Psychometric instruments for your self discovery

01/09/2019

There are many psychometric instruments out there measuring skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes personality traits and more. Some of them are used for specific areas like emotional intelligence or how you deal with conflicts while others are more complex and work on the basis of personality typologies. In my career I have actively worked with five psychometric instruments and tested and educated myself about more than I could count. They are not equally valid, it's a great unregulated business. Yes, the validity and reliability has to be published but there are always several researches and opinions. Like with astrology, some researches have completely rejected it while some found positive results that supported its validity.

In more than 10 years in senior HR and Training and Development roles in global businesses I got to train, coach and manage talent in various cultures and countries. Increasing self-awareness truly is the most important success factor and personal development booster, and MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) has become my favorite guide. With more than a hundred completed assessments and coaching sessions I can confirm that it helps you with understanding your preferences, managing stress, raising your self compassion and compassion for other people as you get the gift of seeing and experiencing the world through other people's eyes and making sense of it. i acknowledge the criticism of the MBTI tool for its limitations, but frankly it is the best tool out there. Not only that the other personality typologies are usually based on the same author (C.G. Jung) and basically copy MBTI, but some are very negative and discouraging e.g. Big5. Revealing to a client that he is an antagonistic neurotic according to his questionnaire result is not a good start and it won't help him in personal development because he will draw back. Another example of a personality type system called Enneagram (dividing people to 9 categories) can be useful and accurate at times and I do give it some credit, but if you are not into Bible reading it may discourage you especially as it emphasizes your negative aspects, even going so far as elaborating on each type's deadly sins. The authors criticize other psychometric assessments about being only "psychology"  without the spiritual context. I have not found much correlation between Enneagram and Jung which is actually a good news for two reasons: they can complement each other and finally it is one instrument that does NOT copy MBTI. There are many other tools that I came across and you don't to hear my opinion on all of them. There are always pros and cons. Just remember, they are self report instruments, so if you want to manipulate them you will. But then they won't help you to become a better version of you.

You may be wondering by now, what is knowing personality typology good for. Let's take an example of intimate relationships. What personality types do you think we surround ourselves with in our lives? When it comes to friends or colleagues, we see clusters of type alike configurations (provided we have the choice) but when it comes to intimate relationships, opposites often attract. What initially attracts us to the other people is called 'personality integration' which is a need of each of us to be a complete person, possessing a variety of skills that enable us to cope and succeed. We are drawn to those who are opposite from our own personality preferences because they hold key to our completeness. It also provides excitement, dare, and challenge and breaks up the tendency for staleness and routine. Without at least basic understanding of personality typology, these attractions can become the basis for chronic relationship problems. Once the initial attraction fades, it is replaced with frustration. We spend the rest of our lives trying to get each other to 'shape up'.

I am not a psychometric fanatic and I don't walk the streets trying to guess each person's type. I am a curious student and teacher. I help people develop their self-knowledge and to reunite with their true selves. I help them identify with the parts of their personalities that make them strong and successful and point out what are the things that may frustrate others who look at the world from different perspectives. You can read books, take some online test, watch videos on Youtube but if you are serious about deepening your self-awareness and maximizing your potential, get a coach. Choose her wisely, and look for quality formal training and extensive experience. Nowadays you can become a "certified coach" by passing a robust training in recognized schools or you can take a online crash course for as low as $ 10. Some of the better marketed courses will charge future coaches $ 10,000 for a few telephone or online sessions and teach them how to market themselves without exposing them to a proper coaching experience. Nobody examines their previous education or work experience. They don't even need a high school degree. Voila, you can become a coach in just a few hours (sadly, even accredited by ICF). It is therefore extremely important who you choose as a guide for your self discovery.