Category: Psychometrics

Applying Psychometric in Coaching Sessions

Nowadays, several organizations have focused more on the need for coaching and training their employees. Whether you have a small or big organization, you may find it important to arrange a coaching session for your employees. However, one of the interesting things is that modern coaches have started applying psychometrics during the training session. Now, let us introduce you to the psychometrics. 

 Psychometrics is one of the specialties, dealing with various techniques and theories of one’s psychological measurement.  In fact,it helps in measuring the attitudes, abilities, personality and knowledge.To say simply, thepsychometric test is effective at analyzing one’s ability for accomplishing a task. It is also helpful for identifying some details about that person. 

Psychometric tests play a very important role to accelerate the process of coaching in the corporate sector. The assessments, done through these tests, are the best options, to help you in setting the right goals for a coaching session. 

 What does the coach do by having a psychometric response? 

  • You may have found the outcomes fromthe psychometric test. Now, as one of the coaches, you have some important roles to play.  
  • Find the perspective for setting the right frame for communication. You can identify the psychometric value in the conversation.  
  • Go through a variety of scenarios and perspectives to ensure that you have made the right plan for the ultimate action.  
  • From a psychometric test, you can focus on the positive aspects and strengths. It will be easier to know what you have to change for eliminating the weakness. You can do everything for balancing the conversation.  
  • Response to the questions and interpret the information rightly. You may be prepared to elucidate the report, detecting the misinterpretations. Moreover, you will also be able to deal with various emotional responses. 

 Application of psychometrics during the pre-coaching session 

  • Establish a policy for psychometrics- You have to be transparent in doing that. Use them properly for building trust. 
  • Know the goals of your team or organization 
  • Find out the needs of the trainee for choosing the psychometric 
  • Use the right psychometric tools, having a high quality 
  • Now, identify the best practitioner, who know about these tools 

 Psychometrics during your coaching session 

  • It is important to present an introduction before applying psychometrics for your coaching.  
  • Make a professional and considerate presentation of the results. 
  • The trainees need to make a systematic approach for a positive response 
  • You can continue managing the outcomes of using the tool. 
  • The best coaching discussion on the psychometric results in valuable insight. Thus, the most important step is to find the strengths for personal development. 

Psychometrics during the post-coaching period 

When it is a post-coaching period, you can look for some helpful insights. The coaching or training session may be very short. However, the coach must be ready for a follow-up. It is also essential for a coach to track the progress regularly. Another relevant step is to evaluate everything from the overall approach. 

Thus, we have discussed in brief how psychometrics is related to a coaching process. 

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How to Conduct Psychometrics in Coaching

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.

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See With Your Tongue

If you were told that you can see with your tongue, how will it sound?  Crazy or even impossible, isn’t it? But it is not so. A study by Bach-Y- Rita, a neuroscientist proved that the eye has nothing to do with sight1. It is the brain that sees whereas the eyes are just an input device1. The experiment proved that an individual can see even when blindfolded by catching an impulse with the tongue.  The subject in the experiment was blindfolded and his ears closed. His right hand, arm and head were strapped with wires which were connected to a computer while his tongue was filled with electrodes. A ball was rolled on the table on which he placed his hands. Even though the subject could not see or hear, he could catch the ball due to the impulse felt at the tongue with the rolling of the ball.

Similarly is the case of ears, tongue, nose and skin. They are all input devices for vision, sound, taste, smell and touch to be passed on to the brain. When the data is passed on to the brain, the brain processes the information that enables us to experience the five senses. There are different areas in the brain for each of these senses such as “visual cortex for visual input and somatosensory cortex for touch input”2.  The information to the brain can be passed from any input device i.e. from any sensory organ and the brain will still processes the data. For example another study showed how the brain uses the visual cortex and the somatosensory cortex for people who were blind from birth2. The study showed that blind people can still visualize the patterns of the bumps when using the Braille though they cannot see anything2.

These kinds of experiments only proved that the brain is the most plastic and fantastic organ. Research states that if one part of the brain is damaged, other part of the brain can be enabled to perform the same function that has been hampered. Not only that Bach-Y- Rita’s experiment helped navy divers to see in the dark, black waters of the ocean through the sonar signals that passed through their tongue interface3. Similarly, battlefield soldiers are enabled to have a 360 degree vision in the night through the infrared sensors in their helmets that pass data signals to their tongues3.

Authored by Akash Chander. Akash is currently the Principal Coach at The Orange Academy. He is the lead facilitator for Leadership training programs conducted by Strengthscape Private Limited

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Meditation And The Brain

Meditation is correlated to keeping you calm and relaxed. It no doubt reduces anxiety and stress. Studies have found that meditation reduces blood pressure in people with coronary heart disease and enhances the health and the well-being of people who meditate.

However, research has found that meditation alters the structures of the brain and enables you to perform better. It has been found that meditation thickens certain areas of the neocortex such as the right anterior insula and the prefrontal cortex which is involved in sensory processing and attention.  It was observed that the meditators have long attention span than those who did not.

A study found that the gray matter (neocortex) of the mediators increased which is important for learning and memory. At the same time there was reduction in the area of amygdala which is connected to anxiety and stress. Another study of 2008 found that the brain of those who practice meditation had stronger activation levels in the part of the brain connected to empathy (called temporal parietal junctures). This was not found in the control group who did not meditate.

Meditation is form of mental exercise and the neocortex is found to have grown bigger and thicker in meditators. This growth of the neocortex is not due to the result of the growth of the new neurons but due to the increased neuron connections and branching. Growth of the neocortex is also due to widening of blood vessels and supporting structures of the brain such as the glia and astrocytes.

When individuals meditate they do not simply sit doing nothing. They practice mindfulness meditation by focusing on certain objects. The object of focus can be anything and need not be considered as spiritual. It can be anything from focusing on one’s breathing sensations, nature or anything that does not distract the mind from drifting away or indulge in thoughts and feelings of stress or frustrations. Usually meditators are seated on a floor in a calm and quiet environment remaining silent and sometimes guided by a session. Hence it is ideal to learn meditation under trained practitioners.

A recent research of 2011 found that participation in a mindfulness meditation training program resulted in measurable changes in the brain regions of the participants associated with memory, empathy, sense of self and stress. Researcher Britta Hölzel observed that meditation resulted in brain plasticity and noted that we can change our brains to improve our well-being and quality of life.

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Internal Dialogue – Is The Key

What is common to Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Abraham Lincoln? All of them were considered failures in their initial ventures, but they persisted and overcame their failings to become masters in their chosen line. Today, the world recognizes each of these personalities as being role models for those willing to make a change and start afresh.

1. Desiring Change

For many people, mid-life is the time when they begin to feel the need for a change. The mind slowly begins dwelling for longer time on the idea of doing something you truly enjoy doing rather than something that promises you stability but saps at your mental energy. At this stage in life, you begin looking at work not only as a source of income, but also as a means of growth, towards feeling fulfillment. In such a scenario, it is not wrong to desire a change.

However, we ought to make a clear assessment of why we are seeking a change. Reasons such as having a bad boss or a lack of recognition, or an inability to get along with people at your current place of work may warrant a change of job, not a change of career.

2. Listening to your inner voice

Leaving the security of a regular paycheck can be scary, but it is important that this anxiety should not stop you from testing the waters. If you want to make a change, but find it overwhelming to just chuck away a good job, try one of these methods to experience the new career you envision in small increments.

  • Take up a part-time job in the area of your interests to learn the ropes, and also gain insight on whether you have what it takes. You can also use this opportunity to find out if you need to gain some training to build your skills.
  • Work as a volunteer on weekends in the area of your interest – this will help you try it on for size – and see how you feel doing this.
  • Join a training class to get trained on the aspects of the new career with which you are not familiar.
  • Speak to experienced people in the field and get details of the actual status of the industry and what you can expect if you make a transition.

At the end of this, you will have a good idea of the strengths you have and the additional training you require. Remember that making a change is a lot of hard work and you need to steel your mind to keep going. Once you are clear that this is indeed what you want to do, construct your dream and devise the plan, and there is nothing that can stop you from reaching it.

3. About Self Talk

Self-talk includes all the purposeful and automatic random thoughts that run through our mind, it includes all the things said both silently and out loud.  Self-talk can be positive, it can make us take action, define our attention and focus, and get one motivated (“You can do it”). Unfortunately, self talk can also be negative (Makes us give up), pessimistic, and critical.  Such internal self talk definitely does not help performance and, in most cases, brings down performance levels.  Recognize that negative self talk is going to occur; the key is to not focus on the negatives and instead focus on the positive self talk.

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