There are currently over 6,000 assessments for both personal and professional use—with so many assessments out there, why would we want to add yet another assessment to the list? Ours is a bit different. Let us show you what makes the ECHO Listening Assessment unique.
What is the ECHO Listening Assessment?
The ECHO Listening Assessment is a scientifically validated, statistically reliable survey that identifies an individual’s personal listening style in the workplace. This ten-minute survey measures how individuals listen to, filter, and interpret what they hear, and how that interpretation affects how they communicate with those around them. In short, ECHO is the first cognitive-based listening assessment that enables organizations to quickly understand the listening styles and corresponding behaviors of their teams, individual employees, and future hires.
Each of us actively listens for certain types of information while filtering out other, also important, information. There are four main styles of listening —Connective, Conceptual, Analytical, and Reflective—and we each employ a unique combination of the four. We may listen primarily through only one style (we call this single-dominant), or we may be dual-dominant, or triple-dominant, or we may even be non-dominant, but we all utilize each listening style to some extent. Our unique blend of listening preferences will determine which of the 41 profiles will be assigned to us after taking the assessment. Since listening is one half of communication, understanding how we listen allows for us to improve our communication overall—more on this later.
One common misconception that seems to be ubiquitous about listening is that someone is either a "good" or a "bad" listener. When we tell our clients we study listening, many of them will readily admit, “oh, yeah...I’m not a good listener at all.” But this good/bad dichotomy is really a false premise. It’s really more about what we’re paying attention to. Our own listening styles are ingrained through habit, and when we become aware of our habitual listening filters, this will give us an opportunity to examine our blind spots and start listening for—and recognizing—a wider range of input. We can also begin to identify and speak to other people’s listening preferences, further elevating the quality of communication.
Usually, the way we speak becomes a reflection of the way we listen. To illustrate, imagine a situation where an individual who is dominantly Connective (i.e. focused on how information will affect others) discusses upcoming changes within a company with an individual who is dominantly Analytical (i.e. focused on facts, data, and practicalities). The Connective listener will have a lot to say about how these changes will affect other people in the company, the dynamics of their teams, and the impact on their clients. These are important considerations, but the Analytical listener will be much more interested to hear how the budget will change, the effect on the timeline, and other relevant data, and may therefore walk away frustrated. The Connective listener, in turn, may wonder why this person seems so uninterested. Now imagine that these individuals, through the help of the ECHO Listening Assessment, had greater understanding of their own listening styles so they could make shifts in their listening (and speaking) to best meet the needs of the situation. This greater awareness is what we call Listening Intelligence. The Connective listener can work on giving more objective information, and the Analytical listener can modify their listening style to better process (and even appreciate) the connective information. This is a very simplified example, but you get the point. In a world of such cognitive diversity, we’re all needing to meet each other “half way.”
In short the purpose of the ECHO Listening Assessment and Profile is to help individuals understand what they habitually listen to and for, and how to better communicate with other people who listen differently. We have found that this understanding can change and build relationships, develop a better team culture, and even have a dramatic impact on the bottom line, especially from a sales .
Now let's dive into why the ECHO Listening Assessment is different.
Focused on Changeable Habits
One of the biggest differences that sets the ECHO Listening Assessment apart from other personal and professional assessments is that the ECHO Listening Assessment is testing a habitual activity instead of hardwired traits. Yes, listening is a habit. We all listen slightly (or significantly) differently, which then affects how we communicate with others and contribute to our teams.
While many popular assessments are testing for traits such as personality—which is hardwired and cannot be easily changed—listening is fluid. Our listening habits change depending on the situation we are in, who our audience is, and who we are listening to. We can even purposely change our listening habits by recognizing when we’re listening in a habitual way, and then decide to make a conscious shift. Even though changing a habit can be difficult at first, we provide individuals the necessary knowledge, practice, and support to create new and more advantageous listening habits.
Validity is a major question when it comes to any assessment on the market today. There is also a wide range of validity from assessment to assessment. Some are statistically validated by third parties and universities, while others have not done any validity testing to prove that their tool is even accurate.
The ECHO Listening Assessment has passed rigorous validity testing through research conducted by experts at the University of Mississippi and The University of Kent. While there are a few listening assessments out there used in academic research and psychological studies, we are proud to be the first company to introduce a listening assessment validated for use in the workplace..
Short, but Powerful
Longer does not necessarily mean more accurate. There are plenty of assessments out there that require an hour or more to complete, but there are now validated ways to gather more information in fewer questions through ipsative or “forced-ranking” question-items as used by ECHO.
One thing that many people are surprised by is the length of the ECHO Listening Assessment. It is a ten question assessment that typically only takes about 10 minutes to complete. Despite the length of the assessment, however, the vast majority of our clients report that their resulting ECHO Listening Profile is hauntingly accurate.
This ECHO Listening Profile is where we get into the actionable pieces of what we listen to and for, strengths that we have, potential challenges that we should be aware of, and even how to best communicate with others who have different listening habits.
After taking the ECHO Listening Assessment, you will be delivered a custom ECHO Listening Profile that offers a full overview of the ECHO listening model, then dives into further detail about your specific listening habits along with immediately actionable customized advice on enhancing the quality of your communication exchanges with others. While some assessments tell you who you are and leave it at that, the ECHO Listening Assessment focuses on not only identifying your personal habits, but also how they can be changed depending on the situation or audience.
View our Teach For America case study and how one ECHO Listening Profile made a $10,000 difference.
When our founder, Dana Dupuis, set out to make ECHO Listening Intelligence, she was focused on elevating communication throughout organizations and sales teams to move businesses forward. Since ECHO’s inception, we have learned an incredible amount about the importance of listening at work, and we’re always learning more everyday. Thanks for reading.
Do you know what your Listening Profile is? We invite you to take the ECHO Listening Assessment for yourself!