Grant Nichol, Managing Partner, Melbourne, Australia
Making Best Use of Psychometrics
There are many differing views on how one assesses leadership and management skills that enable great performance. It usually includes examining previous leadership and management behavior, and seeking evidence of its effectiveness and success through thorough due diligence. This is a critical part in the process for assessing any individual for an executive appointment.
Beyond this, however, we are often seeking other informed means of assessing leadership potential and effectiveness using input from carefully selected psychometric tools.
The NGS Global Oceania team utilizes a suite of Arbiter tools, and have developed a highly effective and useful three-pronged psychometric assessment framework that can add insight to the overall leadership potential and capabilities of an individual.
Our methodology comprises three core assessment instruments:
- the MHS EQi which assesses emotional intelligence
- the Influence Style Indicator (ISI), and
- the Hardiness Resilience Gauge (HRG).
1. The MHS EQi
Much has been written about the concept of emotional intelligence and its application in executive assessment and development. The concept largely centers around self-awareness – the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate one’s own emotions. This ability is usually accepted as essential in effective human interaction, including in management and leadership. Equally, the ability to understand, interpret and respond to the emotions of others is of critical importance.
Emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as social competence, plays a significant role in effective leadership; conversely, if it is significantly lacking, it is associated with ineffective management and leadership behavior.
The MHS Eqi assesses an individual’s responses against well-established international norms, including subsamples of professionals and leaders, giving an indication of the individual’s relative strengths across the dimensions of the EQ model. This includes Self-Expression/Perception, Stress Management, Decisioning and Interpersonal Relationships.
2. Influence Style Indicator (ISI)
The ISI establishes an individual’s influencing style preferences. This includes styles that are fundamentally Advocating - pushing one’s ideas and beliefs (Asserting, Rationalizing), styles that are more Uniting, and those which seek to bring people together by establishing common interests and/or beliefs (Inspiring, Bridging).
The ISI can be useful not only to give an indication of the person’s style preferences regarding how they seek to influence others, but also, and more importantly, the degree to which they utilize a range of styles, as opposed to a dominant preference for one style across all situations.
Influence styles are situational, and none are necessarily optimal across all situations. The ISI can also help to develop self-awareness, giving the individual insight into different styles, where their preferences lie, and how to work with others with different styles.
3. Hardiness Resilience Gauge (HRG)
The HRG is a tool that seeks to assess the individual’s overall level of resilience, or ‘hardiness’. The HRG model has three components:
- Challenge: the degree to which the individual views change, and novelty is seen as a positive, and an opportunity to learn
- Control: a sense of belief that one can influence outcomes in your life, often referred to as the ‘Locus of Control’, and
- Commitment: the degree to which the individual is engaged and views most of life as interesting and meaningful.
The HRG plots the individual’s responses to a questionnaire against a well-established sample to give an indication of relative strength in these three areas, and an overall assessment of the important concept of resilience, or hardiness – the ability to recover from setbacks and manage stress in the workplace, or life in general. The assessment can provide valuable information, particularly for individuals entering a role that involves rapid change and instability, or a relocation to a new country/culture, or when an executive is looking to change occupational industries, for example.
We find that the combination of these three tools provide well-rounded insights to support a wide range of executive leadership development and retained search scenarios. We use them alongside Behavioral Event Interviews for participants where individual feedback and development sessions with our team members are a critical part of the process.