Coaches Plan - Expert Insight for Canada's Coaches
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The Power of Self-Awareness
This article was originally published by the Sport Law & Strategy Group and has been slightly modified for Coaches plan. The Sport Law & Strategy Group provides legal solutions, planning and governance services, event management and sponsorship consulting, executive coaching, and communications advice to leaders and organizations in the Canadian sport system.
by Rosanna Tomiuk
I took my first psychometric assessment when I was 19. A psychometric assessment measures psychological characteristics such as personality traits, behavioural styles, cognitive abilities, or motivations. I was excited to learn more about myself and how I could work better with others. That assessment was so powerful that I became inspired to make psychometric assessments a large part of my professional life. Six certifications later (NOVA, Birkman, StrengthsFinder, MBTI, Strong, TotalSDI), a significant increase in self-awareness, and an expanded ability to work well with others, I’m happy to say I’ve never looked back.
In my work as an executive and leadership coach and workshop facilitator, psychometric tools serve as an amazing starting point. Individual clients can learn more about their unique strengths and teams can begin to understand the cultural personality of the team and its impact on their efforts. Psychometric tools are an amazing resource for catalyzing performance.
Here are 5 ways using a psychometric tool can help you and your team:
1. They give you an expanded awareness of yourself and others, which leads to more teamwork and acceptance.
A common mistake of inexperienced managers is to hire people like them rather than people that would compliment them. They don’t do it on purpose – it is just human tendency. Getting to know yourself and who you need around you to compliment your unique personality – rather than replicate it – can be hugely rewarding and beneficial to your organization. Also, having your team take a psychometric assessment will open everyone up to the advantage differences bring in creating a culture of performance.
2. They give you a framework to understand the personality culture of your team.
Most psychometric tools help you understand what someone’s default leadership style is. For example, some people are task-oriented, others are relationship-oriented, others are strategy-oriented, and others are influence-oriented. Knowing how your overall team orients gives you access to where you’re strong and also to where you may need to build. It also helps you understand why some people on your team feel like outliers, while others blend in really well.
3. They give you a safe way to talk about weaknesses.
The pop culture understanding of strengths and weaknesses is that they’re two separate things. However, most psychometric tools bring a new understanding of what a weakness is – they are simply an overdoing of our strengths. With StrengthsFinder, for example, we refer to weaknesses as the dark sides of our strengths, the over-emphasis of the things that are really great about us. The shared understanding that everyone has strengths and, therefore, dark sides, makes it feel a lot more safe to talk about the dark sides.
4. They give you insight into conflict.
Understanding different personalities on your team can give insight into why conflict arises. Some people are naturally opposites, which can cause conflict if we don’t have an awareness of the different personality types. For example, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator shows us how people make decisions. Some people make decisions based on reason and logic, whereas others make decisions based on feelings and how the decision will impact others. Without the awareness of these differences, two people with different decision-making parameters might naturally frustrate each other. But when they come to understand what’s happening, they can serve as each other’s most important helpers.
5. They give insight into lack of performance.
People may underperform when their needs are not being met – which may trigger stress behaviour.. The Birkman Method is an in-depth psychometric tool that helps individuals and teams understand their needs, so that they can be met, and optimal performance can be achieved. Normalizing needs is in itself a gift, considering most people feel bad articulating them. The NOVA profile can also give insight into lack of performance, by giving someone understanding of their adapted style. If someone is stretching too much outside of what comes most natural to them, the energy expenditure may cost them access to optimal results.
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