We Made Our Own Scale: Creating the Changemaker Assessment

Inspire to Change
5 min readMar 18, 2024

By Nora F. Murphy Johnson, PhD

In our previous blog post, we discussed how knowing your top three changemaker roles can help you take care of yourself and prevent burnout in the journey towards change. If you’ve ever experienced burnout (like I have a few times), you know it’s not a fun place to be.

So, we developed an assessment to help highlight which changemaker roles come most naturally to you and give you the most energy, along with which ones are more challenging and depleting for you.

If you want to learn how the assessment works, keep on reading!

How We Designed the Scale

First, I wrote questions for the assessment and piloted them with a small group of people. The questions didn’t work like I wanted them to, so I wrote them again and again. At some point, I realized that it wasn’t just the questions that weren’t working — it was also the response options of the scale.

Most assessments use a Likert Scale — a popular rating system used in surveys and questionnaires to measure attitudes, opinions, or behaviors. Named after Rensis Likert, who introduced the method in 1932, the scale typically presents respondents with a series of statements and asks them to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement on a symmetric agree-disagree scale. This scale is often composed of 5 to 7 points, ranging from one extreme attitude to another. It usually includes options like “strongly agree,” “agree,” “neutral,” “disagree,” and “strongly disagree.” It’s widely used in social sciences, marketing research, health sciences, and many other fields to gather insights more nuanced than a simple yes or no can provide.

The Likert Scale simply didn’t work for the assessment. So, I designed my own scale.

The Five-Point Scale for Changemaking Roles is designed to help you evaluate how closely various changemaking roles and activities align with your natural abilities and personal sense of purpose. By reflecting on how each statement resonates with you, you can gain insights into where you can focus your energy and development to become a more effective and fulfilled changemaker. I landed on the following wording for the survey scale:

1: Highly Challenging and Misaligned
2: Moderately Misaligned but Manageable
3: Neutral Alignment and Competence
4: Moderately Aligned and Naturally Effective
5: Highly Aligned and Effortlessly Natural

Using the Scale to Rate Responses

This five-point scale is designed to help you evaluate how closely various changemaking roles and activities align with your natural abilities and personal sense of purpose. You will be asked to read eighty-eight statements that describe a skill or activity. You will then be asked to rate which of the statements below best reflects your relationship to that skill or activity. Collectively, your responses to these statements will illuminate which changemaker roles come most naturally and give you the most energy.

  1. Highly Challenging and Misaligned: This skill or activity feels distinctly out of sync with my core values and purpose. It presents significant challenges, requiring effort in areas that do not naturally engage or inspire me.
  2. Moderately Misaligned but Manageable: There’s a slight connection to my interests or skills, yet it doesn’t deeply resonate with or effectively advance my purpose. While manageable, it demands effort in ways that feel less fulfilling.
  3. Neutral Alignment and Competence: This represents a middle ground where elements of the role align with my purpose, and I possess the necessary skills to be competent. It’s a mix of fit and challenge, with neither strong dissonance nor passionate resonance.
  4. Moderately Aligned and Naturally Effective: I find a meaningful connection with this skill or activity that aligns well with my purpose. It leverages my strengths and comes to me with a degree of natural ease, making me effective and engaged.
  5. Highly Aligned and Effortlessly Natural: This skill or activity is a perfect match, deeply resonating with my values and purpose. It feels effortlessly natural, allowing me to excel and derive profound fulfillment from my involvement.

Setting Up the Scale

When surveys work well, it’s because people use them while in a specific and intentional frame of mind. So, my next step was to help people know what frame of mind would give the best results from the questions and responses I drafted. This is what the assessment asks people to do:

Center in Purpose: Before you proceed with the next section of this quiz, take a moment to center yourself in the sense of purpose that drives you as a changemaker. Reflect on the passions, values, and motivations that inspire you to make a difference, allowing them to guide your responses and illuminate your path forward.

Commit to Self-Honesty: Even in our private moments, we can feel pressure to be “good” at everything. Consider giving yourself permission to be honest and even vulnerable in your responses. This will help identify the changemaker roles that resonate most with your natural strengths and provide that innate source of energy that helps you thrive as a changemaker.

Let Us Know What You Think

After you’ve taken the Changemaker Assessment using the scale I developed, I’d love to hear your feedback on the overall experience! Your insights are important to me, so I want to know how user-friendly you found the scale.

Was navigating through the assessment straightforward for you? When applying the scale to the various questions and statements, did you encounter any difficulties or was the process smooth and intuitive? What are your thoughts on the logic and coherence of the scale structure? Did the progression and categorization within the scale make sense to you?

Your feedback will be instrumental in refining the scale further, ensuring it’s not only effective in capturing accurate responses but also in providing a seamless and understandable experience for its users. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Once you know your results, feel free to share them on social media! Use the hashtag #MyChangemakerRoles and tag us @InspireToChang8 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This is a great way to connect with other changemakers, help others discover their changemaking roles, and start your journey as a changemaker!



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