This was the fascinating question posed to us in a workshop with Roy Childs from Team Focus who was explaining to us the value of psychometric questionnaires and why they can be misinterpreted.
We were posed other challenging questions such as:
- Does your personality change?
- Is it just our behaviour that changes?
- Can major life events or illnesses change who we are fundamentally?
After Roy asked us to write a simple pen portrait of ourselves we began to realise the value of a questionnaire – to magnify and structure our thoughts about ourselves.
This navel gazing was an attempt to understand why some psychometric tests can be useful, whereas some can be more about your work context and role rather than your personality.
Questionnaires need to be reliable and valid but should be used as a starter for a conversation to establish where you are now and find out what you have begun to believe about yourself. In a coaching session they can act like a third person in the room giving a core objective opinion.
A test can also help you identify if you are stuck.
Whether profiles change over time was another interesting topic for discussion. There is evidence that even MBTI (Myers Briggs) profiles will change over time and over 50% of people will change by at least one letter.
Roy believes that our ‘story’ should change. ‘Every extrovert can discover the introvert within them and vice verse’ says Childs. A questionnaire helps to explore and discover the parts of ourselves that are not normally given expression to.
Team Focus has developed a psychometric test called VbiM – Value Based Indicator of Motivation.Values are the key to understanding people’s energy and motivation. VbIM uses the latest technology to provide more sophisticated assessment by combining both normative and ipsative approaches within the same questionnaire. This lets people look at the relative strength of their own values, and the priority they give to each, as well as providing a means of benchmarking against the pattern of values that prevails in the general population.
Another useful tool is theResilience Scales Questionnaire (RSQ) which asks people to consider how they react to pressure. Sometimes pressure brings out the best in people. Sometimes it makes them less effective. We can think of these two reactions to pressure as ‘Stretch’ and ‘Stress’.
The test has 3 different behavioural hierarchies that challenge and expose the gaps that traditional questionnaires may not.
These new angles enable an individual to look at what they do when they are particularly stretched, stressed or under pressure. It measures the movement that might occur when you are in different states and how well your resilience levels allow you to perform.
As much of our current coaching work is dealing with motivation, stress, anger management, anxiety and self esteem this new angle will be a welcome boost for coaches, trainers, HR professionals and managers alike.
So to summarise a questionnaire is like a snapshot – capturing your story as it is now. So what would your book be called? And what would be the chapter number…and how many chapters would it have?
To find out more contact the lovely Roy Childs at Team Focus http://www.teamfocus.co.uk their website contains funky titbits like this below…
Did you know that Albert Einstein was not considered to be particularly gifted by his university lecturers? Seems they didn’t know how to spot talent!