Psychometrics & Flexibility : Defining Meaning & Value
Working with psychometrics is a very powerful way to understand the inner world of others and how they perceive and make decisions about the world they live in.
Being in the world of Consulting, Coaching and Development, I like to know what makes people tick. It's very rewarding talking with others about their profile and supporting them to use profiling as part of their development.
Coaching & Leadership Development
I find profiling most useful when working with those who report to the top team. The thinking and the actions that have got these people to this level of middle management is very different from what it will take to rise to become part of the “C” suite level.
It's not easy to get to middle management with downsizing and delayering. It is even, more difficult to rise higher as there are few available seats above that level.
Using Psychometrics for High Performance Coaching
At this stage, very precise work in one or two areas can have a huge impact on overall performance. Put it like this - it's highly unlikely that poor performers will rise to middle management level - so there can only be few areas where working with people can help them improve their performance to that expected of senior managers or Board members.
Take a Good Look in the Mirror
Self perception is a useful tool to aid the process of personal development. This is enhanced with Psychometrics - especially when you have a database or reference group to assess your attributes, traits, type or style.
Having Occupational groupings by age and gender is useful in helping individuals to appraise their current level of expertise in comparison to their peers.
An Example - What behaviours would you display if......
Using 16pf5 and OPQ profiles is very helpful to assess where others are in comparison to the norms of the data base. Then by working on an example of: "In what behaviours do you think you would be competent, and how would you display these regularly if you were on the 85% of the database in comparison to where you are now?"
This allows those going through the development experience to actually start practising what they need to do to raise their profile to the desired level.
Starting with Profiling
I started using profiling when I was a lecturer in management behaviour and now use it mainly for team building, leadership, presentation, coaching and for managerial professional development. I have been a registered user of Myers Briggs Type Indicator for over 30 years as well as OPP and SHL. That's a lot of profiling.
Multiple Assessment of Staff & Recruits
Just recently, I became somewhat concerned that some in the HR community have a rigid reliance on psychometrics, insisting on using profiling as a very critical determinant of selection. I know of several large organisations that are literally bleeding because they will not take a balanced risk to recruit staff who only marginally fails to comply with the tight outline they think they require. Consequently, they have lots of vacancies to fill, in a labour market with an under supply of talent. In a tight job market, employers have to be a little more flexible and stand back from profiling to take a more balanced view. After all, profiling and psychometrics is not an exact science.
Two exact profiles - two different personalities
I can tell you that two people can have the same or very similar profile, yet often they are entirely different when meeting them. They demonstrate their gifts and their talents and traits in different ways.
Human Personality is Richer than the Rigours of Profiling
The human personality is incredibly rich in its diversity and ability to grow. We may need to remember that much of our human condition is not reflected in inflexible traits, but in our ability to learn, grow, create and be flexible and responsive to challenges.
Developing other Strategies to Complement Profiling
With this in mind, I do believe that some companies should consider the need for flexibility in selection choices.
By focusing and outlining the critical success factors required for each post, one could be prepared to develop staff from Day One.
Assessment & Development Centres
Although a fair amount of profiling takes place in such Centres - much of the assessment is based on how people deal with tasks through the medium of people. It's my belief that we need to tailor design our own Development and Assessment Centres rather than just sending delegates along to the big consultancies
Overcoming the Shortage of Talent
A firm and rigorous approach to coaching and training new staff in perceived areas of weakness could be a method to overcome the shortage of talent in the marketplace.
A key factor when supporting Recruitment drives is the degree of flexibility, and ability of staff to learn. I think we need to move away from the 'template' idea of selection around a tight profile of competencies and commit to life long learning.
I trust that this would help us in retaining the best staff by providing the security and the psychological reward of investing in learning and development for every employee.
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