Few would disagree that self-awareness is important for leaders. Diagnostic assessments are one way to build self-awareness and inform self-development. Here are three free on-line assessments my clients have found valuable. 

Two quick tips before you start:

a)Awareness is the only first step. You need to do something with that awareness to build your leadership flexibility.

b)A good assessment tool will also assist you recognise and validate key characteristics in others. Use this knowledge to form deeper connections with those around you.

1. Signature Strengths

Positive emotion is contagious and leads to greater productivity. Do you want to be happier, feel more satisfied, and find more meaning? I have each new coaching client complete this assessment before they begin work with me.

This concept of Signature Strengths has been researched and developed by Dr Martin Seligman, a global leader in the field of Positive Psychology. There are 24 Strengths that fit under six overarching virtues that almost every culture across the world endorses: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Using a Strength will leave you feeling good!

To diagnose your Signature Strengths, complete the on-line ‘VIA Survey of Character Strengths’ (under ‘Engagement Questionnaires’). Go to


The SCARF model is a brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others. Drawing on recent understandings of neuroscience, it encompasses five domains of human social experience: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.

This model recently helped a team I was working with build awareness of themselves and their colleagues, especially in relation to responding to change. Being able to identify and label these drivers helped the team build conscious understanding of what was until then unconscious processing.

After completing the assessment you will receive an email summary of each domain, and its importance to you.

3. Saboteur Assessment

According to the tool’s creator Shirzad Chamine, Saboteurs start off as our guardians to ‘help us survive the real and imagined threats to our physical and emotional survival as children’. Unfortunately, by the time we are adults and no longer need these Saboteurs, ‘they have become invisible inhabitants of our mind’.

Take the assessment at and you will receive a comprehensive report explaining the 10 universal Saboteurs, summarising your results, and suggesting ways to use the information.

My biggest Saboteur turns out to be ‘Restless’. What’s yours?

Awareness itself is not particularly useful – knowing isn’t doing! What’s one action you could take today that will progress you from insight to action?

Have an Extraordinary day


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