Ten Ways Assessments Can be Useful in Your Practice

Attorneys can use assessments in two ways.  First the assessment is useful in understanding him/herself and second the assessment is useful when hiring a new employee.  Assessments will answer the questions: Will the person work well with me and my staff?  Does this person have the skills and behavioral style the practice needs?

  1. Self-assessments get you to think strategically about yourself. At least yearly you need to look at yourself, your strengths and skills.  Identify the areas that need more development and put a plan together to get training and experience in the areas you want to develop.  Looking at your vision for your practice should help you to see where your strengths and skills fit into your total plan.
  2. A Communications Assessment will tell you what others see in your speech and body language.  The DISC assessment can tell you what your communication and behavioral style tells others about you.  You can learn to adapt your behavior and communication style to suit your situation.This is particularly useful with staff since communication is the key to a smoothly running practice.
  3. A behavioral assessment will teach you how to identify the behavioral style of those you work with.  Once you understand the way others like to be communicated with you can adjust your style to that of your audience.  Better yet if your work team has used the DISC you and they will have a better understanding of individual differences and either adjust or acknowledge your styles.  The DISC behavioral assessment can also help you to understand the best way to communicate with each client.
  4. Assessments help to validate your own self-assessment.  If you believe you have a particular strength it is helpful to get support from an assessment that in fact you do have that strength.  One assessment that can be helpful comes with the book Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/159562015X/parkerassociates
  5. Assessments help you to hire the right people.  By giving the potential employee an assessment you are better able to evaluate if he/she has the necessary skills to do the job and if the person will fit into the culture of your firm.
  6. Assessments help you to know what motivates the person you are going to hire so that he/she will be fully engaged in the work.  In this way you help the employee to do meaningful work.
  7. Assessments will allow you to be more objective in the hiring process.  It is common for an attorneys to hire a person who is similar to themselves when in fact what they  need is someone with a totally different style and skill set that compliments them and the rest of the team.
  8. Assessments can lead to less conflict in the workplace.  Knowing the style and skills of the person you are hiring allows you have realistic expectations.  There is less stress for the employees when they know what the expectations are and feel confident that they can meet them.
  9. Assessments save time and money.  Hiring the wrong person is expensive and wastes your time.  Assessments can help you to find the candidates with the right skills and the right style.  Then it is by interviewing them you can see if they would fit into your firm culture.
  10. Assessments will let you see the style, skills and strengths of your top performers. It is important to have assessments done on all your employees.   If you’ve ever said the person you want to hire is the clone of someone else, an assessment is an objective way of drilling down to what exactly that person has that you are looking for.
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