Ascendis Blog

How Talent Assessments Help Optimize Individual Development

It is often said that great leaders know how to manage different people’s strengths and weaknesses to maximize their employees’ potential and productivity. 

It is also often said that you can’t manage what you can’t measure, and therein lies the purpose behind personality and talent assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Gallup’s CliftonStrengths

Both assessments aim to classify and understand how an individual takes in information, processes it, and then communicates it back out. By assessing and analyzing these tendencies, a manager can adapt their management style to meet individual needs, while an employee can better understand their own tendencies and work better both individually and with others.

These assessments are widely adopted by organizations and share similarities, but there are some notable distinctions to consider when determining which is best for you or your organization.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

While MBTI is considered a personality assessment, the insights it reveals can be actionable and useful if understood and applied correctly. Based on Carl Jung’s theory of conscious psychological type, the MBTI instrument is an introspective questionnaire designed to classify individuals into one of 16 main categories of how they perceive themselves and others, and how they make decisions. 

By taking this personality assessment, an individual might experience increased self-awareness, improved relationships with co-workers and managers, better communication practices, and increased empathy. Managers can also use the results to adjust their management approach to better serve their employees and achieve optimal outcomes.


Another psychological instrument, the CliftonStrengths assessment uses a series of 177 paired statements to dynamically categorize an individual into one of 34 talent themes, within one of four domains: Strategic Thinking, Executing, Influencing and Relationship Building.

With this more complex analytical framework, CliftonStrengths returns a more comprehensive report on the pros, cons, implications and recommendations related to each classification. Each theme includes a portrayal of the tradeoffs associated with it, which lends itself well to the idea that there is no single “correct” theme, but rather that the best teams feature a diverse blend of individual styles and strengths.

Both assessments support the idea that knowing ourselves better will help us learn better and maximize our performance on teams. MBTI is a simple but insightful tool for understanding key personality traits, while CliftonStrengths is a more complex, lengthy assessment that generates a more detailed and actionable report to help optimize individual development.

To learn more, contact the Ascendis Leadership Academy to take the Organizational Leadership Skills Profile. Please contact Sue Drake at for an overview of the Profile and ways in which it may be used in your organization.