As a team leader, consider using assessments to give insight into how your team works and what kind of adjustments you or the team needs to make to be more effective.

However, the team members might be suspicious about what you are going to do with their assessment results. Members of the team may be thinking – are you going to use the assessment findings against them? Why do you need this information?

There is a right and wrong time to use assessment with your team. For example, if your team is uneasy when you introduce the topic, it is best to figure out what is causing their stress or distrust before proceeding.

Usually assessment uneasiness is caused by one of the following:

  • Team members may be guarded about their personal information. Each team member’s tolerance for letting other people into their personal space is different.
  • Some team members may not trust you with their assessment information.
  • Team members may trust you, but not each other.

While you may not be able to ease everyone’s fears about taking an assessment and sharing their results, here are a few ways to introduce the topic with your team.

  1. Have the assessment administrator come in and explain to the group what the assessment is, how the assessment is administered and what they can expect from the results. Let them ask questions to test their assumptions and alleviate some of their fears.
  2. As the team leader, explain why you are using the assessment and what will be done with the results.
  3. Establish that assessment results are private and everyone has the personal option to share them with the team.

You are probably thinking: Why would I go ahead with using an assessment if the team members have the option of sharing their information? What happens if someone decides they don’t  want to share their results!

The bottom line is that if someone is that dead set against sharing their results, you have two choices.

  1. Decide to postpone using the assessment and work on improving trust.
  2. Proceed with the assessment and recommend the team member that s/he will not be able to take part with the team during training where the results are broadly communicated or integrated.

While it may seem odd that you have to work on trust before using an assessment that is often used to increase trust in a group, the fact is some trust must exist. It is difficult to work with a team that is cautiously trustful. Use an experienced behavior trainer or expert and not a stand up trainer. The conversations and behavioral issues that will arise during the group work will need more expertise than someone who delivers canned training programs.