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Tips for Leaders in Assessing Strengths and Weaknesses

Assessing one’s strengths and weaknesses as a business leader, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of team members, is crucial to optimizing personal leadership styles and effectiveness. By identifying areas of individual and group strength, leaders can leverage these talents to drive team success. On the other hand, by acknowledging weaknesses, leaders can work to improve themselves and their teams in areas where they may be lacking.

Completing programs like the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Management and Leadership program from St. Cloud State University can prepare leaders to leverage their knowledge of themselves and their teams to improve understanding, performance and business outcomes.

Success Begins With Individual Awareness and Group Compatibility

In today’s fast-paced and constantly changing business environment, everyone must be self-aware and adaptable in their work and with one another. By regularly assessing their own strengths and weaknesses, leaders can make informed decisions about their personal and professional development. They can also share what they have gleaned with their team and encourage subordinates to take a similar path toward self-discovery and understanding their ideal roles.

Self-awareness helps leaders better understand and relate to the individuals they lead, allowing for more effective communication and collaboration. It also enables leaders to develop teams with the requisite training, mindsets and behaviors to work well together and accomplish tasks successfully. This approach is critical because a team that understands how their strengths and weaknesses blend will likely be highly engaged, collaborative and productive.

Using Online Tests for Assessment

Utilizing various tools and tests — such as the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, StrengthsFinder, DiSC, Emotional Intelligence Quotient and Leadership Versatility Index — provides a comprehensive understanding of each individual’s abilities and areas for growth, according to Forbes. These widely used tests help individuals learn the following about themselves:

  • Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): A personality test that measures preferences such as extraversion-introversion, intuition-sensing, thinking-feeling and judging-perceiving
  • StrengthsFinder: A strengths assessment tool that identifies an individual’s top five talent themes out of 34 possible options
  • DiSC: A behavioral assessment that measures an individual’s dominant traits in four areas: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness
  • Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ-i 2.0): A test that measures an individual’s emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills
  • Leadership Versatility Index (LVI): A 360-degree assessment that measures an individual’s leadership style across multiple dimensions, including directive, visionary, affiliative, democratic and coaching styles

Blending Test Results With Management

Test results are fallible and can depend upon each test-taker’s insights and honesty. Therefore, assessing individuals is best undertaken with more than one approach. Managers and executives can factor test results into a comprehensive inventory for each employee, using indicators including the following:

  • Key performance metrics track how the individual performs relative to measurable objectives.
  • So-called 360⁰ surveys completed by managers and employees, as well as less formal feedback given to individuals or managers about individuals, allow each person to benefit from multiple perspectives. This strategy should encompass leadership styles, individual strengths, personality, dominant behavioral traits and emotional intelligence.
  • Project successes and failures reveal how the whole team performed and how individual performances factored into the final outcome.
  • Ongoing evaluations of oneself and team members provide more than a snapshot, showing the key trends in individual development. Self-evaluations can include mindsets, behaviors, state of mind, performance and whether a person’s approaches deliver the intended results.
  • Measuring individual levels of consistency over time informs expectations and decision-making. The ability to outperform averages should be understood in the context of whether a person regularly meets those standards.

Understanding one’s training as a business leader or professional focuses on the acquired knowledge and skills gained through education, experience and on-the-job training. It encompasses areas such as technical proficiency, industry-specific expertise and best practices. On the other hand, understanding individual mindsets, personal attributes and behaviors — and how they collectively comprise a team’s strengths — encompasses a more inward-looking examination of personality traits and tendencies. This awareness also allows for the assessment of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills.

While training and education are essential components of being a successful business leader or professional, equally as important is understanding mindsets and behaviors to construct a balanced team. These factors are critical in determining how a team approaches problem-solving, communication and workplace dynamics. By considering both technical proficiencies and personal tendencies in themselves and their team members, leaders can gain a better-rounded and nuanced understanding of the true collective potential of their teams.

Learn more about St. Cloud State University’s online MBA with a concentration in Management and Leadership program.

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