Regardless of your aptitude in determining the general personality of another person particularly an applicant for a supervisory or managerial position, it is far harder to objectively determine his leadership skills. This is true even when his resume attests to desirable leadership qualities like fairness, assertiveness and openness. This is where the testing tools and methods for leadership come in.
Benefits of Using Testing Methods
Organizations in both the public and private sectors have used these leadership testing tools and methods for good reasons. Although the tests and methods will vary from one organization to the next, the most common benefits of their usage include but are not limited to the following:
- Better fit between the individual and the position. Effective tests provide for an objective determination of the applicant’s personality traits, working style and temperament vis-a-vis the leadership position being applied for in particular and the company culture in general. The right credentials are good, yes, but the right leadership skills for the job are excellent.
- Higher efficiency levels for the team. Leaders must lead teams so his leadership qualities must be in tune with the members of his team, thus, the needs for said tests. With good leaders, we can expect good results.
- Better business opportunities and outcomes. Leadership tests have significant impact on identifying and choosing the supervisors, managers and executives with the right leadership styles to find the best opportunities and deliver the best outcomes for the business.
So, if your company has yet to implement leadership skills tests and methods, we suggest that you do so now for the abovementioned reasons.
Choices in Testing Methods
The questions then are: What are these tests and methods to determine an individual’s leadership qualities? What are the most suitable types for your company? Let’s answer these questions.
The choice of tests and methods will depend entirely on your corporate culture so it pays to know the pros and cons of each one before implementation. In most organizations, however, the testing system used combine two or more of the following:
- Personality tests are popular tools in the assessment of leadership skills mainly because of the ease with which these can be administered and then the results can be evaluated. These tests usually come in multiple choice formats that reveal the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. The most common personality tests are:
- Briggs-Myers personality test assesses the individual’s temperament in terms of how he reacts to other people and to his environment; a scale of 1 to 4 to determine intensity of reaction. Basically, it determines how introverted or extroverted an individual is.
- Fundamental interpersonal relations orientation (FIRO-B) test consists of 6 scales of 9-item questions. It measures three aspects of an individual’s interpersonal needs within a group, namely, control, inclusion and openness.
- Essay assignments are designed to allow the individual to express himself in terms of his leadership style, career direction and other pertinent topics.
- Questionnaires are designed to gather inputs from other people particularly the individual’s subordinates and superiors with the main aim being to develop a well-rounded perspective of said individual.
- Consultant review is also a great albeit expensive method to determine an individual’s leadership style.
In the end, you can only observe an individual’s leadership skills in action once he is placed in the position but these testing methods are excellent in achieving a better fit.
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