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CERIC 10th Anniversary Conversations

Conversation #2: Best Assessment Tools


This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Rob Straby 4 years, 3 months ago.

  • Author
  • #34576


    Here at CERIC, we are often told  by career professionals that they would like to have more training in the area of assessment tools. But there are so many of them! So tell us: Which assessment tools do you use, or would like to learn how to use? What do they measure? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you use the results?

  • #34802

    Chris Kulbaba

    Consistently we use Personality Dimensions here at my Agency as a temperament assessment tool.  I find it a valuable resource for assisting a client to determine their own preference, it is a simple and easy tool for clients to understand.  A drawback that I see from any assessment tool is the communication to the client that this is only an assessment, not a rule.  Assessments are inherently  inaccurate as the very second that we try to use it to measure preference it is skewed – so never think that this is “you in a box.”  Rather, I try to explain that it is more like being part of a family – you have a Mom, and a Dad.  They helped shape your values, and this will lead to preferences.  Sometimes you are like your Mom, sometimes you are like your Dad, never are you exactly the same.  There is a social fabric that you are part of, and your beliefs, goals, and views of the world and yourself will shape your individual values.  That being said – you are not a robot or a piece of equipment to measure.  This is just a guideline, used for an indicator of better potential decisions that not having the assessment done.

    I am also trained in MBTI (both step 1 and 2) and I use this information to assist the client to understand the polarity of their preferences.  Using the dichotomies to help explain preferential environments, behaviours and actions is a real boon for clients.

    I know that there are private schools here that use Wonderlic assessments to evaluate learning potentials.  Our Agency does not, though, as we do not accept them into programs where this is a needed metric.

    I know there are other Agencies and practitioners that use DISC and OCEAN (Big 5) frequently, but our Agency does not and I do not have a vast knowledge of them.  Of the DISC system, it is interesting that the C stands for “conscientiousness” and I was recently reading an article about the singular trait responsible for success, which was….. being conscientious.

    From a professional and coaching model view, I would like to learn more about using the FIRO-B tool.  I feel that evaluating behavioural choices and interpersonal decisions based on the need and behaviour modelling of this tool is interesting, and I would like to know more about it.  From a NFP point of view, the price point is out of reach for my agency, but as a private practitioner I would be interested in its used and effectiveness as I would be interested in team building, leadership training, and building positive  interpersonal dynamics.


    Curious to know what others are using, or want to use, or the focus of their tools!  I know Rob Straby is doing a Summer Skills presentation on tools and their use, and I would urge anyone interested in finding out more about these tools to attend Rob’s presentation, which is bound to be excellent!

  • #34844



    Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Chris.  I work with a culturally diverse group and I have been facing an ethical dilemma in using any assessment tools.  That is:  What sort of tools help the subjective experience of the clients to learn about themselves? What are these measurement  sticks that I think can be generalized?

    This being said I still feel the responsibility of my practice to be able to help clients somehow in an efficient way.   I am very curious and appreciate if anyone in the field (academic and practice) has any insight to my ethical dilemmas.  If they  know of readings or assessment tools that will help me.

    Thank you!




  • #35435

    Rob Straby

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Chris. The approaches you mention (PD, MBTI, DISC, Ocean) are all examples of personality type or temperament. They provide insights about ‘how’ we approach our work. In my experience these are commonly used in career settings as they help clients to understand themselves better and what they need to get from their work. It is interesting that you mention the FIRO-B, this tool is unique in that it looks at one very focussed aspect of our behaviour: interpersonal relationships. I know of many career professionals who administer a three-way assessment:

    1. Personality Type (e.g. MBTI): to assess work style preferences;
    2. Interests (e.g. Strong Interest Inventory): To assess the types of work a person would enjoy; and
    3. Interpersonal Relations (e.g. FIRO-B): To discern approaches to interacting with others.

    Personality and interest assessments are more common. Fewer practitioners utilize the interpersonal assessments, partially due to cost and also due to time constraints.

    In the early days of my career, I found the formal ‘package’ approach helpful, as I was still learning a lot of skills. However, as I gained experience I found that I could help my clients best through narrative counselling approaches.

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