IPSAT – A Detailed Overview
The most important thing you need to understand about the Identity Profile Self-Awareness Tool (IPSAT) is that it is not a new assessment. The IPSAT is a process we’ve designed to help people gain the maximum value from some existing assessments.
Here’s why that’s important. It’s difficult to find a person who has graduated from college who hasn’t engaged with at least one resource designed to help them better understand themselves. It’s just about as hard to find someone who can say with confidence they are benefiting in practical ways today from what they learned about themselves from those assessments.
If you dig a little deeper, people almost never say the reason they aren’t practically benefiting from assessments they’ve take in the past is because they disagreed with the results. It’s because they don’t even remember the results.
The IPSAT is a process designed to help people gain the maximum value from a journey of self-awareness.
The three primary differentiators of the IPSAT process are:
- An Identity Profile Exercise
- A Self-Awareness Exercise, and
- A Self Authoring Exercise
The Identity Profile is a label we use to describe the unique combination of personality, strengths, skills, spiritual gifts and passions. We believe it is important to think about your identity profile in a holistic way, understanding how each of these components work together to make you who you are. Too often people think of these aspects of their identity separately, as if they were in different silos.
A metaphor we’ve found helpful is the chemistry of identity, where you imagine the components of your identity profile as test tubes that are poured into the beaker of your life where they organic-ally combine to form your unique identity molecule. The reason you have this unique identity is because God knew you would need it along with the power of the Holy Spirit to do the good works God prepared in advance for you.
One of the reasons people don’t benefit from assessments over time is because they view these resources as ends in themselves instead of a means to a greater end. This has been referred to as the “inoculation effect,” where people take an assessment, look at the results, say “Hmm, this is a reasonably accurate representation of me,” and then as if they had been inoculated from a disease, they set the information aside and hardly think about it again.
The Identity Profile Exercise is part of the IPSAT onboarding platform that walks a user through engaging with five pre-IPSAT assessments designed to help them understand each of the five components of their identity:
- Personality – Engaged through the lens of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator using a widely accepted, free test (16personalities.com/free-personality-test)
- Strengths – From the perspective of CliftonStrengths ($20 assessment or $16 book/assessment: Living Your Strengths)
- Skills – Based on the Leadership Skills Inventory – taken directly during onboarding process
- Spiritual Gifts – bloomingdalechurch.org/myfit includes a free spiritual gifts assessment
- Passions – Measured using MyPassionProfile.com – included in IPSAT fee
Users don’t have to retake assessments they have already completed, and they don’t have to do this all at once. They can logout and return every few days or over a few weeks depending on their schedule.
The Self Awareness Exercise is simply responding to 25 statements that are designed to guide IPSAT users into a much deeper and more practical level of reflection on how well they understand their identity and reinforce the idea that the pre-IPSAT assessments are a means to a bigger end.
The response to these 25 statements is what produces a score out of 100 and puts the user in one of four stages of identity self-awareness. We are very open about the fact that the score can be helpful, but it is not the most meaningful part of the process.
The most important part of our process is the Self Authoring Exercise. “Self Authoring” is a label we borrowed from the research of two psychologists, one from the University of Toronto, the other from the university of Texas. In a nutshell what their research shows is that writing about yourself, especially when the subject matter is important, actually changes where your brain stores the information and how you feel about it.
The self-authoring exercise in the IPSAT process guides the user through writing five identity statements. The metaphor we’ve found helpful is to think of self authoring like you were a translator responsible for capturing the most important information about yourself from the five pre-IPSAT assessment reports and translating the generalized computer generated language into personalized statements that are meaningful to you and helpful for the people around you.
- The first of the five self-authored statements is an identity overview statement. This is 100 words or less explaining what happens when the five components of your identity work together in your life. This is a description of you at your best.
- The second is what we call a best contribution statement. This is 50 words or less that explains how you can add the most value to others and make your best contribution to a team.
- The third is a developmental priority statement. This is 50 words or less explaining what part of your identity you need to develop the most now.
- The fourth is a potential derailer statement. This is 50 words or less explaining how your identity predisposes you to self-defeating behaviors that could sabotage relationships or derail your influence with others.
- The fifth is a vulnerable settings statement. This is 50 words or less explaining the situations or environments in which your potential derailers are even more likely to surface.
We think if you know how your identity could work against you and where or when it is most likely to happen you’ll be better positioned to design a mitigation strategy.
After completing the IPSAT users have a 75-minute virtual conversation with an IPSAT coach to process more deeply what they’ve learned and how to apply it with a focus on the following three specific outcomes:
- First, we believe the IPSAT experience gives people confidence and clarity about how they can add value to others and make their best contribution to a team.
- Second, it will help them prioritize where they need to grow the most now.
- And third, it will reveal the self-defeating behaviors that could sabotage relationships or derail their influence.