Assessment

One of the keys to understanding yourself better (an essential part in making good decisions for yourself), is to understand more about your personality. There are a number of different theories and tools around, but one that I have found incredibly useful, and user friendly, is Personality Type, based on the work of Carl Jung (1875 – 1961).

Understanding preferences

As part of my career work with individuals, I help them to understand their personality preferences, which enables them to gain an insight into the work environment that supports them to be who they are, the interactions they prefer to have with people, and the types of activities they find engaging. The options that are considered can then be evaluated in terms of what will work best for that individual.

A popular inventory that is used to find out an individual’s personality preference is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) which was developed by Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers.

Working together

 I have recently had the privilege of running team workshops on personality type, within organisations. Running workshops with a team has many advantages. Not only does each individual gain an insight into their own working style, communication, decision making, leadership and problem-solving preferences, but also gains an insight into how team mates prefer to be, and from that, develops an appreciation of the richness of working together.

Take care when interpreting results

One thing that I always raise with both individuals and groups, is the importance of taking the relevant and useful information from any assessment that they complete, and separating this from what isn’t relevant. I get very concerned when I hear situations where the results of an assessment have been used as the sole factor to make a decision, such as in some recruitment decisions. Information derived from these assessments should be used in conjunction with information from other sources, and if discrepant information is gained, it signals further investigation may be required. Great care should be taken to not place undue weight on assessment findings or predict performance in another setting. Practitioners should also be competent and appropriately trained to use the assessment with a client.

The outcomes from assessments can add insight and result in the development of useful strategies to make decisions and work effectively. And they can also be used in unsafe and harmful ways if not administered and interpreted correctly.

Important questions

If you are wanting to complete an individual assessment, or organise a workshop for your team, there are some questions I encourage you to ask:

  1. Is the assessment structured and standardised, with validity (the degree to which evidence and theory support the interpretations and relevance of assessment results in the proposed use of the assessment), and reliability (the consistency of measurements obtained on an assessment when the assessment procedure is repeated on a population of individuals or groups).
  2. Is the practitioner qualified to administer and interpret the assessment?
  3. What is their experience with this assessment?
  4. Do they adhere to a Code of Ethics?

Contact  Caroline  (caroline@thecdc.nz) if you would like to know more about Personality Type and how it could be of value to you.

Caroline Sandford is an Executive Director at The Career Development Company

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