Get Started With Mind Tools

Test Your Skills!

Find the tools that will help you most!

© iStockphoto/AndrewJohnson

On this site, you can learn the essential skills you need to be an exceptional leader, a valued team member, and an outstanding contributor in the workplace.

But, with more than 900 skills available, which ones will make the biggest difference for you?

Find out with this five-minute quiz!

Test Your Skills and Find the Resources That Will Help You Most

Instructions:

For each statement, click the button in the column that best describes you. Please answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be), and don't worry if some questions seem to score 'in the wrong direction'. When you are finished, please click the 'Calculate My Total' button at the bottom of the test.

   15 Statements to Answer

Not
at All
Rarely Some
times
Often Very
Often
1 I routinely set realistic goals for myself, and I track my progress until I've reached them.
2 When I have to make a decision, I pick the first good solution I find.
3 I approach life with confidence, and I have high self esteem.
4 When it comes to managing my workload, I know my priorities.
5 Team development is an area I admit to cutting back on when time and resources are limited.
6 I lose time during the day because I'm not sure what I need to get done.
7 When I want to motivate people, I try to use the same approach with each person.
8 The work I do on a daily basis reflects my values, and is consistent with the goals I've set for myself.
9 I'm able to communicate my needs, and I make sure that my message is heard and understood.
10 When I encounter a problem, I immediately begin looking for potential solutions.
11 When there's conflict, I use my communication skills to find solutions and work things through.
12 I'm aware of the differences between leadership and management.
13 When discussing an issue with someone, I try to stay one step ahead in the conversation, and I actively think about what I'm going to say next.
14 When I encounter a setback, I have difficulty focusing on the situation positively and objectively.
15 I'm motivated to complete all of my work in a timely manner.
Calculate My Total
Total = 0

Now, use your scores in the following five areas to decide where to start building your skills. (Tip: Concentrate on the lowest scoring areas!)

Leadership and Management (Questions 5, 7, 12)

Whether you're in a formal leadership position or not, you need good leadership and management skills if you're going to make best use of the opportunities open to you. (After all, you can get much, much more done when you have the help of other people.) The good news is that you can learn how to lead and manage effectively!

Although there is some crossover between leadership and management, they are essentially two different skill sets. Find out what makes a great leader in our article and video that answers the question, "What is Leadership?  " Then discover the key skills needed to manage a team in our guide to Team Management Skills  .

You'll also find it helpful to take our two self-tests: How Good Are Your Leadership Skills?  , and How Good Are Your Management Skills?  . Plus, you need to know how to motivate people effectively   and build a great team  .

Problem Solving and Decision Making (Questions 2, 10, 14)

Problem solving and decision making are two areas where you'll need to excel to be a success in your career. (Together with people skills, they're what make up "good judgment" and "wisdom.") Like leadership and management, these two areas are closely related.

The first step in effective problem solving is identifying and understanding the cause of the problem. Tools such as Root Cause Analysis  , the 5 Whys technique  , and CATWOE   are essential at this stage. There are also other great tools and techniques that you can use, depending on the type of problem you face - our How Good is Your Problem Solving?   self-test will test your skills, and help you identify where you can improve.

Once you fully understand your problem, you can choose the best option – that is, make the best decision. However, this is harder than it sounds, so you'll need to arm yourself with a variety of decision making tools.

Start by assessing your skills in our decision making quiz  . As part of this, you'll learn about the key stages in the decision making process, including deciding between options (where tools such as Decision Matrix Analysis   and Paired Comparison Analysis   are useful) and deciding whether to go ahead (where you need to use tools such as Impact Analysis  , Risk Analysis  , and Cost/Benefit Analysis  ).

Communication Skills (Questions 9, 11, 13)

The ability to communicate clearly is key to your success, whatever role you're in.

If you want to improve your communication skills, start by taking our communication skills   quiz. Also, make sure that you know how to plan your communications   effectively.

Active listening   is a very important communication skill. This is when you focus on the other person, and you make sure that you understand exactly what he or she is trying to say. Conflict resolution   and negotiation   are other areas that you'll need to work on to be a great communicator.

You'll find a huge amount more on communication in the Communication Skills section of this website.

Time Management (Questions 1, 4, 6, 15)

Time management is one of the most important career skills areas. Not only does it help you to be more productive; you'll also be much less stressed!

To manage your time better, take our How Good is Your Time Management?   self test. Also, make sure that you know how to prioritize   and schedule   your time effectively.

It's also important that you avoid procrastination   - this is when you put off tasks and activities that you should be focusing on right now.

Personal Mastery (Questions 1, 3, 8, 14)

When you know how to "lead yourself" and make good choices for your future, you'll be that much further ahead when it comes to the other skills areas that we've already looked at.

Start by setting personal goals  , using the principles of SMART   to accomplish these. As part of this exercise, analyze your strengths  , and make sure that you understand the values   that you hold.

No matter how positive you feel now, it's also important to learn how to deal with negative thinking  . From there, you can build on your self confidence   and self esteem   until you can achieve goals that really matter.

This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Click here for more, subscribe to our free newsletter, or become a member for just $1.

Add this article to My Learning Plan

Comments (34)
  • Midgie wrote This month
    Hi Thehayes2003, DannyRubianes and Nae,
    I hope you found the quiz insightful and given you some good food for thought to consideration. When you look at your scores, any thoughts about focusing and developing certain areas?

    Midgie
  • Nae wrote This month
    I would have to agree with Danny on this one it does have you wondering if you are a leader or a follower
  • DannyRubianes wrote This month
    It is interesting how this quiz tells you how you are as a person. Its like it tells you if you are a leader or a follower.
  • thehayes2003 wrote This month
    Hopefully life will become more manageable .would like to become a lot better
  • Midgie wrote This month
    Hi Marilyn, Hi Stephen,
    Glad you both found the quiz of interest and helpful with pointing you towards additional resources to help build your skills. If you have any questions as you progress with your learning, just let us know and we'll be happy to help.
    Midgie
  • Allieu34_ wrote This month
    I look froward with excitement to start using the various tools you have put together to enhance my career,management and leadership skills,and i'm hoping to see the difference not too long from now.Thank you once again for your resources. Stephen.
  • Marilyn0815 wrote This month
    I scored a calculated total of 54, I don't agree with the Time Management questions score 16 out of 20 and Personal Mastery , 16 out of 20. I think I should have scored a much higher score. Overall, the results were truthful and did identify and the explanations were very informative and I learned a lot about myself and how to become better at each mind tool.

    Marilyn H. ~
  • Yolande wrote Over a month ago
    Hi inderonline

    A very warm welcome to the Club and thanks for your comment. Everybody has unique needs when it comes to the reasons they join the Club - and the reasons are what will determine where you go to from here.

    If you want to, you can go to the Welcome forum and tell us more about why you joined and what you'd like to learn. From there we can give you some guidance with regard to the toolkit and specific articles. http://www.mindtools.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=12

    Looking forward to 'see' you around!

    Yolandé
  • inderonline wrote Over a month ago
    Day before yesterday joined the mindtool club. Really thank full to mind tool for getting started but the problem is to from where to start.As no one is perfect and there is Always scope of improvement in all the fields
  • Yolande wrote Over a month ago
    Hi christy0212

    A very warm welcome to the Mind Tools Club and to the forums too. Many thanks for your kind words - we really appreciate it.

    We're also excited for you to be starting off in a new career direction. With new positions come new challenges - but also new learning opportunities and in the end we write those things on our CV's under 'experience'.

    I thought you may be interested in our Learning Stream called 'Mindset for Success'. The link is: http://www.mindtools.com/community/LearningStreams/MindsetForSuccess.php

    If you'd like to get input on challenges or share ideas, please feel free to do so on one of the forums such as Career Cafe Central - that is where we all help and learn from one another.

    christy0212, if you need any help around the forums, please don't hesitate to let me know; part of my role here is to help our members get maximum benefit from the Club.

    Kind regards
    Yolandé
Show all comments

Where to go from here:

Join the Mind Tools Club

Click to join Mind Tools
Printer-friendly version
Return to the top of the page

Create a Login to Save Your Learning Plan

This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.


Connect with…

Or create a Mind Tools login. Existing user? Log in here.
Log in with your existing Mind Tools details
Lost Username or Password
You are now logged in…

Lost username or password?

Please enter your username or email address and we'll send you a reminder.

Thank You!

Your log in details have been sent to the email account you registered with. Please check your email to reset your login details.

Create a Mind Tools Login
Your plan has been created.

While you're here, subscribe to our FREE newsletter?

Learn a new career skill every week, and get our Personal Development Plan workbook (worth $19.99) when you subscribe.


Thank You!

Please check your Inbox, and click on the link in the email from us. We can then send you the newsletter.