Assessments, those intriguing self-reflection instruments, have a special place in many of our lives. We often find ourselves intrigued by the insights they promise to unveil. Yet, these tools are often misused or underappreciated. It’s essential to understand that assessments can provide us with a valuable window into our own tendencies and preferences. However, it’s equally important to recognize that these revelations are not a one-size-fits-all prescription, but rather a starting point for self-awareness and personal growth.

At its core, an assessment reveals how you typically present yourself to the world. It can expose attributes you might not have consciously acknowledged and offer language to articulate your inclinations. For instance, it might reveal that you tend to be extroverted or that you prefer to avoid conflicts. Note the crucial distinction between saying “I tend to be” and “I am.” The former acknowledges the dynamic nature of our personalities, constantly evolving and adapting.

Now, let’s delve into why assessments are not a one-stop solution but rather a stepping stone toward a deeper understanding of ourselves and others. Knowing your own preferences is only half of the puzzle; the other half involves comprehending how your tendencies affect those around you. Consider this: if you’re inclined to make rapid decisions during a discussion, you may inadvertently overpower someone who takes a more cautious and introspective approach to decision-making.

This is where assessments truly shine. They offer insights into your natural tendencies, empowering you to step out of your comfort zone and adapt to different situations more effectively. To illustrate, in the scenario mentioned earlier, if you’re aware that your colleague prefers a thoughtful, deliberative approach, you can (a) provide an agenda before the meeting to give them time to prepare, (b) engage in a collaborative dialogue to refine your thoughts, and © agree to reconvene after a day or two for the final decision, allowing them the space for post-meeting reflection.

It’s essential to grasp that an assessment is a snapshot of your tendencies at a specific moment in time. As you grow and evolve, your preferences can change. Embrace this fluidity and allow it to shape your interactions with those around you.

As a coach, I encourage you not to pigeonhole yourself based on assessment results. Instead, use your newfound self-awareness to enhance your interactions. Appreciate that others have their unique tendencies as well, and by flexing beyond your own comfort zone, you can engage with them in a way that recognizes and values their individuality.

Assessments are valuable tools that bring awareness to our natural tendencies, helping us understand ourselves and others better. However, it’s essential to view them as a starting point for personal growth and adaptability, rather than as rigid labels. Embrace change, for as you evolve, so too can your preferences and approaches to the world.