Want to create lasting behavior change? Stop only assessing behaviors, and start assessing mindsets

Jen Spring
August, 2021

by Jen Spring

Many organizations invest large sums in assessments and training programs, but too often, employees revert to their previous ways. This occurs because the initial assessment and resulting intervention targeted the symptom (behavior), rather than the root cause (mindset), of a performance gap. So, how can an organization create long-lasting, business-improving behavioral change?


Assessments should expose the subliminal thoughts, feelings, assumptions, and beliefs that drive an employee’s current performance, or that may obstruct their full potential. Only then can assessors accurately design interventions that shift mindsets, and therefore behaviors, for the better. Here are three instances of how your organization can use this approach.

From individual insight to customized coaching

Oftentimes, excellent salespeople-turned-sales managers struggle to share their wisdom and drive peak performance from their teammates. Why? Because their individual insights into the art of selling are not universal.

No one skillset nor tried-and-true script makes a great seller. Rather, successful salespeople have a certain belief system that drives their curiosity towards customers, reactions to rejection, and general stamina. A simple shift in any of these mindsets can transform a sales team.

So, how do you implement this within your own team? Start by leveraging a mindset assessment that identifies the beliefs, values, and experiences currently at play. Then, follow up with a behavior-changing tool, such as personalized coaching, to help team members shift to mindsets that cement learning and ensure long-term behavior change.

Mindset shifts in multitudes

Pod coaching, also known as small-group coaching, is another way to leverage mindset assessments. Mindset assessments can be deployed at scale to provide cohort-level data, helping you select the key mindsets that need to change within a larger community.

For example, a leading multinational energy organization leveraged mindset assessments to map out a pod-coaching journey for its teams. The organization assessed 80 employees, identifying and creating customized coaching content to address the group’s most-needed mindset shifts. As a result, the journey was highly relevant to the teams’ most critical needs.

Some organizations have adopted cloud-based, self-paced individual learning journeys, the design of which is informed by mindset assessments. These mindset assessments identify individuals’ most beneficial shifts, which are then incorporated into their individually-personalized learning journeys.

Armed with this data, organizations can prioritize the shifts they see as critical for their people’s development today and save the shifts that will be more impactful in the future for a later date. The result is an ongoing personalized journey that grows with employees.

To ensure that your people’s default behaviors are the right ones for your organization, consider using mindset-evaluation assessments rather than behavior assessments. Mindset assessments allow you to identify and address the root cause of your peoples’ existing beliefs, shift them to ones that are aligned to your organization’s values, and structure a sustainable future for your organization.

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