leadership development plan for yourself. To work on your leadership skills, try these solutions:
- Use free resources such as books, podcasts, webinars, and events targeted at potential leaders.
- Find a mentor who has already risen to the rank of a leader. It could be someone from your organization or just someone from your professional network.
- Request additional responsibilities at work, especially those that allow you to practice managing people and projects.
- Evaluate your achievements with a variety of leadership tests and surveys.
Professionals who use these diverse tactics to develop their leadership skills are likely to slowly but surely gain the skills and experience needed to succeed as a leader in today’s competitive business environment.