Professionals get certifications and use specific assessments with their clients, and both seem to find the process valuable. Many coaches and their clients love assessments.
Personally, I haven’t recommended assessments unless my client says they really don’t know what they are good at – or what they want to do.
Recently, I have landed on a combination of two self-assessments that seem to bring a lot of value for job seekers and solo consultants. One is a subset of an industry standard that delivers a bite-sized and helpful report, and the other is a new assessment that gives insight into your ideal workstyle, culture, and fit.
You’ve probably heard of or taken the CliftonStrenths self-assessment. You can be evaluated across 34 total strengths, but I like this shorter (and cheaper) assessment of your Top 5 CliftonStrengths. For just $19.99 you can see what your best skills are, with the goal of primarily using them in your dream job or business.
Most people are self-aware enough to know what they are good at, but there are usually some surprises in the report as well. Or some skills you haven’t used in a long time that you have forgotten about.
I love this report and have started having all new clients take it and send me the PDF to confirm what the client wants to pursue makes sense for them.
This assessment is designed to help you identify the type of work you are here to do. My results were spot-on and super helpful.
I have struggled to understand why some of my entrepreneur and consultant clients seemed to have some similar skills – they give advice – but also go about their work in a very different way from the way I do.
As it turned out, there were a few different primary Sparketypes for my clients. While I was the Advisor, someone else was the Scientist, and someone else the Sage. While we all love advising, the way we personally gain knowledge and the way we want to interact with our clients is quite different.
My report says:
As an Advisor, coaching, mentoring and advising is your call. You light up like nothing else when you play the role of the trusted advisor. The person who swoops in, develops sustained, personal, relationships, most often with individuals or small groups, cultivates trust and confidence and creates the safety needed to coach or guide people, in a hands-on, engaging way toward a desired end.
While you see yourself as someone who is wise and skilled, it’s less about teaching a particular body of knowledge and more about the interactive process of guiding people, in a more personalized way, through a process of growth, problem-solving, application and achievement.
Not surprisingly, my business requires me to work deeply and personally with clients. Oddly enough, I also worked with clients the same way when I was employed by the major consulting firms, at least in the client projects I really enjoyed.
I found this Sparketype report so validating!
My Scientist and Sage consulting clients have completely different thought processes and ideal working situations. How cool is that? We all give great value to our clients, but in our unique ways.
This test is free and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. I highly recommend taking it to confirm what Jonathan Fields has referred to as product-maker fit.
Are you working in your genus zone in your business? Is there something you could shift that would keep you more in your zone?
Sometimes little changes can lead to greater satisfaction and profitability.