How to Measure Awareness

February 6, 2020 Evan Theys

Awareness is a key attribute when managing others or working in a team. But how can this personality trait be measured in candidates and employees? 

talent assessment measuring awareness


Awareness is a key attribute to have when managing people, working as part of a team or interacting with others. As such, it means most people can benefit from an awareness of themselves and their impact on others. Those high on Awareness are likely to seek out feedback from others and have insight into their strengths and weaknesses. Yet, for those without a strong awareness of themselves and their impact on others, the benefit can be one acting freely and without concerns of what people think.

Such an important characteristic can be hard to spot in an interview situation. How can you, as a hiring manager, measure a candidate’s awareness?

Our ADEPT-15® personality model covers 15 aspects of personality – and one of these is Awareness. The model is arranged into six broad workstyles, which are grouped into two styles; the Performance Style which covers the motivations, preferences and attitudes to work and the Communal Style which looks at how people work with others.  

The Awareness dimension (along with Composure and Positivity) forms part of the Emotional workstyle within the Communal Style.

How is Awareness Seen in Behavior?

Awareness measures how an individual understands their impact on others as well as their own strengths and weaknesses. As with all personality characteristics, a score in either direction on the dimension has both potential positive points to leverage – and potential areas to watch-out for.

The Leverage Points

Those scoring high on Awareness are likely to:

  • Understand how their behaviour impacts others.
  • Understand their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Actively seek feedback.

Those scoring low on Awareness tend to:

  • Act free from concerns about what others think.
  • Insulate themselves against unfair, inaccurate or harsh criticism.

The Watch-Outs

High-scorers on Awareness tend to be:

  • Overly impacted by unfair, inaccurate or harsh criticism.
  • Overly concerned at times with what others think.

For the low-scorers on Awareness, they are likely:

  • Not to actively seek feedback.
  • To lack the knowledge of their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Not to consider how their behaviour impacts other people. 

The Role of Awareness in the Workplace

By understanding how aware a person is of their own strengths, weaknesses and impact on others, we will be able to understand how they may work alongside others or manage other people. 

Develops Oneself

Those with high Awareness scores are highly self-reflective and actively seek feedback from those around them. As a result, it is likely that they possess a strong understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, which serves as the foundation for future development.

Communicate with Impact

Because those with high Awareness reflect upon their approach and behavior regularly, they are more likely to proactively check to ensure their communications are received and understood in the manner intended. Further, by having a clear understanding of how their communications can impact others, those high in Awareness are well equipped to tailor their messaging to connect with a wider audience.

Adapts to Individual Differences

Those high on Awareness have a deep understanding of how their behavior impacts others and consistently engage in reflection. As a result, they are better equipped to identify and understand when they need to tailor their behavior to better engage and work with others around them.

Develops Transparent and Trusting Relationships

Individuals with higher levels of Awareness typically operate transparently, make their shortcomings or limitations known to others, and frequently ask for feedback. These behaviors are likely to be perceived by colleagues as endearing and are foundational components to build strong relationships based upon mutual trust.

Compensating for an Individual's Score on the Awareness Dimension

We have looked at how Awareness as a single construct is conveyed in behavior at work, and how there are both positives and negatives to this trait. But how can a person’s other characteristics shape how the they behave?

When Awareness scores are low, we need to look at other scales:

  • Higher Cooperativeness, Humility, and Sensitivity can help ensure low scorers behave in a socially appropriate manner. Additionally, higher scores on Mastery will ensure low scorers are constantly trying to improve, which can mitigate a lack of desire to seek feedback.

When an individual has a high score on the Awareness dimension, you may like to look elsewhere in the profile for:

  • Higher Positivity and Composure can help mitigate high scorers’ tendency to being hypersensitive to critical feedback, especially if it is off-base. Further, moderate levels of Humility will help ensure high scorers are not overly self-critical.

For more about assessing the level of awareness that your candidates and employees have, take a look at our personality questionnaire ADEPT-15®.

 

About ADEPT-15®

ADEPT-15® is the most advanced, secure, and award-winning* personality test available. With over 50 years of personality, leadership, and psychometric research combined with an adaptive approach to assessment design, ADEPT-15® measures 15 personality traits critical to successful workplace performance. It looks at our preferences, work styles, and tendencies as well as what gives us energy and our possible blind spots. It indicates our strengths and areas for development as well as the leadership style we may use, and how others may see us.

*M. Scott Myers Award for Applied Research & International Personnel Assessment Council Innovations in Assessment Award

About the Author

Evan Theys

Evan serves as the leader for Aon's Assessment Solutions Product Development team in North America. In this role, he manages and supports the development of innovative, forward-thinking assessment solutions, and partners with leaders across Aon to develop the strategy for the global products portfolio as well as bringing new products to market.

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