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This chapter is from the book

Assess Yourself

Creating a development plan can be a daunting task—especially when you’re searching for a new job or seeking to drive your career forward. Sometimes, it’s hard to identify what, specifically, you need to improve to be more successful. And even after you identify a specific area, it’s not obvious what to do to practice and improve at it. In addition, you might be overly focused on opportunity areas and forget all the strengths you have and how to leverage them more effectively.

This book solves these two critical challenges:

  1. Identify the most important areas to improve and your greatest strengths to leverage.
  2. Create hundreds of development suggestions that are practical, bite-sized, self-directed, and free.

Before You Begin

To identify your strengths and needs, you can use a simple self-survey that enables you to assess your skills in just a few minutes (see Figure 1.6). This survey is based on competencies and behaviors that are universally important for career success. The only rule you need to follow to get the most out of the survey is to be completely honest with yourself. After all, no one will see this but you unless you decide to share your results with someone else. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat of your career, so tell the truth and see where this road takes you.

Figure 1.6

Figure 1.6 Skills assessment

Figure 1.6

Figure 1.6 Continued

Figure 1.6

Figure 1.6 Continued

Figure 1.6

Figure 1.6 Continued

Figure 1.6

Figure 1.6 Continued

When completing the survey, consider your answer as it relates to your current or most recent job. If you’re a student, evaluate your response as it relates to collaborating with others on a project or task, or working with your family, in your community, or your place of worship. For example, consider “customers” as people in your life to whom you have responsibilities.

Check the box that best describes you, and when complete, tally your scores in space provided. At the end of the assessment, there are instructions on how to interpret your scores.

If you prefer to do this online, you can contact us (info@skillsify.com) and receive a 30-day license to the SkillBuilder app. You can then complete this assessment online, have your score automatically calculated, and create and manage your development plan within the tool. You can also track your progress over time, collaborate with others virtually, and access your development plan from any location. Developing takes dedication and the tracking of your progress, learnings, and achievements over time. Make it easier and sign up for your free account today.

Let’s get started.

The next set of assessment questions (73–93) are specific to leaders (see Figure 1.7). Skip these if these aren’t relevant to you.

Figure 1.7

Figure 1.7 Manager–specific skills assessment

Use the following summary template to enter the scores you calculated for each behavior.



Is a Problem Solver

Embraces and Applies Creativity

Makes Objective Decisions

Finds, Creates, & Leverages Data

Takes Calculated Risks

Builds Trusted Relationships

Influences Others

Promotes Teamwork

Demonstrates Business Acumen

Champions Customer Focus

Plans and Organizes

Sets and Drives Priorities

Overcomes Obstacles

Demonstrates Technological Savvy

Writes Effectively

Develops & Delivers Compelling Presentations

Tailors Interpersonal Approach

Shares Information

Adopts a Cross-Cultural Mindset

Collaborates Across Boundaries

Demonstrates Integrity

Relishes Accountability

Exhibits Intellectual Curiosity

Develops Self


Behaviors for Leaders


Challenges Norms Appropriately

Manages Courageously

Navigates Ambiguity

Creates a Culture of Innovation

Motivates Others

Selects Talent

Develops Others

You’ve completed the Self Survey! Now identify your top strengths and greatest needs based on your highest and lowest scores. Definitions for each of the behaviors are provided in the next section for your reference.

These results provide a great starting point for you to create your individual development plan. You can start with your highest and lowest scoring categories or pick others that are relevant to you based on performance data, feedback you’ve received in the past, other assessments you’ve completed, and so on.

The following chapters provide a host of development suggestions for every behavior. You can take this assessment as many times as you like. Developing is a lifelong process. Take it periodically to see how your strengths and needs change over time.

What are your three highest scored items?


What other behaviors resonate as personal strengths for you?


What are your three lowest scored items?


What other opportunity areas do you believe you need to work on?


From these lists, identify 1 to 2 strengths to leverage and 1 to 2 areas to develop. Over time, you can add others to your plan.

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