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How to Debrief ZERORISK Emotional Intelligence Assessment Results

A new consultant recently asked me how to approach debriefing the ZERORISK Emotional Intelligence Assessment.


I only recommend debriefing an assessment for a current employee, not during the hiring process. Legally, an employer is not bound to provide or review assessment results generated during the hiring process. Doing so turns what should be an interview situation into a coaching session.


That said, here are some guidelines for debriefing a current employee on their ZERORISK Assessment results.


Get to Know the Person First, I like to get to know the person before jumping into their assessment results. I want to understand more about what has brought them to this point in their career. I usually ask them to talk about their career challenges and what has been rewarding up to this point. This can yield insight into their motivations and shed light on the strengths and blind spots I see in their assessment results. This helps me to personalize the feedback a little more.


I also like to discover more about their current role, so that I can help them see how their assessment results can be a source of strength, as well as helping them to navigate the blind spots related to the role.


Getting to know the employee before delving into the assessment results can build trust and put them at ease. Remember that the assessment results amount to personal feedback that may be difficult to process. Getting to know the person and inviting them to feel at ease can help make the debriefing meaningful and minimize negative reactions.


Uncovering Development Opportunities As I get to know the person, I always listen for potential development opportunities. I ask them what kind of feedback they have received regarding their strengths and weaknesses. I invite them to summarize and discuss any feedback they have received, and ask what they have been doing to master their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.


I also like to ask employees to identify one or two key areas for improvement. Going forward with the debriefing, I can then point out aspects of the assessment results that directly relate to these areas.


Debriefing the Assessment Results Step 1: Help them Understand the Assessment Before delving into the actual results, it’s valuable to briefly explain what the assessment measures, to help the employee understand what it is and what it isn’t. I communicate that the assessment is based on the deductive science of axiology. Axios is a Greek word that means “worth” or “value,” so axiology is the science of how we make value judgements and assign meaning to things, or how we decide and/or think. This is the source of a person’s core motivations and thus explains why they do what they do. The assessment is essentially measuring the source of personality, or their emotional intelligence.


Step 2: Describe the Six Thinking Competencies and the Scoring Scale For the six emotional intelligence thinking competencies (Intuition & Empathy; Decisiveness; Adherence & Organization; Self View; Self Awareness; and Self Expectations), the scoring range is from 0–10. It’s important to emphasize that a higher score isn’t necessarily the best score. The role in question determines the ideal score range. This is covered in the Job Fit Report, which I don’t typically go over with the employee. The Job Fit Report is intended to identify areas of focus for an interviewer.


For the scoring scale, a score to the right of six indicates a bias toward what the competency is measuring. A score to the left of six indicates a bias away from what the competency is measuring. A score of 6 is neutral and isn’t biased for or against what the competency is measuring. Scores closer to six indicate clarity and higher resolution in the thinking and will result in more control of emotion stemming from that area. Scores further away from six indicate unclear and lower resolution in the thinking. Scores further away from six is where more emotion will be exhibited. The higher scores indicate the source of a person’s core motivations.


Step 3: Explain their Assessment Report The ZERORISK assessment report is essentially made up of various mini reports. The first page is a summary describing the individual. This summary considers all their scores and briefly describes the most likely behaviors that will result from their thinking.


Next is the Candidate Detail Report, which provides a score on the 0 – 10 scoring scale for each of the six thinking competencies. This report highlights the person’s most likely strengths and weaknesses, and describes the best working environment for each competency.


For convenience, the competency definition is always provided at the top of the page, as well as behavioral descriptions for each end of the scoring scale. This helps give context about what behavior is most prevalent based on that score. For example, someone with an Intuition & Empathy competency score closer to 0 might be more direct in their communication when under stress, whereas someone scoring closer to 10 might exhibit more relationship building skills.

I walk the employee through each of these six thinking competencies and their associated scores and likely behaviors. Then I ask for feedback on whether they can see some of these behaviors in themselves.


Step 4: Explain the Two Style Competencies and Scoring Scales The Types of Reasoning competency has a different scoring scale. Rather than 0 – 10, it ranges from A – K. Types of Reasoning measures how we process and communicate information.


The Attention Balance competency also has its own scoring scale, highlighting where our attention is directed at times of stress and pressure.


These two competencies won’t always have desired score ranges for the job fit report.

Step 5: Summarize the Findings and Discuss Next Steps After walking through the assessment report, I summarize the employee’s overall thinking pattern and restate the likely strengths and blind spots we have touched on. This is a good opportunity to invite questions and determine if there are opportunities for continued conversation and/or coaching.


Applied Science Yields Accurate Insights

As a consultant using the ZERORISK assessment for the past 25 years, I’m truly amazed at the insight found in the results. Most people tell me I must be a fortune teller since they usually find the results spot on and surprisingly accurate.


Keep in mind ZERORISK does provide additional reports for ongoing employee development, team building, communication, and career guidance. You can learn more by viewing our Sample Reports. Contact us if you would like to get started.

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