Retaking Assessments After Significant Emotional Events: What You Need to Know

You don’t need us to tell you that the last six months have been difficult. While many workplaces went remote, we all have been participating in shaping the new world of work. As teams and individuals continue to harness the power of assessments to reveal the human potential in their organizations, it’s important to remember that a reassessment is now in order.

At Focus Insights, we believe assessments should only be taken every 12 to 24 months for the most accurate results. The exception to this is when a significant emotional event impacts the life of the person taking the assessment.

The truth is that people’s values and behaviors change as a result of their environment. All of our environments have changed in 2020.

What’s an Emotionally Significant Event?

A pandemic would certainly fall under that category — people are experiencing social isolation, stress over health, financial strain, or they know people who are experiencing those things. However, these emotionally significant events don’t all have to be negative. For example, I got married earlier this year and retook DISC a few days before the wedding. My Outgoing score was off the chart, while my regularly Steady score was lower than I thought made sense. I was also surprised to see my Compliance score rise, since my primary communication style is Pioneering. After consulting my very wise coworkers, we figured out what was happening — I was being spread thin because of stress and planning, and was having to influence and communicate at a much more intense level than normal. I was adapting temporarily. When I retook DISC months after the wedding, my scores felt much truer to my normal, daily behavior.

Here Are Some Common Emotionally Significant Events to Keep in Mind:

  • Moving across the country
  • Experiencing a significant romantic break up
  • Getting married
  • Grieving the death of a loved one
  • Experiencing a natural disaster
  • Losing your job
  • Graduating school
  • Becoming a parent
The impact of any of these events is important to remember. After having some time to process the event, you need to retake assessments. You might be surprised to see how your behavior, motivation, emotional intelligence, and more have changed.

Here are 3 Reasons Reassessment is Crucial

  1. Time to Adapt
    The best leaders and managers tailor their own communication style to work best with their direct reports. By managing your own expectations, your team doesn’t have to adapt too much from their natural style, which allows them to feel more comfortable and “like themselves” in their roles. But what happens if someone changes right under your nose and you don’t notice? What if your previous approach isn’t helpful, or is even harmful to their productivity and engagement now? You might be spending a lot of effort for a less than ideal outcome. A new assessment for your whole team re-establishes what you know about them,and gives you insight to move forward.
  2. Improve Communication
    You know that communication is key at all times, but especially in times of crisis or difficulty. The insight that comes from assessments like the Engagement Report is a tool for you to find out how exactly your team needs to communicate with you and each other. The good news is that DISC is an observable behavior— once you’re familiar with the basics, you might be able to pick up on the changes in your team on your own. You may notice a major shift if you’re used to reading people but those minor shifts are just as important as major ones. You need to adjust to everyone. Another thing to remember is that you have no idea what your team is going through unless they tell you. Their partners might be furloughed or fired, they might have a sick family member, or they might be struggling with their children and virtual learning. Assessments give them a shared vocabulary and understanding to express themselves, even when they might be private people.

Re-engage with Reassessments

Reassessment is more about understanding your team coming through it.
While searching for the next phase of living, give your staff the opportunity to reconnect and re-engage with each other. Right now is the time to offer support and plan to take your next step in business.
While emotionally significant events have indeed changed us, they don’t have to rule your life. Take time to learn about yourself, explore assessment results, and extend support to your team.
By Jamie Faulkner

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Focus Insights