Leadership Conversations Assessment


INSTRUCTIONS: Choose the A or B response that most accurately reflects your thinking and choice under the circumstances described.

Question Response
1. When giving feedback to a direct report regarding performance improvements, you:

A) are concerned about delivering it in a way that strengthens the relationship

B) coach them in specific improvement techniques

2.  In your experience, the most effective way to optimize performance is to:

A) push each person to stretch their capabilities and produce more

B) encourage people to develop at their own pace in their own ways

3.  You mostly expect your people to:

A) measure their own results and learn from their successes and failures

B) improve performance based on assistance from you and others

4.  When you promote people, you generally:

A) choose someone whom you know already has the required skills

B) accept that people will require some training in the skills required for the position

5.  You believe that long-term organizational success depends more on:

A) developing people who are already employees

B) building relationships with and hiring top quality people

6.  Your personal success depends on:

A) how effectively your team works together on a daily basis

B) how well your team has been trained to do their jobs

7.  Which of the following contributes more to top performance:

A) feedback conversations that improve your people’s performance

B) conversations that motivate your people

8.  Which of the following is more important to achieving organizational goals:

A) training, process improvements, and new technologies

B) cultivating strategic partnerships

9.  Which of the following is more likely to produce superior results:

A) a group of people who share common goals and align behind a plan

B) a group of people who are highly skilled and work together efficiently

10. Your future success is more likely to depend on:

A) how well you have developed your successor and your team

B) relationships you have formed with your peers and those above you

11. In order to reach an effective decision, it is most important to:

A) allow people to explore the alternatives they identify

B) direct the conversation toward truly viable alternatives

12. In your experience, the ultimate success of a decision depends mostly on:

A) coming up with the right decision and an effective implementation plan

B) building consensus among your people for the decision and the plan

13. You invest more of your time in:

A) giving people the skills, resources and tools they need to get the job done

B) helping people build internal and external relationships needed to get the job done

14. In leading a decision-making conversation, you:

A) avoid conflict by allowing each person to express their perspective

B) push introverts to participate and restrain extroverts from dominating

15. In order to get everyone involved in decision-making, you:

A) use techniques that combine diverse ideas into a unified solution

B) encourage people to express diverse views even if it complicates the process

16. In making a decision, you put more weight on:

A) your experience, data, and proven techniques

B) the ability of your people to implement the decision

17. You invite people to participate in decision-making conversations primarily because:

A) they understand the situation and will contribute to the decision

B) their buy-in eventually will be required during implementation

18. When there are two conflicting alternatives, you:

A) discuss the pros and cons of each alternative and then take a vote

B) search for a solution combines the two alternatives

19. When someone offers an off-the-wall suggestion, you:

A) explore why the person thinks it might be a good idea

B) acknowledge the suggestion and move on with viable possibilities

20. In evaluating the pros and cons of an alternative, you rely more on:

A) the perspectives and preferences of your people

B) a structured decision-making process and past results

21. The primary criteria you apply in assigning tasks to people is their:

A) ability to achieve the objective effectively and efficiently

B) preference for what they like to do and what they do best

22. To compete in a market where expertise is scarce, you have more confidence in:

A) an employee-referral bonus programs to identify top-notch people

B) a dependable headhunter who has identified top-notch people in the past

23. Your future success (and next promotion if you want one) depends on your ability to:

A) build relationships and motivate others

B) produce results that meet or exceed goals

24. When you start a major new project, you are more likely to:

A) gather everyone together to discuss alternative strategies and assignments

B) allow your key assistants to tell people what they are expected to do

25. The primary reason for getting to know your people well is to learn:

A) how to motivate them and assist them in getting the job done

B) their goals so you can give them assignments that advance their career

26. In choosing courses of action, you usually pick an approach that:

A) leverages your team’s strengths

B) avoids your team’s weaknesses

27. You place a higher priority on:

A) getting things done correctly and on time

B) working together collaboratively to produce results

28. You consider it more important to:

A) build an atmosphere of trust and respect

B) produce superior short- and long-term results

29. If one of your people was highly competent but aggressive and disruptive, you would:

A) fire them if they refused to change their behavior

B) put them in a position to minimize the disruption they cause

30. When you realize that you might not reach a goal, your first instinct is to:

A) work harder and longer and apply additional resources

B) determine if the goal is realistic and identify what is getting in the team’s way

31. In conducting a decision-making conversation, you usually:

A) allow your people to make the decision even if it is less than optimal

B) guide your people toward the alternative that you feel is optimal

32. Having technical experts on your staff are more valuable for their ability to:

A) separate good ideas from bad ones and minimize risk

B) teach people how to deliver quality products and services

33. When you and your people are under pressure in a time-critical situation, you:

A) ask questions to explore alternatives even after a decision seems clear

B) ensure that your people know how to do each of their assigned tasks

34. Which of the following approaches do you use more often in conversations?

A) teaching your people to avoid problems by recognizing early symptoms

B) saying “I don’t know” to your people to open the door to creative thinking

35. When urgency forces you to make a decision before you can analyze alternatives, you:

A) ask several people whom you respect what they would do and why

B) support your people even if their results fall short of expectations

36. Which statement best describes your perspective on changes in your industry:

A) industry changes drive your decision-making conversation

B) you are building a learning organization that evaluates change continuously

37. When decision-making conversations drift toward low-value possibilities, you:

A) ask questions that enable your people to discover the shortfalls on their own

B) use structured techniques to quantitatively compare alternatives

38. You are more likely to engage more people in a decision-making conversation when:

A) the scope and significance of the decision requires multiple perspectives

B) people must understand how to implement the decision you reach

39. In order to find the best solution to a complex challenge, you:

A) evaluate alternatives in terms of your goals and performance objectives

B) ask questions to stimulate the group’s creativity

40. When you are under pressure, you tap into your people’s experience in order to:

A) gather the information necessary to make an effective decision

B) identify ways that people can do things faster and better

41. You sometimes tolerate minor mistakes and less-than-expected results because:

A) they are a natural part of growth and are useful as learning experiences

B) correcting minor mistakes can be disruptive and impede progress

42. In a typical day, you give more feedback to your people relative to:

A) solving immediate problems and resolving issues

B) improving your processes and training your people

43. You are more likely to analyze:

A) a failure in order to eliminate performance issues

B) a success in order to reinforce factors that contributed to success

44. Under normal circumstances, you are more likely to assign tasks to people that:

A) enable them to enhance their skills and strengthen their relationships

B) they are likely do the best and fastest

45. Which statement best describes your approach to asking questions:

A) You don’t ask questions when you pretty much know what actions to take

B) You ask questions to learn about people and what they need to be successful

46. After you have developed the plan for a new project, you ask your people:

A) if it is complete, executable, and likely to achieve the goal

B) if there is another approach that would achieve the goal more efficiently

47. When your team is about to begin execution of a strategic initiative, you:

A) tell each of your people what you expect from them

B) initiate action and address issues as they arise

48. In order to optimize overall performance, you:

A) emphasize coordinated action

B) coach individuals to improve their performance

49. Which statement best describes your approach for preparing people for promotions:

A) you have conversations so people know what they must do be promoted

B) you inspire people to achieve goals because promotions depend on results

50. When your team is falling short of its goals, you examine the situation to see if:

A) the shortfall is caused by skill, behavioral, or personal issues

B) a reallocation of tasks or more resources are required

51. You believe that, in most situations, it is more efficient to:

A) initiate action and make in-process adjustments

B) hold planning conversations to ensure that everyone knows what to do

52. You hold planning conversations mainly to enable your people to:

A) make effective decisions when they encounter unexpected situations

B) coordinate their actions even though they work in different areas or locations

53.  Which is a larger concern when you consider changing your organization?

A) disruptions and delays in normal operations

B) dealing with resistance during implementation

54.  In your experience, teams are most effective and efficient when they:

A) have superior skills and sufficient resources

B) align with each other based on shared purpose and shared goals

55. You invest the most time to build relationships that will help you:

A) recognize market shifts and plan for the future

B) get today’s job done effectively and efficiently

56. Which statement best characterizes your view of feedback conversations?

A) you give and receive feedback every day to stay in touch with your people

B) you hold performance reviews and give feedback when required between reviews

57. Which type of tactical plan do you consider most likely to be successful?

A) a plan where everyone’s actions are clearly defined and integrated

B) a plan that clearly supports the organization’s strategic direction

58. Which is the best way to ensure people understand your organization’s strategy?

A) involve as many of them as possible in strategic analyses

B) discuss priorities during routine planning and production conversations

59. When beginning a new project, you:

A) start after partial planning in order to learn more about what really works best

B) ensure you have a comprehensive plan that considers all alternatives and issues

60. Which statement best describes your approach to stimulating creativity?

A) you encourage people to be creative in doing their jobs better and faster

B) you ask questions of your people in order to be creative in decision making



Please double-check that you have responded to all questions