The lack of practical application of psychometric tests
Here’s one of the most common mistakes companies make about team performance:
✓ Teams take personality tests/profiles.
✓ Expected to remember what each of their team’s members’ type is (e.g. ENTJ) after the test (e.g. MBTI, DISC, Belbin, etc)
✓ Expected to magically perform better because “now they get each other”…
There’s even a guide on how to ask questions when talking to the people with a different MBTI result than you.
Let’s be realistic here…
We’re lucky if people remember their own test result.
Reality doesn’t work like that!
The above is assuming an idealised world where everyone feels able and safe to address concerns with everyone else, without (fear of) repercussions…
(and remembering everyone’s preference!).
People are left with this “test result” and now have to work out how it applies to them and their relationships in the team…
Like with line manager Mary who drives them crazy with her meetings that seem like an overwhelming set of actions, when in fact she’s just thinking out loud ideas (e.g. she might have come as an INFP on MBTI).
Having the courage to address with Mary these types of meetings requires the individuals to feel safe that talking to Mary won’t make them look bad, or worse, have repercussions on their career…
There are often clashes within a team of people with diverse ways of thinking. But often these clashes are not addressed.
Knowing how the other person might be different might help understand why the clashes happen To_An_Extent.
However, to be able to address the clashes (and ultimately increase team performance), they need to have between the team members:
✓ trust that the relationship won’t be damaged
✓ self awareness and self assurance
✓ ability to address conflict assertively but respectfully
✓ psychological safety to address conflict and assume fault.
How do you build those?
Managers and leaders have to be vulnerable first.
In order to do that constructively, they have to understand the aspects of their behaviour that create culture in their department unconsciously (without them wanting or realising).
E.g. If CTO never says he doesn’t know, why is he expecting his team to be honest and say when they don’t know?
(I say “he” because I am yet to work with a female CTO.)
Raising self awareness of the acts they do without wanting is done by asking about your behaviour and blind spots:
✓ trusted friends and colleagues reassuring them that you won’t be upset by the “constructive” part
✓ doing an anonymous survey of friends and colleagues
✓ speaking to a executive counsel who’s spoken to the people you work with (it’s one of the things I do).
How have you been able to use personally tests properly in your work?
What are they best for?
Are they useful at all? (Controversial, I know!)