We all know that assessment instruments are powerful. They are like heavy duty guards who vigilantly protect and safeguard a bank, or a rich family, or a country. Properly made instruments, with a good reliability and validity, and with the help of other assessment methods, can certainly detect various behaviors, which gives rise to a more accurate report and assessment of the individual. But please be on guard.
When we deploy assessment instruments and methods, we detect red flags, behaviors – information, and information, is by all means, that powerful to destroy a soul, a family, a nation.
I remember when I was reading the book “Freakonomics” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, in one of their chapters, they told the tale of the how Kevin Stetson exposed the Ku Klux Klan. to start off, the Klan was founded in 1865 by six former members of the confederate army. Basically Ku Klux Klan is just like a fraternity, a group composed of like-minded individuals and has a major ideal or objective. At the start, they were said to have harmless midnight pranks until they grew to be a multi-state terrorist organization which frightens and kills slaves. They have animosity to former slaves, blacks, and white people who supported the blacks’ rights.
A lot happened during the time, the Klan has been extinguished, lied low, and then reborn in 1915. They have been viewed and praised as the crusaders of the whites, claimed to have 8 million members, lied low during the WWII, then the showed themselves again. The Klan has been thought to infiltrate politics and the law enforcement. A powerful secret society; they exchanged passwords and ploys, and the public fear it created, along with the open secret that the Klan and the law enforcement are hand-in-hand.
Then there came Kennedy Stetson, a writer, folklorist, confederate, and a hater of narrow-mindedness, ignorance, obstructionism, and intimidation – all being exemplified by the Klan, in his view. What he did was he spent years in gathering information about the Klan – interviewing members, leaders, and sympathizers, attending public Klan events, and taking advantage of his lineage (Yes, he is a Klansmen descent).
Using that information, he blew off and handicapped the Klan by exposing their customs and their secrets in a radio program for kids.
So how does all of this relate to assessment?
Oh, my spider senses are tingling! Remember what Spidey said?
“With great power, comes great responsibility”
Be responsible in the information that the assessment instruments provide.
Assessment instruments, combined with the other methods, gives us information which we should utilize properly. As I told in the tale of the Kennedy Stetson, we know what happens when the information is exposed; when the information is not properly taken cared of – the information is prone to misuse . That is why assessment results should be handled with care. We should consider these points:
All of these would boil down to respecting the individual. The information that we are receiving about him or her should always be taken with care and with respect; to use it properly and not to misuse.
Share your thoughts!
“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.” – Aaron Swartz
Originally posted on LinkedIn last November 6, 2015
Image by Todd Lappin
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