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Here at Mind Tools, 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 hundreds of 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


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.

Your last quiz results are shown.

You last completed this quiz on , at .

15 Statements to Answer

Not at All Rarely Sometimes 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.
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.)

Personal Mastery

(Questions 3, 8)

Your score is 0 out of 0  

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.

Time Management

(Questions 1, 4, 6, 15)

Your score is 0 out of 0  

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.

Communication Skills

(Questions 9, 11, 13)

Your score is 0 out of 0  

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.

Problem Solving and Decision Making

(Questions 2, 10, 14)

Your score is 0 out of 0  

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  ).

Leadership and Management

(Questions 5, 7, 12)

Your score is 0 out of 0  

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  .

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.

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Comments (78)
  • MichaelP wrote This week
    dinner mints, hi in the forums there is a specifically a goal tracking thread for interactive accountability and support sessions. To the point you raise about non-profits I am sure we have many members and I also collaborate with a few such organizations. To me the people and communication skills all apply and the 'business' strategy and organizational tools are all valid with or without profit being an objective. Please share your goals in the forums - cheers
  • dinnermints wrote This week
    Also, Mind Tools seems very business-oriented - are there other participants who work for nonprofits?
  • dinnermints wrote This week
    I think one thing that might motivate me to accomplish some of the things I know I'm weak on (e.g. goal-setting) would be accountability. Do other participants ever team up on the forum or elsewhere on the site as accountability buddies of sorts?
  • Midgie wrote This week
    Hi Michael,
    Your answers correspond to different skill areas that you might consider looking at and further developing. We've included lots of links to related articles that can help.

    Hope that helps you find your way and to further develop your skills.
    Mind Tools Team
  • Michael wrote This week
    This says I got a 30. What does that mean?
  • DB3535 wrote This month
    I am excited about the many tools available on your site.
    I am an instructor who consistently butts heads with management. I teach hands-on training to electricians & technicians that come from Company's and have various levels of experience and education. Some students work on equipment that has 1980's technology while others work on equipment with the latest technology.
    My management has no technical background, they are penny counters. The issue that I am having with management is that they whole-heartedly believe that each class can and should be presented the same way, (even between different instructors).
    Keep in mind, I teach open-enrollment classes with students from all over the USA and overseas.
    I am blue in the face trying to make them understand that each class is unique. A specific (legitimate) question from "one" student can move the class in a different direction. The students question is is relevant, but not part of the "course material".
    Then the next time I teach the class I have different students with different equipment, different experiences, and different questions.
    I hope that spending some time on your website will help me understand how to handle this ongoing problem.
    Is my thinking flawed or is management asking for the impossible?
  • natalie68 wrote This month
    I found this test extremely helpful to keep focused on getting started on my journey.
  • Michele wrote This month
    Hi oalhabsi,

    I am glad to hear that you found the skills test helpful.

    Which areas do you plan to focus on first?

    Please come back and share your plans with us in the forums.


  • oalhabsi wrote This month
    I found it useful to set up a starting point as a member in mind tool
  • Emma wrote This month
    I got a 54 in this mind tool. I need to set my priorities first. By during this my entire situation will change. Using time to work for me instead of against, will increase my goals.

    This is not the way I wanted to start this class.
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