The basis for the PATH Assessment
The PATH Assessment is based on 30 years of data science and behavioral studies.
It’s the brainchild of a team of computer scientists and educators who have taught at some of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the United States.
In fact, the team first developed a machine learning system for hiring faculty members. This work led to a broader interest in using AI to help people find meaningful careers, thus the inspiration behind the PATH Assessment was born.
Now let’s go over the four modes measured in the PATH Assessment — Purpose, Approach, Thinking, and Habits — and their different traits.
Whatever gets you out of bed in the morning, that’s your purpose.
Everyone is motivated (and motivates others) in different ways. When you’re using purpose as a tool at work, you will likely encourage your colleagues in a similar way to how you like to be motivated.
Here are the six purpose traits.
Click on each of them to learn more:
Achievers like to accomplish things by setting big goals.
If you’re an achiever, you shine the most when you have clearly defined goals, whether those are defined by yourself or your boss. Obstacles are no match for your tenacity! Your inner drive to meet challenges head on and your steady disposition makes you a great leader.
Competitors are motivated to meet goals via challenge and competition.
If you’re a competitor, you want to win, hate to lose, and are not satisfied with anything less than being the champion. You’re most successful when you have clear goals to help you measure your performance.
There’s no challenge too great! In fact, challenges just drive you to do more — you’re likely the first one of your friends to agree to a dare.
Producers are motivated by results.
If you’re a producer, you likely have your own ways of measuring and tracking your performance, and can easily adjust to changes on the fly. You’re focused on staying on track to meet your overall goals.
You’re likely to excel as a manager, communicating clear objectives for your team and embracing agile processes to get things done efficiently.
Professors are motivated by their desire to learn.
If you’re a professor, you’re likely a jack of all trades with a storehouse of knowledge in many different areas — both inside and outside of your day-to-day job.
You’re in constant pursuit to quench your curiosity and absorb as much as you can, and may even enjoy switching jobs every few years in order to keep on learning.
Servant Leaders are motivated by their values.
If you’re a servant leader, you’re a team player. Loyal and dependable, you show up and act as a pillar for those around you, and are keenly aware of your actions and how they affect others. As long as there is meaning in your work, there’s no stopping you.
Trustees are motivated by commitment, and develop a high degree of ownership over projects they are involved in.
If you’re a trustee, you’re accountable, dedicated, confident in your work, and likely feel comfortable making big decisions. You’re committed to delivering results on time, even if it means you have to work overtime.
Approach is how you interact with your colleagues. It’s the way you talk to, work with, and relate to other people.
When using your approach as a tool at work, you’re likely to interact with your colleagues in the same way you prefer others to connect with you. It’s almost like your workplace love language!
Here are the seven approach traits.
Click on each of them to learn more:
Connectors enjoy uniting team members through caring, helping, and sharing.
If you’re a connector, you’re open and generous, and people gravitate to you for help. As a connector, your natural friendliness, trustworthiness, and caring demeanor make you a great person to have in the room to help close the gaps between people from all different walks of life.
Motivators prefer to reach goals by leading their team through challenges together.
If you’re a motivator, you’re everyone’s cheerleader, offering enthusiasm and encouragement wherever you go. Because you’re considerate of others’ feelings, your team feels supported and heard.
Closers are outgoing, quick-thinking, and confident in their interactions.
If you’re a closer, your tenacity and determination get people to sign on the dotted line. You envision success early in the process, and make plans to meet obstacles head on. Armed with enthusiasm, strength, and courage, you’re never afraid to speak your mind.
Influencers are skilled listeners who can easily identify people’s motivations.
If you’re an influencer, you’re astute and persuasive, and never shy away from a debate. Whether you’re armed with logic and reason or style and passion, you’re often able to convince others to see things your way.
Communicators are the ones you see speaking at the front of the room, using their natural enthusiasm to build a friendly and team-centered environment.
If you’re a communicator, you speak clearly and confidently. Through your optimism and confidence, you’re able to convey exactly what needs to be done and how. People find themselves taking what you say to heart, so don’t be surprised when you have followers and fans.
Harmonizers are mediators. Adaptable and easy going, successful harmonizers are able to keep their cool and find a solution that satisfies everyone.
If you’re a harmonizer, you’re likely outgoing, friendly, and comfortable working with all types of people. By taking the time to engage colleagues on a personal level, you’re able to gain the trust of everyone on your team.
Counselors have a natural ability to sense everyone’s feelings and respond appropriately.
Although they may not be as outspoken as others, they’re always listening.
If you’re a counselor, you’re an instinctive team player who’s always ready to reach out. From supporting your team through challenges to helping them see other points of view, you approach life with understanding and a good sense of humor.
Thinking is how you process the world around you. It’s how you evaluate problems and generate solutions. When using your way of thinking as a tool at work, you are likely to try to get your colleagues to walk through problems the same way as you walk through them in your head.
Here are the four thinking traits.
Click on each of them to learn more:
Decisions makers can be trusted to use research and analytics to make wise choices.
If you’re a decision maker, you’re often trusted to lead your colleagues through problems using logic. You have the ability to see the big picture (even when others around you don’t understand).
Journalists analyze through careful observation. They’re able to gather a lot of knowledge and quickly sort what’s useful and what isn’t.
If you’re a journalist, you can quickly appraise a situation and determine how you should respond. It’s hard to say whether you have a natural instinct or learned from experience, but you’re adept at analyzing actions to improve yourself and create better solutions in the future.
Innovators use thinking to create change. They’re flexible and resourceful, and have a wide range of knowledge that they use to create new solutions.
If you’re an innovator, you’re the one who people seek out when they hit a roadblock. You foster a creative environment where everyone can share their ideas and try out new methods.
Straight arrows evaluate decisions using an ethical framework, and refuse to cut corners. They’re honest, dependable, and consistent.
If you’re a straight arrow, your colleagues likely seek you out when evaluating an ethical dilemma. Your strong moral compass helps guide the team and keep things on the up and up.
Habits are actions you take to solve problems. While some people’s Habits clearly align with their Purpose, Approach, and Thinking traits, this isn’t the case for everyone — sometimes the way we think and the way we act are a bit different.
Here are the nine habit traits.
Click on each of them to learn more:
Directors act with planning and delegation. Incredibly efficient, directors can quickly bounce ideas off of others and deploy new strategies.
If you’re a director, you have a plan for your plan! You’re rarely caught off guard, because you make it a point to be aware of all contingencies and assets. You have a natural way of operating, and are realistic in your expectations from your team.
Coaches act by cultivating, and never want to be stagnant. They know what needs to improve and want to better themselves and their organization.
If you’re a coach, you’re always looking to push yourself. Naturally curious about how to help your organization expand, you seek to make improvements in yourself first, then find ways to coach others.
Teachers act by encouraging growth. They get the most out of their job when they inspire and guide the ones around them to develop their skills further.
If you’re a teacher, you recognize that everyone has different needs, talents, and goals, and you know your colleagues’ strengths and weaknesses. When delegating tasks, you make sure everyone is being challenged to hone their skills in various areas.
Machines act with high levels of endurance. They’re enthusiastic about new projects, can work in marathons without stopping, and are quick to get started.
If you’re a machine, you have a sense of urgency when you work. No quick fixes here! You work smarter and harder, doing whatever it takes to get the job done, even if it means working outside of work hours.
Founders act by creating. They’re aware of their ability to initiate change in all situations, and are always designing a path to success.
If you’re a founder, you find it easy to stay focused on achieving desired results. You view hurdles as just a part of the process of developing a solution (and developing as a person).
Prospectors are constantly identifying and dealing with the movers and shakers in their field. They act by identifying who and what is going to help them reach their goals.
If you’re a prospector, you’re eager to assess whether or not a product, partner, or person is a good fit for your organization. Whether you’re building a cross-functional team or a sales lead strategy, you can predict outcomes based on the key players and assets involved.
Scientists act by researching and testing out techniques. They’re methodical in the way they collect information and reach well-developed hypotheses.
If you’re a scientist, you want to avoid having to go back and rework a problem at all costs. That’s why you gather as much information as possible before tackling a solution, so you won’t have to start over very often. Still, you aren’t discouraged by obstacles! You meet them with enthusiasm and file the experience away for the next project.
Strategists act by prioritizing tasks and mapping out all the steps.
If you’re a strategist, you do your best work when you can help construct the strategy. Your ability to coordinate your team, allocate resources, and meet deadlines on a project make you a key player.
Technologists act by investing their time and energy into increasing their personal skills. They are highly technical individuals in their field.
If you’re a technologist, you strive for excellence in everything you do! You know every element that should be considered when working on a solution, and work to master skills that will help you solve problems.