How Soon Is Too Soon?

A common question that comes up in the EQ-I & EQ360 Certification process is how soon is too soon for someone to go through the assessment process again after their initial completion. Leaving aside situations where there is a validity concern with the report (I’ll cover that in a future post), there is a simple rule of thumb that I have found to be effective.

Hopefully, all assessment processes like the EQ-I include follow up coaching and development. You need to wait long enough to see that the development of the persons EQ has a chance to happen, and also that we can be sure the learning has by and large ‘stuck’.

If you were to follow the EQ development process we use with clients that would mean no less than about 7 months between initial assessment and re-assessment. I have found that this time period, at a minimum, allows for the person to become ‘unconsciously competent’ around the new skill area or behavior.

The same rules of thumb apply to the EQ360, however I would be even more open to waiting longer before putting someone through the assessment process again. Any 360 is a labor intensive process that involves using the time of a group of people (so the time investment is multiplied). Without significant and meaningful development activities in the intervening period, little is likely to have changed, and people will start to question the value of the process if they are asked to re-evaluate someone from whom they have seen no change in practice or behavior.

As someone once put it to me, if you are not going to exercise or change your diet, standing on the scales repeatedly is not going to make one any lighter!

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