Psychometric profiling is a scientific mathematical process to asses a person’s behavior and ability. Although nowadays it is widely used in the recruitment process by many companies, it is also being introduced in the coaching field as a great tool to understand a trainee’s persona and coach him or her accordingly. Just like in the recruitment process, in the case of the trainer too an assessment of the personality goes a long way in determining what to expect and what to work on. This simplifies a lot of things. Although there are various psychometrics on which a person can be measured but the procedure of the assessment remains the same by and large.
There are two different ways to conduct this assessment followed around the world namely the ‘Test’ and ‘Questionnaires’. The Test style incorporates answers that majorly follows a Yes (I am like that) or No (I am not that) Performa. These questions are drafted to judge a person’s ability and hard skills along with their aptitude. These tests have right and wrong options to choose from. The Questionnaires style follows a question pattern that tries to find how a person prefers to behave in any given circumstance, it is not judged by answers being right or wrong but how is the reaction.
Another very popular version of the psychometrics is called the DISC. DISC measure four aspects of the behavior of any individual namely, Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and compliance. These are a reflection of an individual’s assertiveness, structure and patience. Another interesting aspect of DISC is that it interprets the relationships between the above mentioned factors as well. For e.g. the behavior of a person with high level of dominance and influence will be somewhat different to that of a person who has high dominance but is low on influence. These are various combinations that make up different profiles and the number theoretically reaches around a million.
DISC uses all this information to draft an individual’s personality traits, how the person works, what his likes, dislikes, weaknesses and strengths etc. Other notable methods of psychometrics used by recruiters and professional coaching academies are the MBTI (Meyrs-BriggsType Indicator) and the Big 5. MBTI was developed in 1942 whereas the Big 5 was introduced 40 years later. The Big 5 has been endorsed by various researchers as a very accurate profiling technique especially when it is coupled with computer technology.
Although psychometrics are a great assisting tool but it should be considered just that, an assisting tool. It is by no means a final decision or result of any person’s ability or persona. This is because these tests follow a pre designed question patterns which are word based and hence once the patterns and questions have been around for a substantial period of time they become very predictable. Therefore people who have faced them previously do not find it difficult to answer in a manner that is expected rather than what is their true instinct. So this has to be kept in mind by any coaching authority while conducting the psychometrics for profiling of aspiring candidates.
Although it has been a great tool of modern day and has helped many individuals and organizations in planning for the best, yet it is an ever changing field with newer systems and tests coming around often. True success lies in understanding this system and using it wisely.