Psychometric testing is essentially a series of tests that examine an individual’s personality traits and aptitudes for certain tasks. The tests help people better understand themselves and identify the traits and aptitudes that may best fit with other people and with current and future career options. Psychometric testing has value both for personal use and for team building.
Team Building in the Workplace
Administered by a competent trainer or coach, these tests can help build relationships and foster understanding between team members. The results can help a group appreciate each team member’s strengths and abilities, while gaining a better understanding of why people act the way they do. It also opens and creates dialogue as to why the organization needs different people with different ways of thinking in order to evolve and grow.
A newly forming team with employees joining from diverse business and cultural backgrounds may use psychometric testing to foster trust and build professional relationships. Because this is a new opportunity, the employees all bring strong skill sets but there has not been an opportunity for members to appreciate what each person brings to the team. A test such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Test or the Gregorc Personality Inventory will teach the individuals that the strength of their team comes through the diversity of their ideas, opinions and beliefs.
Personal Career Planning
For personal use, psychometric testing is often used when an individual is starting – or changing – their career. When working with a career coach, the test results are often used to confirm, recommend, or rule out choices for a new career.
In the case of the Gregorc test, for example, personalities are plotted in four quadrants according to thinking and operating styles. A coach will indicate typical careers for each paradigm. For example, a “Concrete Sequential” style could be suitable for a career as a brain surgeon or an accountant. An “Abstract Random” style might be better suited for acting or writing.
One of more popular psychometric tests is the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. Here results are placed in four groupings such as Extrovert/Introvert, or Sensing/Feeling. This can be a very sound assessment in terms of individual career planning. Once again, the test gives results that caution moving into a field that is not suited to your personality and operational style.
You can do psychometric testing on your own on the Internet, through your school or workplace, or one-on-one with a career coach. The real value of these tests is the insight you are offered into your innate preferences, traits, and tendencies and the interpretation of the results. How you use the results are up to you!