Examples of the harrison assessment:
Two part case study
Charity Sector Manager: a testimonial & reflections
After an organisational reshuffle I found myself with a new line manager and very soon it was obvious that we had a less than productive relationship. Concerned that I was the cause of our difficulties, I decided to take up the offer, from my former line manager, of support from a business coach to help me “sort myself out” to repair the poor relationship developing between me and my new line manager, because our problems seemed to be spilling over into my wider team.
Convinced that the faults were mine and questioning whether I had the skills to do my job I was trepidatious when I was introduced to coach, Kelly Milburn.
In the initial meeting she asked what I wanted from the sessions. A seemingly simple question but took a lot of thinking about - I wanted to be the best manager I could be for my team and to have a better, more productive relationship with my new line manager.
We agreed that I undertake a Harrison Assessment, as this would give me a measure of behavioural tendencies, preferences and interests that influence everyday tasks.
I paid attention to my everyday interactions with both my team and my new line manager, considering the nature of the interaction, reflecting on what I expected from those interactions and what I got from them and how that made me feel.
The Harrisons Assessment report blew my mind, as we went through the report the results felt astoundingly accurate, highlighting my good and not so good behaviours. It was uncanny and for a while I started to check rooms for Harrison spy cameras, for example, it showed that while I enjoy reflecting on different ideas and opinions but when under pressure, I may react dogmatically to protect myself from someone with strong opinions. And although I have intentions of self-improvement I am lacking in self-acceptance and am often self-critical and can make things difficult for myself and when under stress can flip and become defensive.
During our sessions we referred to my Harrison Assessment report to explore my behavioural tendencies, and I reflected on finding more productive ways of dealing with situations that went badly for me at the time. This helped me to see that I had many good qualities that I did not employ enough. The questions were at times hard for me to answer, but helped to challenge my imposter syndrome anxieties and every session elicited light bulb moments that gave me a confidence I had not felt for a very long time.
I no longer fight other people’s battles if they could and should seek to resolve their situation themselves. This light bulb moment has improved relationships with colleagues and improved my own mental health and wellbeing.
I have changed my management style from that of parental protectiveness to be a supportive manager and in changing my behaviours towards them has resulted in a more productive, settled, and cohesive team. I ensure that I think about each interaction with the team and when I have to share difficult or challenging information, I write myself a little crib sheet and have, at times, rehearsed it to ensure I am clear and there is no opportunity for misunderstandings. Planning was one of the strengths highlighted by the Harrison Assessment.
When my team increased, I used my Harrison report to inform my plans to onboard the new staff and include them in shaping the new services they would be providing, and it has been relatively painless. As a team we take ownership for our work but understand that we are a team and will support each other when necessary.
Charity Sector Team Manager: a testimonial
The work with Kelly helped me through a very difficult time and has helped me to focus on what I need to do to make me the best manager I can be for my team.
Unlike Mary Poppins I am not saying that I am practically perfect in every way, what I am saying is that I am a work in progress, but Kelly and the Harrison Assessment report help me think about what needs to be done with clarity and using the tools I now have to get on with it all with confidence instead of self-doubt.
I expected that working with Kelly would show that I have a fatal flaw that would explain why I had developed such a poor relationship with my new line manager. What I did not expect was to become anywhere near the good manager I wanted to be, but I am.
There are not enough thank you’ s in the world for her part in my journey. But be warned Kelly has a way of asking a seemingly innocent question that will challenge you to explore all that is good and not so good in the way you work, but it really is worth the effort.