Measure, Rate and Scale
Many people will be familiar with this idea but for assessment purposes, it’s really important to remember this simple technique of Measuring, Rating and Scaling situations as it provides a very easy, practical and flexible approach to assessing all sorts of issues. The key to this procedure is understanding that its only function is to measure the extent of some given factor.
A common example is when a person say’s they want to change something for example, lose weight. In saying this, they neglect to express the extent in any tangible form. Without any sort of measurement. it becomes difficult to 1) have a clear idea about what needs to be achieved and 2) accurately judge whether things improve or not. This lack of evaluation also makes it hard for individuals involved in the situation to notice that change is happening, particularly when it’s small.
Being able to measure something makes it easier to manage. By using scales to get the weight as a numerical figure, it acts as a base line and success or failure is judged by whether the numbers on the scale go up or down or stay the same. As you can see with this example, quantifying factors in terms of numerical values unifies the information which can then be communicated to others so everyone has a similar level of understanding.
So, when a person say’s how they feel i.e. “I feel anxious” they usually neglect to express the extent in any tangible form. In using this approach, it’s actually possible to quantify the extent of how the person feels, which can be extremely significant both for the client and the practitioner. The practitioner could ask the client to rate how they feel on a scale of 1to 10 with 1 being calm and 10 being very anxious.
Calm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Anxious
This enables the client to convey the depth, extent or severity of their feelings which could influence the practitioner’s decisions regarding their intervention response. What makes this approach so flexible is that it’s possible to break down any complex situations into individual parts and rate them separately. It can be used as a stand-alone process or be applied in conjunction with other techniques such as with Solution Focused Theory. Its usefulness should not be under-estimated as it can play a crucial part not only in assessing multiple difficulties but also contribute to the change process.