Sounds a funny title but was chatting to a business friend of mine this morning on the way to the office.
We were talking about psychometric testing and how it had been used during our careers. And how there were many new and amazing tools available now to help understand how we think and operate under different conditions and stresses.
A friend of my business partner is doing some great work using “Brain Training” to assist people process information and their thoughts better, especially in times of crisis or stress.
During my chats, I was able to recall my first exposure to this type of HR/management tool, a Human Synergistics test carried out in my first job back in the early 80’s. Yes I’m that old now!
I was quite impressed with the results it gave and how accurate a picture it was of me at that time. One of the key differences to other tests at that time was that it was not only a personal review/test but also a peer review. So as well as testing how I saw myself it also tested how my peers/subordinates/boss saw me and identified any differences between the two. It resulted in a subtile but safe performance review and identified some really key differences between how I thought I behaved and how I actually behaved.
One of the key findings for me was that I had plenty of career goals but no personal goals.
So I set about adding a personal goal to my life and 18 months later I completed my first and only marathon, The 1986 Rotorua marathon in 4:32.
Now in hindsight this was an opportunity to address a wider, more potentially damaging issue in my life – that I only had career goals.
But the tool and the associated advice was only focused on me and matching my life to a series of checks and balances rather than looking at the deeper personal issues that were affecting my decision making and the views I held of myself.
So the tool was awesome but the application of the findings and the interpretation of the results as they specifically related to me were missing.
Again in hindsight, they would have highlighted a dangerous trend I was on that would eventually lead me to burnout and a mid life crisis in my early 30’s.
So today, as I’m working with my buddy Patrick and introducing pscometric tests and other useful personal development tools I’m reminded that the tool is not the answer.
But rather the consideration of the findings through the years of experience and wisdom gathered by us both over our careers and then APPLICATION of the findings. It may sound obvious but it sadly is not.
And even the “peer” review aspect is sometimes missed. How important is it in team development to know how you “appear” to others rather than what you think you are to others? Why is there a difference between what you think and what others actually see in you and your behaviour.
So as I end this post I’m just confirming that tools are great. But it is the application of the findings to you personally and to your team that will result in positive change.
And that’s where a good business or personal mentor comes in – we see the bigger picture of you and, utilising our experience, wisdom and perception, can add different positive values, advice, guidance and support to you not only in your business or team but in your personal life as well.