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I’ve just completed four days training with Psysoft to achieve the British Psychological Society (BPS) Occupational Ability and Personality Test User Certification Level A and B using NEO PI-R Personality Inventory. Yes, psychometric testing!

This is to add to my armoury of a BPS approved degree in psychology, a post graduate diploma in professional coach mentoring (where Eric Parslow was my tutor/supervisor) and a certificate as a practitioner in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) which I use in all manner of ways both in consulting roles (organisational development, (partnership) team management and change management) and in coaching assignments. This means that rather than referring my clients to third parties or online sources, I can now provide the materials and do the marking and feedback myself for a range of ability and personality tests.

Ability testing

In ability testing – whether this is for verbal, numerical or spatial skills (we also looked at error checking) – there is a right or wrong answer. After almost two whole days looking at the validity and reliability of these tests from a statistical point of view – correlations particularly – I felt that my numeracy score improved significantly!

Common personality tests – types

Most commonly used in the professions are colour based classifications (are you a red, blue, yellow or green person?) and Myers Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI) – which classifies you into one of 16 types based on extraversion-introversion (E/I), sensing-intuition (S/N), thinking-feeling (T/F) and judging/perception (J/P). I have found both of these tools (using on-line techniques) – along with Belbin – to be effective at team building.

Personality inventories

There are lots of different personality tests (and I am now able to access the resources which indicate the relative strengths and weaknesses of them all) but for this course we used NEO. This uses five main domains (each of which has six sub-divisions or facets) including:

  • Extraversion – amount of energy invested in relating to people, the environment and the capacity to experience joy and excitement
  • Agreeableness – role adopted in relationships and degree of concern for the welfare of others
  • Openness – receptivity to various kinds of new experiences both in the external environment and the individual’s internal world
  • Conscientiousness – strength of purpose and drive towards goal accomplishments
  • Emotional stability – extent to which an individual focuses on the negative aspects of the environment and experience negative emotions

It was interesting during the course to look at how you could move from a job analysis, to identify the relevant competences and then select the various personality facets which would map onto them to aid the recruitment, development or promotion process. I shall talk to some of my clients about possible studies into personality profiles for successful Board members, team leaders, trailblazers, entrepreneurs, rainmakers and relationship managers. Watch this space.

In the meantime, to complete my qualification I have to do the personality test analysis and provide feedback reports for two further individuals. Requirements are that they are working and can spend about an hour with me completing the manual form (I am not allowed to send it away) which I will subsequently analyse. So you receive a totally confidential (although the examiners will see the report without your identity marked) – and free – feedback report about your personality. Email me if you are interested