5 Exercises That Deliver Results

There are many development tools and personality assessments out there. You’ve probably done several if you’ve ever participated in any kind of leadership summit or professional training. On the rare occasion you have never had the opportunity to do any, then you should start today.

Being a leader means always seizing the opportunity to better yourself in a continuous pursuit of serving others. This means leading by example, and humbling yourself to seek improvement and developing others be more effective. You should never sit around and wait for your boss or a company to develop you. You have to own it. Same for your team – it is incumbent upon you to quarterback development exercises with them, and others, even if you aren’t their direct leader.

Personality based assessments are critical to build effectiveness – for both teams and individuals. Assessments are important to bring overall awareness, understand how to maximize your strengths and work effectively with others. While hands-on practical tools can empower effectiveness, create motivation, improve moral, and provide a tangible connection. Both assessments and tools provide individuals and teams with different methods of tackling obstacles and providing various perspectives.

And the winners are…

Best All-Around Assessment: Gallup Clifton Strengthsfinder 2.0

Overview: This assessment is all about understanding your strength’s so you can capitalize on them effectively. There are 34 strengths across 4 themes: Strategic Thinking, Influencing, Executing, and Relationship building – each strength falls into one of these domains. The timed assessment is 177 questions, accurately capturing your initial, natural, instinctive response for accuracy. You should only take this once – it does not matter how much time has passed, do not take it again. This can be taken online for a small fee, or by a certified facilitator for a larger group.gallup themes

Perfect for: Individuals, all types of teams, and even couples

Tip: If you want to save a little, unlocking only your top 5 strengths is just as effective as the full 34 report, in my opinion. You can always revisit the learning center any time and unlock all 34 for a reduced fee.

Best Assessment For Team Communication: David Merrill & Roger Reid’s Social Styles

Overview: This is the original model that assessments like DISC, MBTI, Insights Discovery, and Meyer’s Briggs are based on, but it is significantly easier to learn and apply. I recommend it above any of these. Social Style’s teaches you how to engage effectively with others and improve your versatility immediately, depending on the style of the person(s). There are 4 styles: Analytical, Amiable, Driver, and Expressive – these are demonstrated at the surface as Assertiveness vs Responsiveness and Emoting vs. Controlling. Unlike Myers Briggs, there is only 1 quadrant to fall in, but the results precisely put you on different points within each quadrant.david-merrill-roger-reid-social-stylesPerfect for: Newly formed teams, struggling teams, opposing teams, leadership teams, working partners.

Tip: Although there are many free versions of this online, I recommend bringing a certified professional to maximize the value. These facilitators bring an important element of hands-on interaction and practical use once the assessments are complete, which is critical to the learning process and applying it.

Best Tool To Execute: SYPartners Superpower Cards

Overview: This 21 card deck is an amazing and affordable tool that brings immediate productivity and results. Especially for strategic, project teams that for the most part, already work well together from a personality perspective and are looking to tackle a major project or initiative. With cards like Systems Thinking, Gap Detector, Experimentation and Motivation (to name a few) a group can easily designate assignments to achieve milestones quickly or overcome obstacles.superpower cards

Perfect for: all types of teams

Tip: In your next project kickoff call, planning session or team building summit use this exercise as an icebreaker!

Best Tool to Overcome Barriers with Innovation: LPK’s Roadblocks to Innovation Cards

Overview: This 50 card deck is FREE. Watch this short videoroadblocksPerfect for: Project teams – before, during and after.

Tip: This exercise is effective if given the right amount of time – allocate at least 30 minutes, but preferably an hour.

Best Tool for Squashing Negativity by Empowering Positivity: SYPartners Unstuck Cards – Stop Your Negative Thinking

Overview: This 30 card deck is game changing for any time you feel stuck or you simply can’t get negative thoughts out of your head. It easily helps you diagnose what really has you feeling stuck, and provides simple corrective action activities to get past it. unstuck cardsPerfect for: Individuals, ‘negative nancy’s’ and small 2-3 person groups.

Tip: Anytime you observe someone in a rut, overwhelmed with frustration or vocalizing negativity tell them to take 15 minutes, go in a private area, clear their head, and do this exercise.

These are just my top 5, but I’m curious to hear experiences from others that may have done these. Did you find them effective? Find them pointless? What are the go-to tools and assessments that you swear by?


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