Personality Profiling to Manage Others and Develop Oneself


The use of personality profiling instruments has long been established as a method to assist in analysing people’s suitability for particular roles and their development needs. The most common application is for recruitment as the risks and costs of mistakes in hiring are high, and these can have a significant impact on the team, manager and overall business. Psychometrics in recruiting can help define the job specification, assist in competency-based interviewing, allow insights into innate personal traits which can help predict behaviour at work. A report on Personal Style analysis can not only ensure more effectively planned interviews, but can also be used by employers for induction and integration by supplying advance information regarding personal development needs, and it is often used for management development and mediation.


Most organisations who employ full time human resource specialists already use one or more instruments for personal assessment purposes. Some, like Belbin’s Team Role Analysis, focus on a particular competency. Others, like Myers Briggs Type Indicator, analyse personal traits across common generalist traits (eg extroversion/introversion) which can then be mapped onto a more detailed competency matrix, usually showing 8 or 16 personality factors (such as 16 PF and OPQ). The most widely used tools stem from the “DISC” matrix system which began commercial use in the USA in the 1960’s and whose original methodology comes from the Lie Detector in the 1940’s. Today’s tools are low-cost (£25-75 each) easy to administer (10-30 minutes) and can either product detailed reports for long term personal development planning, or a single page summary for one-off recruitment purposes.


These instruments are NOT designed to provide a complete analysis of personality traits – the human psyche is too complex. Nor should they be a decision-making tool; they are only helpful in decision support. Furthermore the reports are only effective when cross-referenced to other information about the individual so that trends can be ascertained and explored. This requires a trained practitioner who can then add value beyond the raw data through interpreting and co-relating the various “angles of vision”. It should never be a tool to MAKE decisions about people.


Overall, the low cost and availability of such instruments justifies usage, particularly in supporting mediation, career development, leadership skills, and reducing the risk of mis-hire and the subsequent costs in rectifying problems. Decisions about recruitment, training and promotion need as many “angles of vision” as possible, and HR professionals who have a retention strategy should take advantage of the behavioural analysis tools currently available. The biggest payback is in executive coaching and self-awareness which enables people to adapt their behaviour to others quickly and more easily. It is also a useful tool for relationship management within workplace teams and on a wider basis with family, friends and social associates.

For more info contact us. Clive is an accredited mediator and psychometrics practitioner, designing and delivering tailored workshops on behavioural awareness and cultural change.