Professional Development

The Effective Use of Quality Assessments

Karima Mariama-ArthurWashington, DC (USA), November 2017 - Karima Mariama-Arthur is founder and CEO of Wordsmith Rapport™, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development and strategic corporate advisory services. An internationally recognized expert in cutting-edge adult education and complex consulting, she brings more than two decades of comprehensive, blue-chip experience in law, business, and academia to the field of professional development. In Session DAT 08, 07 December from 12.00 to 13.15, she will explain her concept of "Mastering Emotional Intelligence and Boosting Leadership Success".

What is the difference between contemporary "Quality Assessments" and assessments as they were performed in the past?

Karima Mariama-Arthur: Naturally, most "Quality Assessments", have evolved over time with research and advances in technology, along with changes in organizational dynamics and the overall need. One difference of note, however, is that QAs have recently increased in recognition, acceptance, and accessibility, providing more tangible and, perhaps, even more useful benchmarks for analysis across industries and specialized disciplines.


What is the basis of Quality Assessments’ greater informative value?

Karima Mariama-Arthur: The general purpose behind any QA is to provide unique value to the individual or organization seeking the specialized data. More precisely, however, this “value” usually exists in quality assurance and quality control to ensure the accuracy, validity, and reliability of the data, process, or design methodology, so that systematic errors and biases do not skew results. That said, QAs are used to quantitatively and qualitatively identify, audit, and evaluate data where there is a need to understand success and failure, and explore next practices in order to achieve desired outcomes.


What role does emotional intelligence play and how is this manifested?

Karima Mariama-Arthur: Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to perceive and influence your own emotions, as well as those of others.  It is not innate and can be learned and developed with practice over time. Research indicates that while IQ and technical expertise are critical factors in determining professional success, EQ may be equally, if not more, important. Moreover, EQ is particularly significant to effective leadership, providing the emotional acuity to manage human relationships, leverage expertise, and influence and enhance one’s overall effectiveness.

The Center for Creative Leadership found that a lack of emotional intelligence—specifically difficulty handling change, working with others, and managing interpersonal relationships—is one of the primary causes of executive derailment. For these reasons and more, EQ is such an important aspect of the work that I do, especially in the context of advising executives on how to overcome performance challenges that interfere with their ability learn, grow, and make greater and more impactful contributions within their industries.

Of course there is a relevant connection between QAs and EQ. It’s important to note, however, that EQ measures vary in both content and methodology and that "Quality Assessments" focused on capturing key EQ data are generally used to measure emotional competency in five core areas: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation, and social skills. Widely regarded EQ measures as specified by the "Journal of Organizational Behavior" include the Emotional Competence Inventory, Emotional Quotient Inventory, Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale, and the Mayer-Salovey-Carso Emotional Intelligence Test. They tend to fall into one of three categories: a self-report personality-based approach, an informant approach, or an ability-based assessment procedure.


In which contexts are "Quality Assessments" being deployed?

Karima Mariama-Arthur: "Quality Assessments" can and are being deployed in any number of contexts, depending on the purpose and goals of the organization or individual seeking to capture and evaluate the results. In my work, while I see QAs used in various settings, some of the most relevant occur in the contexts of professional development and human capital growth initiatives. 

For example, they are used where there is a need to understand and improve emotional intelligence as a core skill set for individuals throughout an organization’s hierarchy. There may be many reasons for this, including future-proofing the workforce, along with targeted development for high performers and high potentials, against the backdrop of a more nuanced and comprehensive human resource recruitment and retention strategy.