Types of Tests
Again, there are many options around the types of tests you can choose. At Amplify HR, we like to use a couple of options that I’ve described below.
Whole Brain Thinking
This system essentially takes the way that you think and organises it into a profile. The report produced is called the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). LIke a lot of psychometric tests, it uses colours and looks at analytical and operational relationships, as well as creativity, but there’s a lot of nuance within this.
Whole Brain Thinking is a great starting point for people who have never done a psychometric test before because it gives an understanding of your personal thinking style. There’s no right or wrong, it just looks at who you are, and the lens through which you see the world. And it shows how your lens may not be the same as other people’s lenses.
It helps us to understand not just ourselves, but also other people. It improves communication, problem solving and innovation within teams, customers and suppliers.
Another one that’s really good if you haven’t done a test before, is DISC. Like Whole Brain Thinking it works with colours, and has four quadrants. The difference between them is that DISC focuses on behaviours and the way that you do things. Whole Brain Thinking focuses on thinking preference, which can lead to behaviours, but that’s much more of an internal process.
The only caution I would raise about DISC is to be careful of the version you use. The psychologists who created the theory, and later the test, didn’t patent the name so anybody can create a test and call it DISC. This is okay, as long as the test is reliable and valid. But not all DISCs are the same.
Personality tests include things like Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ), which are arguably more reliable and valid.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of personality tests, because there’s not a lot of agreement within the social psychology community about the definition of personality anyway. But for some roles, like sales, these can be quite useful.
We see MBTI used a lot with sales teams, because it can help the sales people to understand prospects and where they may be coming from, and learn how to build a better relationship with them based on that personality type. I would consider them as a base level assessment, and a good as a starting point.
Life Styles Inventory
Life Styles Inventory (LSI) looks more at leadership and uses a circumplex that only has three colours – we do like colours with assessments! This is more of a developmental tool.
With Whole Brain, DISC and MBTI, the focus is on who you are, the strengths and weaknesses of that, and what you can understand about your profile.
As you step up to this developmental level, you begin to look beyond where you are, and start looking at where you should be. Developmental assessments offer much more detail about areas where you can improve, and because of this they can be more confronting, especially if this is the first psychometric test that you do.
Emotional Intelligence Tests
Emotional intelligence tests are great for emerging or current leaders, because having emotional and social skills is very important for leading effectively.
Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) is one of the more popular emotional intelligence tests. To my knowledge, it’s the only ability-based intelligence test that is scientifically validated. There are also tests like the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQI), which we use quite a bit at Amplify HR as a self-reporting tool, though it does have a 360 option.
The Profile XT (PXT) test takes the role that you have in your business and benchmarks it against others, essentially saying, ‘Well, here’s the type of profile that a successful person in your role should have.’ And then you test yourself against that profile. It allows you to see areas for potential development in your particular role.