Trait Questionnaire- a quick assessment

Are you looking to identify leadership characteristics within your organization?  Are you trying to identify whether your leaders match up to what you are looking for?  You are not alone!  That seems to be the hot question- How do I measure my leaders’ abilities to be a leader?  Or better yet- how do I assess the leaders that I already have in place?  The answer- there are a lot of ways to measure their leadership abilities, traits, characteristics, and the culture that they are creating for you.  I am going to be posting over the next week quite a few tools that you can use to assess your leaders by looking through multiple lenses.  Please look deeply into WHY you are doing these quick and easy assessments and what you hope to gain from doing this.


The attached questionnaire is the trait questionnaire (Northouse, 2010).  The reason you would want to to execute this survey is to obtain a 360 degree look at your leaders and to identify if your leaders see themselves as others see them.  So it will help you to identify how self-aware your leaders are.

Here’s the process…

1. Distribute the questionnaire to your leaders. You can give this questionnaire to other leaders to ask them to complete it for each other – or you can give it to your leaders’ employees and ask them to complete it about their leader.

2. The goal is to identify how closely the scores match each other in terms of how the leader ranks him/herself on each of the atrributes listed as compared to the average of how the other people rated that leader.  It would NOT be good to see that a leader ranked him/herself all 5’s, and then to see that others who work with or work for that person ranked them 2’s or 3’s. The ultimate goal is to have consistent (BUT HONEST AND GENUINE) answers.

3. Now it’s time to open up the dialogue.  Why did people score this leader low or why did the leader score himself low but the employees score him high?  What behaviors were they all thinking of?  What instances came to mind when you were considering the characteristics?

You want people to take this seriously and you want to accomplish something out of doing this exercise.  It is an opportunity for leaders to reflect on themselves, an opportunity for others to think about that leader and then an opportunity to open up the dialogue in a healthy and transparent way.

Don’t focus on the result of getting all 5’s.  Focus on the process of leaders and employees thinking about leadership and how they feel about their leadership.  Focus on the authentic conversations that you want to create within your organization.

Trait Questionnaire

Do I think about myself in the same way that others think about me? 

Northouse, P. G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice. (5th ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


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3 Responses to Trait Questionnaire- a quick assessment

  1. kimberly October 19, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Thanks for your question, Alicia. I apologize for not checking to make sure the upload of the document worked for viewers! Here it is in the post!

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