I always enjoy teaching our EQ-I & EQ360 Certification Courses and last week was no exception. This class was also officially the fastest to pass their certification exam with everyone completing within 24 hours of the course end. Congratulations to all!
One of the things I enjoy most about teaching the certification course is that we get to talk about how the EQ-I and EQ360 tools fit into organizational leadership development activities. This can be a challenge for organizations as they want to use the tools, but can’t necessarily afford to provide everyone with an individualized debrief. So what are the options?
As a self-assessment instrument the EQ-i can be effectively debriefed in a large group provided some measures are in place. Like other leadership development activities participants should always know what’s involved, who will see their personal information (in this case the results of the assessments), and what the follow up process will be. Free and informed consent is the key, so make sure you get it from everyone participating. You must also ensure that support is available both during the group debrief and afterwards should people have questions or require more in-depth discussion.
In the group debriefs and workshops I run with the EQ-i I never ask participants to show each other their results. Instead I give out the reports during the session and then ask people to identify parts of the EQ-i model that they are interested in working on. That could be an area of strength for them, an area of development opportunity, or simply something they are interested in. This way, when we do group work, people don’t have insight into each other’s results. Group work is one of the most effective leadership development activities you can do in these settings as it gives participants an opportunity to learn from each other.
Multi-rater tools like the EQ360 are not suited to group debrief. There is simply too much detail, too much potential for misinterpretation, and it’s such a golden opportunity for personal exploration. You cannot do it justice in a group setting, and it’s not fair to the person going through the EQ360 process.
One of the first leadership development activities I ever participated in was a 360 assessment that was debriefed as a large group (50 people). No support was provided, very little explanation of the tool was given, and we were left to interpret the results on our own. It was a bad experience personally, but I am grateful for the lesson on why not to debrief these tools as a group. Periodically the topic of group 360 debriefs comes up and I work hard to ensure that clients see why that approach simply doesn’t work.
If you have a question about how your organization, feel free to email me directly.