Despite the scary sounding name, users of psychometrics often report that they enjoy the process and feel encouraged by the output.
In simple terms a psychometric is a questionnaire that helps the user better understand themselves. In a team this is an excellent way to identify colleagues’ strengths and preferences. For instance a questionnaire might say that Sue is creative and sociable who works best when given regular feedback by her manager whilst Dave is disciplined and analytical, preferring to be set a task and left alone to get on until he’s completed the work.
One of the original and much used team questionnaires’ is Belbin Team Roles, this analyses behavioural preferences and helps to match an individual to the kind or work and role they will most enjoy. A slightly more sophisticated booklet based psychometric is the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI), taking around 10 minutes to complete it then positions the user in one of one million positions that indicates his or her mix of core values. For example Joe is motivated by the impact his actions have on other people whilst Mary is driven by measurable achievements. A relatively new kid on the block is Facet5, the comprehensive reporting allows managers to explore individual behaviour, attitudes, motivation and aspirations; identifying differences and strengths in personality style and performance. With data captured, stored and analysed online this tool presents the team with opportunities to make comparisons between colleagues and align managers with team members.
Some people are understandably hesitant about these tools and we recommend that they should only ever be facilitated by accredited experts and used alongside practical activities that serve to underpin the theoretical findings with real life experience.