The Conscious Leadership Psychometric: Measuring Burnout, Wellbeing and Performance
We want to share our journey to creating the conscious leader psychometric and all the evidence supporting a more conscious approach to leadership.
Download a PDF version of this Whitepaper
Foreword from Natasha Wallace
I am extremely pleased to share our whitepaper with you, which is the result of a great deal of effort by the project team over the last year.
We set out on a journey a few years ago to demonstrate how being more conscious impacts our ability to stay well and perform in the workplace. Specifically, how paying greater attention to ourselves and others can have a significant and positive impact on our wellbeing as people.
We wanted to help leaders and managers to perform at their best by enabling them to better understand and support themselves. We also wanted to give them the knowledge and tools to enable their teams in an evolving workplace where inclusion, mental health and resilience are central to sustained performance.
We strongly believe that Conscious Leadership is essential in the future of work and in building healthy organisations that sustain performance. When organisations are led in a conscious way, thriving cultures are created, and performance can flow. With such a great focus on culture change over the next couple of years, organisations that place consciousness at the heart of change will yield positive results.
We have been lucky enough to work alongside Gorkan, an academic at University College London, to validate our Conscious Leader model. Our work has proven that through developing ourselves in all areas of Conscious Leadership — growing our levels of consciousness — we can improve our performance, avoid burnout and support our own wellbeing. We can also become better leaders and support others well through greater levels of awareness.
We are incredibly proud to provide leaders and managers with the support they need to do the best job in the challenging environments in which we now all operate. By giving leaders and managers permission to take care of their own needs while learning how to take care of the needs of others, we are confident that the next era of work will be better.
- An introduction to psychometric validation of the Conscious Leadership Measure
- What does the Conscious Leader Psychometric Assessment look like, and how is it used?
Psychometric Testing for Leadership Development
Part 2: How the Conscious Leader Psychometric Relates to Burnout, Wellbeing and Performance Than Other Personality Traits
- Types of personality explained
- The core findings of the Conscious Leader Psychometric
- How to issue feedback to employees from the CL Psychometric Test
Why the Conscious Leader Psychometric Is relevant
How being more conscious benefits you
About The Conscious Leadership Company
Get in touch with The Conscious Leadership Company
Part 1: What Is the Purpose of the Conscious Leader Psychometric?
An Introduction to Psychometric Validation of the Conscious Leadership Measure
The Current Situation…
It’s no surprise that following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than eight in ten leaders (82%) reported exhaustion, indicative of burnout risk. Of those who reported exhaustion, an overwhelming majority (96%) claimed their mental health declined as a result.
Whether you’ve been a leader for three months or twenty years, experiencing depleted energy levels or feeling burnt out affects your wellbeing and performance.
At The Conscious Leadership Company, we are passionate about helping leaders be their best selves. This is why we are disrupting the way leadership development works, using evidence-based tools, content and technology to enable leaders to learn, reflect and track the way they feel continuously. This enables them to do the best possible job — and feel good while doing it.
What Is Conscious Leadership?
Conscious Leadership was born from a need to give leaders the knowledge and awareness to lead themselves and the people around them to thrive in the modern workplace.
Whether you are a leader or manager of people or operate in a position where you have to work effectively with others, the ability to perform more consciously helps us all.
We've developed two innovative technologies to keep “leaders” connected to themselves, their teams, and what they need to stay energised, which is essential for the hybrid world of work. Firstly, there’s the Conscious Leader Psychometric, the scientifically validated tool for sustainable Conscious Leadership. More recently, we’ve launched the Consciously App, designed to be like having a leadership coach in your pocket.
Sustaining performance alongside wellbeing is what we're all about, and our conscious approach makes that possible.
“Leadership has reached a crisis point. Not only are many leaders burned out, but the leadership methods that most of us were taught simply aren't getting the same results in the new world of work. Having now successfully practised Conscious Leadership myself, I firmly believe that it provides the answer to both of these leadership challenges.”
— Stuart Hearn, ex-Head of HR at Sony Music, Founder of Clear Review.
What Is the Conscious Leader Psychometric?
Our psychometric measure is different from other personality concepts (which we’ll explain in part two) and provides essential data about how you can manage performance and wellbeing.
Our Conscious Leadership framework is built around five dimensions:
- Awake — Be awake to self-understanding. Recognise the beliefs driving your behaviour and stay connected to what is happening in and around you.
- Growing — Realise that learning is constant. A growth mindset drives performance; don’t be afraid of failure.
- Resilience — Preserve energy, maintain your mindset and learn to work sustainably.
- Purpose — Act with purpose. Cut through the noise, do work that matters and stay on track.
- Togetherness — Create an environment where everyone feels safe and like they matter. Work inclusively so that everyone can do incredible work.
Specifically, beyond personality, our psychometric assessment provides:
— 46% more information about a person’s potential job satisfaction
— 43% more information about work engagement
— 37% more information about potential performance
— 30% more information about wellbeing
— 19% more information about burnout.
We worked closely with renowned academics from the University College London (UCL) on the scientific validation of our psychometric, proven to be a highly accurate predictor of wellbeing, burnout and performance. It’s unlike any other personality measure on the market.
What Does the Conscious Leader Psychometric Assessment Look like, and How Is It Used?
Put simply, Psychometrics is a field of study that is widely used to assess an individual's knowledge, abilities, skills, educational achievement and personality traits.
Psychometric assessments are a useful tool that can help individuals build self-awareness and help organisations build and develop strong, cohesive, competent teams within the workplace.
There are many benefits to using psychometric assessments:
- Unbiased — This is undoubtedly one of the main reasons validated psychometrics hugely benefit companies. A psychometric assessment is a diagnostic tool that provides well-tested insights that can act as a starting point for development.
- Time and cost-effectiveness — psychometric assessment methods are inexpensive to help with personal development or to help during recruitment and promotion, as they provide personal information and data upon which you can build better quality conversations.
- Team cohesion — Using a psychometric assessment with a team provides a common language and a way of assessing team dynamics, characteristics and culture - as a basis for meaningful behavioural change to be discussed and agreed upon.
The Conscious Leader psychometric assessment will pinpoint which areas of wellbeing and performance you need to improve to develop as individuals and as a team.
Our Conscious Leader Psychometric Research
What were our overall findings of testing the Conscious Leader Psychometric?
Introducing a new leadership concept to the workplace cannot simply be based on opinion. There must be data to show that the concept is trustworthy and useful. In academic terms, it must provide scientific evidence that the concept is reliable and valid. To achieve that aim, a series of studies were conducted to assess and confirm the scientific rigour of the Conscious Leader Psychometric. With more than 1,200 leaders across three different studies, research results show that Conscious Leadership fulfils all of these criteria.
- Different stages of validation
The psychometric validation involved several stages, starting with item development and iteration, followed by three studies that gathered data on the psychrometric to demonstrate the measure’s reliability and validity. Over 1,200 leaders completed the psychometric measure across the three studies.
- How we conducted the data analysis
This may not mean a great deal to you. Still, for those who like to understand the mechanics behind the data analysis, the internal consistency measurement we used was Cronbach’s alpha value of .7, which is recommended for reliability. For the factor structure, we used Principal Component Analysis and Factor Analysis. We used a mix of correlational and regression analyses for the concurrent, criterion-related, and incremental validity. We set the significance at .05, which is the academic standard.
What Is Psychometric Validation?
Psychometric tests for leadership depend on two main factors that make them effective:
Reliability has two aspects, which we explain below:
Internal consistency is a key ingredient of an effective psychological assessment test. A psychometric test for leadership is not considered reliable if it produces inconsistent and unreliable results.
Factor structure is the correlational relationship between several variables that are said to measure a particular construct.
Working alongside UCL, we demonstrated that our Conscious Leader psychometric assessment is reliable on both accounts.
What Makes Our Psychometric Assessment Different?
Conscious Leadership has been compared and shown to be different from concepts and measures such as Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Authentic Leadership, Transformational Leadership and the Big Five Personality Traits.
This is demonstrated through studies investigating the correlations between the Conscious Leadership measure and these established measures. If the correlations were very high, it would indicate that Conscious Leadership is similar to these established concepts; it is not different from other psychometrics. This research shows that the correlations are only small to moderate, meaning that the Conscious Leader Psychometric differs from other concepts and measures.
At the same time, there are several meaningful relationships between Conscious Leadership and these other concepts. For instance, Conscious leaders are more emotionally intelligent, mindful, authentic, and transformational, all valuable traits.
Is the Conscious Leader Psychometric Effective?
Two studies looking at the effectiveness (i.e. validity) of the Conscious Leader psychometric show that scores on the measure correlate with several meaningful work and personal outcomes. Specifically, our studies show that Conscious Leaders are more likely to be engaged at work and satisfied with their jobs, have better subjective wellbeing (overall happiness) and be less likely to experience burnout. They are also more likely to perform better at work and engage in activities that contribute to the social and psychological core of the organisation.
The correlations between Conscious Leadership and these outcomes are relatively strong, meaning that the measure effectively predicts these work outcomes (like wellbeing and burnout). In other words, if a leader scores highly on the Conscious Leader Psychometric, one can accurately predict that they will be more engaged, satisfied, and perform better at work. If they score low, one can accurately predict that they are more likely to experience burnout.
Furthermore, Conscious Leadership provides unique information about these work-related outcomes - that is, information that established personality measures (i.e. the Big Five Traits) do not. For instance, our analysis shows that we can get about 43% more information about a person’s work engagement using the Conscious Leadership measure compared to not using it. Similarly, we can get about 37% more information about a person’s potential performance if we use the Conscious Leadership measure versus not using it.
Given that more and more leaders and managers are experiencing stress, burnout and performance impact from the various pressures associated with modern working life, having a tool that can measure wellbeing and burnout is essential. Helping leaders become more conscious of themselves and the impact of their thinking and actions and providing them with important and useful insights upon which to take action puts them in the driving seat of their own wellbeing. It will also influence how they lead others to take care of themselves.
More than 60% of UK managers have experienced burnout at work because of the strain on organisations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a fifth considering quitting their job as a result. It’s clear that occupational burnout is a genuine threat to personal wellbeing and the success of organisations in the UK and internationally but more often than not, people don’t know that they are burnt out until it is too late. That’s because most people don’t see the signs of burnout until it’s too late. They also don’t know how to keep themselves well and thriving. Our psychrometric provides a way to measure consciousness which in turn provides essential insights and information upon which leaders can take control of their wellbeing.
“For many, the new world of work has made it even more difficult to create balance in our professional and personal lives. If your home is now your office, it’s increasingly difficult to compartmentalise in the manner we could when we worked primarily from an office. This is exacerbated by our smartphone being the ubiquitous device through which we communicate the things that are important to us in our private lives and in our occupations. Leaders need to ensure they find the space and time to decouple work from personal life and to be trusting, respectful and encouraging of their teams to do the same.”
— Jeremy Tipper, Human Capital and HR Tech Advisor, 2HC Limited
In conclusion, our findings show that Conscious Leadership is more than just a theory. It’s verifiable by observation-based examination and is empirical:
- Not just another name for an already existing concept,
A valid measure that predicts important work criteria, and
- A statistically reliable measure.
Psychometric Testing and Wellbeing
Why Is Wellbeing Important?
Wellbeing is fundamental to our health and overall happiness and has become a primary focus for employers and employees alike. With the surge in the severity and scale of mental health problems, society has started to take their own wellbeing more seriously — and employers now realise that it’s a commercial imperative to properly support the wellbeing of their workforce. We believe this starts with the people responsible for leading others. Whether that’s a formal responsibility or not. When “leaders” are well and thriving, it ultimately leads to the wider team thriving too.
Sustaining leadership wellbeing and performance dramatically affects our performance as organisations and the company culture we create.
As well as developing greater self-awareness, leaders need to learn how to be empathetic and stay connected to their teams, no matter where they are. Employers are focusing on “psychological safety” more than ever — creating environments where people can be honest, open, and ultimately, themselves — as they recognise how important this will be for the future of work. Creating safe and healthy cultures is harder to do without a good level of self-awareness. Unless leaders feel safe, their wellbeing and performance will be affected too.
“What leadership is or should be for the future has never been more in question, and examples of what we consider to be good leadership are increasingly blurred. In its simplest form, leadership is about decision-making. The ability to observe a situation, seek the input of those around you and make choices for good. For me, this is where consciousness becomes critical. Being aware of our attitudes, feelings and behaviours on a day-to-day basis can only aid the decision-making process, which includes the ability to prepare for and review such decisions. By taking note of when we are well (or not), by being comfortable with who we are and by understanding how we impact on others, we are able to navigate the challenges leadership offers us and be more effective as a result.”
— James Hampton, Head of Learning Talent and Culture, Stuastell Brewery
What Is Psychological Safety, and Why Does It Matter?
Psychological safety describes an area or place where employees feel they can speak up without fearing negative consequences. Amy Edmondson’s book, The Fearless Organisation, shows how feeling safe at work and high performance are closely linked. To grow and succeed, organisations must understand how to implement psychologically safe working environments, which means focusing more on how they behave.
What Does a Healthy Organisation Look Like?
Ultimately, a healthy culture is a “conscious” culture. It’s about people feeling recognised, valued and supported.
But a healthy organisation is not just a place with healthy employees; it’s a place where healthy business practices are implemented; it’s sustainable, balanced, and growth is achieved responsibly.
It means leaders role modelling healthy working behaviours staying alive to the pressures they face to manage themselves and their energy effectively. It also depends on the mindset that a leader turns up with.
A healthy and conscious leader will recognise a few things:
- There is more to life than work and achieving balance is vital. You can achieve success in a balanced way.
- Permitting yourself to take care of yourself is essential for sustained performance.
- Consciously behaving in a way that has a positive impact on your own energy and the energy of others will help you to sustain performance.
- The things you think and do every day will either catalyse wellbeing or undermine it — you need to be aware of that to make good decisions.
And when a leader manages their mind and energy in a way that draws on these ideas, they will lead themselves and others to greater levels of success.
The Healthy Organisation Report by Josh Bersin
This leads us to a compelling read from Josh Bersin, The Healthy Organisation.
The report is based on research into what organisations are doing to support wellbeing, providing an interesting framework for building a healthy organisation. Bersin states that as a response to “all sorts of stress induced by economic growth, companies are moving ahead. And they’re evolving to a model we call “The Healthy Organisation.”
Interestingly, only 15% of employers operate as “healthy organisations”, taking a strategic and holistic view of wellbeing and embedding it into the culture. Also, 28% are in the “healthy work” category and are focused on removing work barriers, recognising performance and creating opportunities for collaboration, growth and equitable practice.
According to Bersin, this didn’t simply start at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; for many years, companies have struggled to implement wellbeing policies effectively or even recognise an overwhelmed employee.
“We have had hundreds of hours of meetings with CHROs and other HR leaders, and they all say the same thing. We need programs and solutions that help everyone in the company be healthy, and they have to go far beyond wellbeing. They want leaders to give people more flexibility. They want employees to feel empowered and well trained. And they want the organisation as a whole to embrace productivity, growth, and long-term sustainability.” — Josh Bersin, [report]
Organisations need the knowledge and tools to be able to embed wellbeing into the organisation’s culture, and the way that leaders operate plays a fundamental part in this. When you make a healthy and conscious approach to work and make working together a part of the culture, you will achieve better results.
The Importance of Self-Awareness and Self-Care
Self-awareness is critical to becoming a Conscious Leader, but at The Conscious Leadership Company, we place as much emphasis on self-care, which we believe is a crucial aspect of performance — especially sustained performance.
Self-care is consciously doing things that can improve your mental or physical health. Traditionally, self-care describes things outside the workplace, like meditation, exercise and cooking healthy meals. We have now started to realise that unless we take care of ourselves while we’re working, we are actually at risk of undermining our performance in the long term. This is because we’re working longer hours than ever, with increasing demands on our time, and it’s placing our bodies and minds under too much stress. Leadership teams all over the world are at risk of burnout.
There are many barriers preventing leaders from practising self-care.
- “Hustle” / delivery cultures built around being constantly switched on
- The idea that leaders can’t rest or ask for help
- Feelings of guilt for practising self-care
- Putting the needs of others first
- Being addicted to work
- Avoiding other problems by staying focused on work
Yet, given leaders’ pressures, building self-care into your workday is more crucial than ever and will help prevent burnout.
Implementing self-care can:
- Improve your physical health
- Protect your mental health
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Boost self-esteem
- Lead to better, stronger relationships
- Lead to better commercial outcomes.
Part 2: How the Conscious Leader Psychometric Measures Burnout, Wellbeing and Performance More Than Personality
Burnout Explained — causes and prevention
What exactly is “Burnout”?
Burnout is a psychosocial syndrome described as prolonged exposure to stresses such as a highly-pressured environment, conflict or overload that results in feelings of exhaustion, cynicism or anxiety.
Due to financial and social stresses, recent studies have shown that UK workers are increasingly threatened by employee burnout.
In a recent Microsoft Corp study, 41% of those surveyed said they're considering leaving their jobs, according to Microsoft's Work Trend Index, which polled 30,000 people from various companies in 31 countries from Microsoft's 365 software and LinkedIn network. The data found burnout is widespread — 54% of workers said they are overworked, and 39% said they are exhausted.
Both for their own sake and the sake of their teams, leaders need to become more consciously aware of how to support themselves to avoid burnout. This means learning more about yourself, what supports wellbeing, strengths and areas for development — to meet their own needs — and by extension, the needs of others.
The Benefits of the Conscious Leader Psychometric in the Workplace
Using the Conscious Leader psychometric assessment allows leaders to understand themselves more against the five dimensions of Conscious Leadership to maintain what supports them and develop in areas that require focus.
A “Conscious” Leader is more likely to:
- Be satisfied with their job
- Be engaged at work
- Have higher or better wellbeing
- Perform tasks effectively and efficiently at work
- Be engaged in the activities that contribute to the social and psychological core of the organisation.
A “Conscious” Leader is less likely to:
- Burn out
- Engage in counterproductive work behaviours.
Understanding what is causing workplace burnout for yourself is fundamental.
Types of Personality Explained
We built the Conscious Leadership model around five dimensions. Focusing on the following traits allows leaders to weave the knowledge and awareness to sustain performance in the modern workplace:
Our research shows that combining the five dimensions of Conscious Leadership creates a holistic and robust framework for leaders. When leaders raise their self-awareness levels and take care of themselves, they can lead a better life and lead others more effectively.
There are five important “conscious questions” that leaders need to ask themselves relating to each area.
- Awake — What is going on in and around me?
- Resilient — How am I supporting myself?
- Together — How can we help each other?
- Growing — What can I learn?
- Purposeful— How am I focusing my time?
These are the organising thoughts behind each dimension of Conscious Leadership and are important considerations for any leader taking a more conscious approach.
Part 3: The Importance of the Conscious Leader Psychometric
Why the Conscious Leader Psychometric Is Relevant
It’s important to understand that central to Conscious Leadership is the time, space and understanding for leaders to take care of their own needs. Unless leaders apply their own “oxygen masks”, they are not optimising their ability, performance or potential. It also means they may not lead as happy a life as they could. Through leaders permitting them to pay attention to what they need, they give themselves the best chance of leading happier and healthier lives. This isn’t about meeting our own needs without consideration for others. It’s about recognising that unless we pay attention to what allows us to feel well and energised, we are likely to undermine our wellbeing. Some of this is about how we act; some of it is about how we think.
Beyond supporting leaders as individuals, the Conscious Leader Psychometric helps organisations to tackle problem areas, such as:
- Productivity — Nine in ten employees consider flexible working a key motivator to their productivity at work. However, many businesses are not taking a conscious approach to lead their teams, empowering them with the flexibility and autonomy they need to thrive.
- Personal development — In a recent survey of over 400 employees spanning three generations, 87% cited access to professional development or career growth opportunities as very important to their decision to stay or leave. Conscious Leaders are better placed to support the development needs of their teams.
- Employee turnover — 91% of HR leaders in the UK are concerned about employee turnover. By raising the business’s consciousness, leaders are better placed to support their teams and keep them motivated and performing.
- Absenteeism — Mental ill-health remains the most common cause of long-term absence, followed by musculoskeletal injuries and stress. These are also among the most common causes of short-term absence. Through becoming more conscious of how to support others, mental health is better supported and absenteeism reduced.
- “Leaveism” — Seven in ten employees (70%) have observed some form of “leaveism”, such as working outside contracted hours or using holiday entitlement to work, over the past 12 months. Conscious Leaders create the energy that keeps teams engaged and energised in the business.
Every element of our online leadership platform is designed specifically for leaders, helping them to:
- Gain personal insight and a better sense of self
- Take care of their wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them
- Build deeper personal insights that will allow “real-time” leadership challenges to be handled more effectively
- Hit their personal development goals while working towards organisational growth.
Part 4: Taking the Conscious Leadership Approach
Who We Are
We're The Conscious Leadership Company (TCLC for short), and we are passionate about helping leaders be at their best. This is why we are disrupting the way that leadership development is done. We use tech to enable leaders to learn, reflect and track the way they feel continuously so they can feel more satisfied, do the best possible job — and feel good while doing it.
Having worked across various industries and sectors, Natasha saw that the one thing common to them was the challenges leaders faced — leadership is a tough gig. Yet when leaders are equipped with the proper knowledge, tools, and awareness at the right time, they can excel, and so can their teams. They can avoid burnout too.
We've developed innovative technology to keep leaders connected — to themselves, their teams, and what they need to stay energised — essential for the hybrid world of work. Sustaining performance alongside wellbeing is what we're all about, and our technology makes that possible.
What We Believe
Our mission is to enable leaders globally to:
- Lead in a sustainable way
- Support themselves at work
- Create healthy and thriving cultures.
We believe we can do this through:
- Creating excellent quality-conscious content
- Creating space for reflection and quality thought
- Tracking wellbeing
- Coaching leaders to stay conscious and well
- Connecting like-minded leaders.
Why We Do It
There is so much information about achieving great performance in teams, but very little focus on achieving that performance without compromising our wellbeing and personal growth.
We’ve moved into a new era of work where resilience is a prerequisite. Unless we consciously run our organisations, enabling people to care for themselves and their growth, we jeopardise performance and wellbeing. We don’t think you need to make that sacrifice.
Our Work Leads to Positive Change in Individuals and Teams
Our work with leaders and aspiring leaders causes a ripple effect throughout organisations. When leaders demonstrate healthy thinking and behaviour by embodying our values, everyone around them is enabled. It also builds trust, a fundamental component of teams’ high performance and wellbeing.
Get in Touch with The Conscious Leadership Company
Please book a call to learn more about using our psychometric test for your organisation.