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5 Steps to Understanding Psychometrics

“Only those who respect the personality of others can be of real use to them.” Albert Schweitzer

Psychometrics is a field of study concerned with the theory and technique of educational and psychological measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits. It is a complex science through which we are able to quantify preferences in an objective and precise manner. This tool has a wide range of applications ranging from team building to benchmarking the personality of a candidate against  particular organizational cultures and environments. It also has a host of benefits which can be realized at both  personal and organizational levels. Outlined below are five steps to make your understanding of the instrument simpler.

1. Fundamentals: At the core of psychometrics lies complex research which revolves around a few main concepts. Reliability, which measures the consistency of the instrument Validity, which measure the characteristics, which it claims to measure. Standardization, which sets up protocols for conducting the test. To learn more about the fundamental of psychometrics please click here.

2. Types of test: Psychometric tests fall into three main categories. The first category measures personality & values of the candidate, this encompasses behavior, drivers and feelings, to name a few. The second category measures aptitude & ability which provides a gauge for the cognitive ability of the candidate. The last category is used for development & guidance used in team building, counseling and personal development. To learn more about different types of test please click here.

3. Personal benefits: Psychometric tests can be great stepping stones to accelerate the process of learning more about yourself. They can be particularly useful in identifying areas of  strengths, personal drivers and your own personal work based preferences. When used correctly under the guidance of a trained consultant you will be able to realize the benefits of this tool more effectively. To learn more about how you could benefit from psychometrics please click here.

4. Organizational benefits: Psychometrics is being integrated increasingly into organizations worldwide. With the increasing level of competition, reliance on productivity and ever growing demands of shareholders, organizations have integrated psychometrics to place individuals accurately, build stronger teams, specifically aiming to reduce the rate of attrition, which is a major issue in the corporate world today. To learn more about how your organization can benefit from psychometrics please click here.

5. Ethics: Psychometrics involves a collection of personal and private information. This information must be used in a manner which builds trust with those taking part in these assessments. A high level of confidentiality needs to be maintained, equal opportunities should given to all and the data from the assessments must be used and shared with the consent of the candidate. To learn more about ethical conduct in the world of psychometrics please click here.

Psychometrics provides a powerful medium to harness individual energy and that of the organization . When highly reliable and valid assessments are used under the supervision of trained consultants, maximum benefit will be derived. The results and reports provided at the end of assessment, can only do as much as you want to do with them. They provide starting steps which need to be taken further to realize any substantial gains. If anyone has questions regarding this subject, I will be more than happy to answer them for you.

* Our organization conducts private and public workshops on “Integrating Psychometrics At Your Organization.” Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about this program at enquire(at)innovogs(dot)com

 

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Ethics and Testing

“Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling.” Valdemar W Setzer

Ethics and integrity formulate basic tenets for achieving a balanced, successful and happy life. Without them, we find ourselves on shaky grounds in life, akin to being without a moral compass to direct us. These principles also apply to the realm of testing, particularly to psychometric testing. This is due primarily to the fact that testing of candidates personality types and cognitive abilities involves sensitive information , in the wrong hands or if used with ill intent it can have extremely damaging implications. I have listed a few guidelines on ethical conduct and psychometrics below.

1. Confidentiality: When a candidate completes his/her test ,the reports of the test must be strictly viewed by authorized personnel only. These reports must not be shared with any third party without the consent of the candidate. Strict measures must be taken to control access to these reports and documents. Once a level of trust has been broken with a candidate salvaging the trust factor of this relationship is a difficult task and one which will severely impact the reputation of your organization.

2. Equal opportunity: At InnovoGS, it is our policy to work positively to reduce inequality with all current employees & potential employees, by ensuring that they are treated equitably, fairly, without discrimination and with dignity and respect, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexuality, disability, religion or belief. This helps in creating a level of trust and comfort with candidates, and eliminates any biases which could impact the assessments. 

3. Data usage: Large amounts of valuable data is collected when psychometric assessments are carried out. If you have a requirement to use this data for research purposes, you need to ensure that you take permission from the candidates on whether their data can be included anonymously as part of the research. It is absolutely essential that you take a transparent position when using psychometrics generated data to ensure the candidate that your intentions are clear.

Psychometrics is a very powerful tool which can be used both positively and negatively. It is the responsibility of the provider to ensure that they have integrated high levels of ethics and integrity into the evaluation process. Unfortunately psychometrics has multiple stigmas attached to it due to the fact that some providers have not been very transparent in their analysis, an aspect that continuously raises a level of suspicion. If you are looking into using psychometrics at your organization or planning on starting a business in this field, please ensure that ethics and integrity are tightly embedded into your corporate culture.

 

 

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Psychometrics and Organizations

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined efforts of each individual.” Vince Lombardi

The world is becoming smaller and more competitive by the day. As high quality resources become scarcer, organizations are facing a multitude of performance and productivity related issues. In the last decade or so there has been an ever increasing focus on human resources (HR) function in organizations, primarily because people are finally being seen as an organization’s most valuable asset. Psychometrics provides organizations with comprehensive information regarding understanding this asset. Listed below are some ways psychometrics could benefit organizations.

1. Better placement: Using a wide variety of tests available in the market place, helps to identify positions which are more suited to particular individuals. At work, most of the time we adapt to the environment, culture and the sort of work we do. Sometimes we get lucky and actually enjoy what we do, other times the clock doesn’t move fast enough. Through psychometrics, HR could essentially become more adept in placing individuals with greater accuracy, increasing productivity, efficiency and employee morale.

2. Team building: Tests such as the MBTi provide HR the ability to understand team dynamics with a greater level of insight. These tests provide HR with the ability to gauge interpersonal styles of an individual, how they like to receive information, what factors affect their decision making and how they structure their lives. Using this data helps create teams who are better able to understand each other, work more effectively and most importantly, execute. 

3. Decreased retention: When individuals enjoy the type of work they do, enjoy the people they work with, a natural increase in productivity, efficiency and morale is a natural outcome. I have personally noticed that when individuals or teams reach such a stage, attrition levels fall. This results in massive cost savings for organizations and can actually convert into a strong competitive advantage in the world we live in today.

Listed above are some reasons why your organization should look into psychometrics. It is important to note that the benefits listed above are not solely derived from psychometrics, they can be achieved when senior management makes a commitment to making their HR function more strategic. Training development and coaching are integral parts of the mix, together with psychometrics they help you form a strong bond with your employee and lay the foundation for a strong organization.

 

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Psychometrics and You

“Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.” Soren Kierkegaard

Understanding oneself is a major step that has to be undertaken to create change in ones life. To be successful and achieve set goals, it is vital to identify one’s strengths, weaknesses and limitations. Psychometrics does not provide you with all the answers, but what it does, is help make the abstract concepts of personality more tangible. Listed below are a few ways that specific psychometric personality assessments could aid and benefit growth.

1. Identification of strengths: Tests such as strength finder highlight and bring greater emphasis to your strengths. From childhood, aspects of our lives which were weakest got the most attention, for example if you were exceptional at english literature and not the greatest at math, a lot of energy used to go into making your math skills better at the expense of developing your skills in literature further. Through psychometrics and targeted assessment we can identify areas of exceptional skills and focus on developing them further.

2. Identification of drivers: Tests such as the values & motives inventory provide specific reports which show what motivates you and what sort of entrepreneurial or career paths you may be more suited towards. These can be really insightful and help you focus your energy on paths where you may be more inclined to follow with more accuracy.

3. Work environment preferences: Tests such as the 15FQ+ provide tremendous insight into the sort of team player slot you are most suited for based on your preferences,the sort of leadership styles that are most effective with your personality and even how you can be more effective in communicating your thoughts and ideas. This provides a comprehensive picture of the sort of working environment that would suit you the most and how to be more effective on the path you take.

Listed above are just the few ways psychometrics can help you to understand yourself better in an objective and accurate manner. It is then upto you to use the results when you get them. Ideally you should talk them over with a trained consultant and get feedback on your report as also answers to any queries. Think of it as a giant stepping stone which provides you with the ability to understand aspects of yourself without the benefit of time and experience . 

 

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Types of Tests

“At college age, you can tell who is best at taking tests and going to school, but you can’t tell who the best people are. That worries the hell out of me.” Barnaby C. Keeney

Psychometric tests can be classified in three basic categories. Each category assesses a particular aspect, whether it is personality, cognitive ability or basic interests. Listed below are the three types in some detail:

1. Personality & Values: Tests of personality and values provide a fair, objective and accurate method of predicting likely behaviour in a wide range of settings. They allow you to gather information which is not easy to gather from interviews or any other traditional means of evaluation. They give you much greater insight into character pattern of behavior, thoughts, and feelings.

2. Aptitude & Ability: These tests provide a comprehensive and in-depth measure of mental capacity. Tests in this category are designed to assess high level reasoning ability. This is a category which most of us have had more exposure to at school, entering colleges and now, even common place when applying for jobs. 

3. Development & Guidance: These tests are used to facilitate personal development, career guidance, team building and counseling. They provide candidates the ability to understand key concepts on how to interact with the rest of the world, take in information, process that information and eventually make decisions. These help greatly in areas for developing much stronger teams and making the candidate more productive and efficient.

Once again if you are asked to take or are taking a test for personal development, it is highly recommended that you ask the test provider for details regarding the reliability and validity of the test. This list will also provide you with reference for the sort of test to take to get the information you seek.

 

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5 steps to find out who you are

You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don’t think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully. Anthony Robbins

“Who are you?” was the question which was tackled this week. By no means is this an easy question to answer and in most cases not too many ask themselves this question till it is too late. For you to be able to succeed at anything in life you need to realize what it is that you are good at and, not good at. Simply plugging along and hoping for the best isn’t an optimal strategy. Being an entrepreneur, identifying your strengths and weaknesses and those of your team mates are essential in creating winning teams.

1. How do you energize yourself?: Some people draw their energy from the outside world with constant interaction with friends, co-workers or teammates. This constant interaction energizes them to be more productive and efficient. Some people draw their energy from the inner world. They need time-out to gather their thoughts and feelings to energize themselves. How do you energize yourself? To read more please click here.

2. How do you process information?: Do you work best with facts and figures or do you rely a lot on your gut feelings? Some individuals find it a lot easier to process information when they can use their 5 senses to verify information. They prefer information to be provided in a step by step manner. Others look a lot deeper than the senses, they are able to perceive and infer a lot of things which may not be clearly apparent. They are constantly moving from one thought to the next. How do you process information? To read more click here.

3. How do you make decisions?: Are you the type who requires all the facts and then likes to make logical decisions, or do you take into account the implication of your decision on those it may affect and then make a decision? People who prefer to go with the facts and reach practical decisions may appear to be cold, however their reasoning has sound fundamentals and may be the correct decisions. Others who take into account the implication of their decision before taking it may appear to be weak, however their reasoning is based on maintaining harmony in the group or team. How do you usually decide? To read more click here.

4. How do you structure your life?: Is your routine strict and regimented or do you have more of a carefree attitude and prefer to keep your options open? People who prefer structure in their daily routines tend to follow a day to day task list to help them prioritize. Making decisions as soon as possible to remove ambiguity is something they prefer. On the other hand people who prefer a more autonomous structure in life like to keep their options open all the time. They work best in situations where there are no strict deadlines to meet. How do you prefer to structure your life? To read more click here.

5. Put it all together: Once you have decided on all your preferences you you should click here and follow the instructions. You will arrive at a 4 character personality type which will highlight some common characteristics of that type. See if it sounds like you and how you prefer to operate.

What type are you?

I hope this process will help you see your preferences with greater clarity. This is by no means a definitive guide to identifying your personality. It is just an indicator of your stated preferences. It helps you to understand yourself better and also how your team mates prefer to operate. If this is done as a team exercise it boosts internal communication and increases productivity as team members now realize how a certain person processes information and ultimately reaches a decision. For an indepth analysis please email enquire@innovogs.com to schedule a JTi test.

I can hardly believe 4 weeks have already gone by. Thank you again for your support and continued readership. Major changes to the blog are underway so if there is anything that you want to see on this blog and don’t see yet please email me or leave a comment and I will do my best to incorporate it into the blog.

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Putting it all together

If we don’t see a failure as a challenge to modify our approach, but rather as a problem with ourselves, as a personality defect, we will immediately feel overwhelmed. Anthony Robbins

We have now completed the 4 basic scales to help us gather the answer to the “who are you?” question. The four scales were:

You need to select one preference on each scale which you feel best suits who you are. Doing so will yield one of 16 combinations for example ESTJ or ISFP. So after you select your preferred type go over to E-MBTi and read up a little more about yourself. If the description doesn’t really correlate to who you think are, explore some more options. This should at least get you started on the right path. Ideally you should take an MBTi or JTi assessment. These indicators have had a lot of success in helping individuals find out where they really are on the scale. This again is just an indicator of your personality preference. It is not set in stone that if you are a INFJ then you cannot have some of the characteristics of a ESTP. Using this will help give you some direction as to what sort of companies, teams or groups you want to be part of. It will allow you to create or be part of situations where you will be most productive and efficient.

To check whether you have the correct type there are 4 basic temperaments which are unique to certain personality types. Going through the list below should get you thinking a little more about whether your selection was in the right direction or not.

Traditionalist (Sensing Judging) ESFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ, ISFJ: This group of individuals are the ones who enjoy structure, rules, discipline and conformity. They pay special attention to details, facts and work to further their teams or company’s goals. They are those dependable team mates who always deliver on what they were supposed to and make sure that they do a great job as well. Due to their preference for facts and details they don’t pay too much attention to the bigger picture. This hinders their ability to be good future planners. For them change is very difficult to adopt to.

Experiencing (Sensing Perceiving) ESFP, ESTP, ISTP, ISFP: This group of individuals are the ones who enjoy autonomy and freedom in the work they do. They learn quickly from first hand experiences and are very agile in adapting to change along the way. They are very good at focusing on the present and are pro-active in getting the job done. Being avid risk takers they are not afraid of taking the plunge into the unknown and learning from there. They don’t like too many abstract theories as they like to remain grounded and use their 5 senses to evaluate situations. Keeping options open is critical and commitments tend to be neglected till the very last minute.

Idealist (iNtuitive Feeling) ENFP, INFP, INFJ, ENFJ: This group of individuals are the ones who are most interested in connections with people, understanding the meaning of life and continuously looking for possibilities. They have innate capabilities to understanding people well and connecting with them at their level. They are good motivators and are a source of inspiration to the rest of the group or team. Working together and finding creative solutions to problems is their forte. They however get very involved with the emotional aspect of life and find it difficult to separate it from their day to day life. This in turn invariably effects their decision making capabilities.

Conceptualizers (iNtuitive Thinking) ENTP, INTP, INTJ, ENTJ: This group of individuals are the ones who are most interested in looking for meaning and focusing on its implications and outcomes. Their strong logical decision making capabilities provide them with the ability to become great leaders, strategizers and change agents. They are continuously focused on the bigger picture and are very imaginative. They however sometimes get lost in the bigger picture and have difficulty seeing the actual picture. Being fiercely competitive, harmony within the group is not their top priority. They value power and move towards people or organizations that can provide them with it.

In essence these are 4 basic temperaments to help guide you along the way to understanding yourself a little better. They should always be used as guides to help you define your preferences. To verify your choices you can email enquire@innovogs.com to find out about taking our JTi test online.

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Choice vs Choices

The best choice for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve. Aristotle

The last scale we are going to be talking about relates to how we structure our life. Are you continuously seeking to control your life or do you have a more carefree approach where you get excited about where tomorrow may take you? Can you make a decision easily or do you require multiple choices and a little more time to think things through? Do you get excited when you begin projects or when you end them? The fact of the matter is that sometimes we are forced to do somethings that we don’t particularly like to do. Say you have a carefree attitude and like to keep options open,but at work you have been told to tell the HR manager about which department you want to get transferred to by the end of the day and that makes you uncomfortable. You will make this decision because you “have” to.The two ends of the scale are judging vs perceiving.

On one hand of the spectrum we find the judging personality preference. This side of the scale prefers to have a fair amount of structure in their lives. They usually have tidy desks and follow a day to day task list to help them prioritize and complete tasks on time. They prefer to make decisions as soon as possible and any delay in reaching a conclusion causes them considerable stress. They have a strong work ethic which gets them to jot down goals for themselves and they work diligently to attain them. Closing a deal or finishing a project gives them immense relief and joy at the same time. Time is scarce in their point of view and they do all that is possible to maximize it.

On the other hand of the spectrum we find the perceivers. Structure is something that they tend to keep at a distance. The perceiver enjoys life which he/she finds full of options. This allows them to be spontaneous in their approach to life. Decision making in an either/or situation makes them feel claustrophobic. For them time is a renewable resource which causes them to not to worry too much about upcoming deadlines. They strive on starting new projects and developing the process along the way. Their goals are in a state of continuous change as they get more information. This play ethic provides them with a framework where they operate at their best.

If you are still confused as to which side of the scale you have a preference towards, probably this last example will help. A friend and you decide that you want to go by a new printer. You get to the shop and you both roughly know what type of printer you are looking for. If you are the friend who talks endlessly to the shop keeper about different options and features in the printer and cannot decide on the spot which one you want to buy you may have a slight preference towards the perceiving side. If however you go in ask the shop keeper which is the best one in a certain budget and decide to buy the one he shows you, you may have a slight preference for the judging side. This is a simple example which you can extrapolate into more complex situations to help you decide on your preferred preference.

Every startup needs its share of judgers and perceivers. They each bring with them unique qualities which are essential from the idea generation process to the implementation stage. I may have been more biased towards the judging scale as I fall in that category. However I would really like to know if you think you are a perceiver and what life is like through your eyes.

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