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The MBTI – Love it or Hate it

The MBTI - Love it or Hate it

The MBTI – Love it or Hate it

This week, I’ll delve into one of the most popular (and sometimes controversial) personality tests in the management and business world: The MBTI. If you’d like more of an intro into psychometrics before getting into this article, check out my first Monday Morning Metrics article here:

“Why bother with psychometrics?”

 

What is the MBTI?

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases”.
– Carl Gustav Jung, the ‘Father of Personality testing’.

Carl Jung MBTI
Carl Gustav Jung

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator draws its original roots from Jung: The incredibly-quotable founder of analytical Psychology. His work has been instrumental, not just in psychology but also in literature, philosophy and religious studies. Most importantly for us though, he was the pioneer of psychological type: The idea that we are not all created alike. Every one of us has unique and measurable differences in the way we think and interact with the world around us.

Jung’s ideas were developed into an actual personality test by the also-highly-quotable Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother Katherine Briggs (hence the name Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), in order to make Jung’s theories useful for everyday life.

This article is split into two parts. First of all, I’ll explain what the MBTI is and how it works. Second, I’ll talk about some of the reasons why the MBTI is so hotly criticised – and how the users of the MBTI have reacted to the criticism and evolved the test to make up for its shortfalls. If you’re an experienced psychometrician it would be great to hear your contributions to the debate and any other key issues too.

 

Part 1: What does the MBTI do?

MBTIThe MBTI is one of the biggest tests of personality type, and it looks at how you prefer to think and interact with the world.

The word ‘type’ here is very important, as the answers you give will place you into one category or another. Traditionally there is no middle ground – for example, you are either an Extravert or an Introvert and nowhere in between (more on this later). There are four dimensions in all, resulting in a four letter type code, such as ENFJ or ISTP.

Here’s the skinny on each of these four dimensions.

While reading through these types, you might like to think about which end you tend towards, and thus a potential type you might get if you were to do the MBTI. There are several free tests you can find on google to get a ‘Myers-Briggs’ type if you like, but do note that these are not the ‘true’ MBTI test and will just provide you with an approximation which may or may not be correct (but which will probably still be interesting).

MBTI types

Extraversion | Introversion : Where do you draw your energy from?

Extraversion/Introversion is not necessarily about how sociable you are, but about how you interact with the outside world and your internal world. Extraverts draw and gain energy from people, activities and external things, whilst internal ideas and introspection require more effort from them. Introverts are the opposite, needing to spend energy on external activities and socialising whilst recovering energy from their own ruminations, emotions and impressions.

“If you don’t know what an extravert thinks, you haven’t been listening. If you don’t know what an introvert thinks, you haven’t asked them!” – Isabel Briggs Myers

Sensing | Intuition : How do you treat information you receive?

‘Sensing’ people pay more attention to physical reality, their five senses, and what is actual, present, current and real – thus they tend to focus more on facts and specific details. In contrast ‘Intuition’ people pay more attention to impressions, meaning and patterns they see in information they receive rather than focusing on specifics. At work you might expect a Sensing person to ask, “how does this impact the bottom line?” and an Intuition person to ask, “how does this relate to the bigger picture?”. You might have noticed intuition uses ‘N’ rather than ‘I’, simply because Introversion has greedily claimed that letter already.

Thinking | Feeling : How do you like to make decisions?

This pair is perhaps the most self-explanatory. Everyone uses thinking and feeling to an extent when making decisions, but the dimension is specifically about which style you prefer applying. A thinking person prefers technical and logical solutions, notices inconsistencies, but may sometimes be too task-oriented or indifferent; whereas a feeling person is concerned with harmony, compassion and mutual understanding, while sometimes coming across as idealistic or indirect.

Judging | Perceiving : How do you interact with the world?

Even if you are a staunch introvert you interact with the outside world regularly, and this pair describes how you prefer to interact. Judging individuals prefer structure and order, and are most comfortable when things are decisive and planned. Perceiving individuals, in contrast, prefer a flexible and spontaneous way of life, focusing on understanding the world rather than organising it. Don’t confuse this dimension with ‘judgement’ or ‘being perceptive’ – this is all about the level and style of organisation you are happy with.

 

To give you an example, I’m an E – N – F – P, which indicates that I gain energy from my interactions with the world around me rather than my own impressions and ideas, I pay more attention to overall patterns and the ‘big picture’ than the details, I’m concerned with harmony and mutual understanding, and I’m most comfortable working in a flexible and spontaneous environment.

According to this article, that means my personal definition of hell at work would be this:

“Every minute of the rest of your life has been scheduled for you – and it’s a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks”.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that would drive me absolutely bonkers.

Psyence are accredited practitioners of MBTI assessment and feedback, so if you or your team are interested in taking the MBTI, call us on 015395 67878, e-mail us at enquiries@psyence.co, or visit our website at www.psyence.co.

 

Part 2: Why do some people love it or hate it?

Despite its ubiquity in the management and business worlds, the MBTI is criticised by some – particularly for some ‘academic’ shortfalls (although nowadays these have been responded to pretty well).

If you read my previous article you will probably have already thought of the two criteria, reliability and validity. Well, there are no shortage of studies that support the reliability and validity of the MBTI (such as those in this PDF article), but there are quite a few studies denouncing it as well. A common criticism is that the test-retest reliability is not great: Many people who take the MBTI a second time find that their results are quite different from those they received the first time.

When this happens, it is often because someone is very close to middle-ground on one of the attributes. For instance, a person might see themselves as an Extrovert in some situations and an Introvert in others – so their type potentially fluctuates between the two. Isabel’s view on this is that “It is up to each person to recognise his or her true preferences” – in other words, it’s up to you to identify the areas with your profile that you agree with, internalise them and decide how to act upon them. The ones you disagree with are also useful, particularly if you can identify exactly why it is you disagree with them. These are perhaps also the ones more likely to fluctuate if you take the test again.

One other problem, though, is not about the MBTI itself but rather about psychological type in general: It assumes that you are one type or another instead of placing you somewhere on a scale. You are not ‘40% extravert’ or ‘72% judging’ but you are ENTJ or ISFP. In some ways this is useful, because it allows you to instantly identify as one type or another and quickly act upon the result – clearly a useful characteristic in the modern workplace. But in reality, not all ENTJs are alike… and if they were, then the human race would simply be a catalogue with 16 different models readily available for purchase.

So, how do the users of MBTI react to this?

For those reasons, the modern MBTI reports produced by Myers-Briggs company CCP, such as those used here at Dove Nest, delve into the results a little further.

In the latest versions you get a clarity score to show how strongly you identify as one type or another (for instance, a score of 40 T indicates a clear preference for ‘T’ over ‘F’ – while a score of under 10 indicates you are fairly balanced between the two), and the dimensions are also ranked according to which ones are more dominant for you.

The most dominant scores are likely to be your preferred way of interacting and solving problems at work. For example, if you are highest on ‘Sensing’ out of all, you probably start by verifying the situation and facts; what has already done by whom; what is already working. If you are highest on ‘Feeling’, your approach may be to first look at the underlying values involved; how others will react to the options; what your personal likes/dislikes about the options are.

There are also some exciting new evolutions of the MBTI – such as the Pearman Personality Integrator developed by (you guessed it) Dr. Pearman – which we are also accredited practitioners of. I’ll cover Pearman in more detail in a future article… But for now I will just say that it takes Jung’s type theories to the next level.

“Now that I’ve done the MBTI”, I hear you ask, “What needs to happen next to make the most of it?”

Three steps to get the most out of the MBTI:

  1. Complete the questionnaire, digest and understand your MBTI type.
  2. Discuss your type and its implications in a coaching session or a workshop.
  3. From the discussion, decide what changes to make in your working style and set up an action plan.

As I explained last time, the psychometric is only step 1 of the story. The results need to be digested and explored to get maximum value, and Step 2 and Step 3 is where Dove Nest come in. Looking at your dominant styles in a coaching session allows you to go into great detail on your own type and how it affects your interactions with others, in order to help you make those interactions more effective. When applied across your whole team in a workshop, it makes the differences in the way each of you thinks very clear, and poses some interesting challenges to your team about how they incorporate each other’s styles in order to make better decisions.

 

Wrapping up

I hope this whistle-stop tour of the MBTI has been interesting and useful for you! Next time I’ll be looking at the Belbin Team Roles, which measures your types of behaviour when you interact with other people at work.

If you or your team would be interested in taking the MBTI along with some coaching or a team workshop, you can post an enquiry on our website or get in touch with us at enquiries@dovenest.co.uk.

And if you have any questions or comments about this week’s article, please do get in touch on Linked In or Twitter, Tweet at @dovenestjacob, or e-mail me at Jacob.minihan@dovenest.co.uk.

 

Jacob Minihan

Psychologist

Psyence & Dove Nest Group

Credit for opening image: Name your marmite, https://social.marmite.co.uk/

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Personality Tests: Science or Witchcraft?

Morning Metrics

Personality tests: Are they science or witchcraft?

The mystical Sorting Hat of Hogwarts is an amazing tool: It instantly sees the student’s inner personality, and allows them to be placed straightaway in the house that suits them best. Wouldn’t it be great if we somehow had the same tool in our business?

I’m Jacob, a psychology postgrad, and I’ll soon be embarking on the road to becoming a chartered occupational psychologist. I’m no master of psychometrics, but I’ve spent the last year really getting to know them, and I’m writing a series to bridge a knowledge gap. Whether you are totally new to psychometric testing, or somewhat familiar and would like to learn more, I hope this will be the place for you – whether it’s just for personal interest, for your studies, or your career.

And on the other hand, if you are a psychometric expert I would love to hear from you as well. All comments and discussion are welcome, especially if they challenge my way of thinking and/or contribute to the wider community’s understanding.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be delving into particular tools in the psychometric toolkit, like the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), EQi 2.0 (Emotional intelligence Quotient), Belbin team roles: Where they came from, what their unique and nifty features are, and how they might be useful to you and your business specifically. But for this first instalment, I thought it might be good to look at psychometrics in general: What they are, why you should be using them, and how to tell if they are worth using.

Click here to read the first post – Why bother with Psychometrics?

If you’re already clued up on psychometrics and want to read more about the different tests, please do check back later as I begin to cover the most popular psychometrics used in business today through to the more obscure ones. I will start with the MBTI, one of the most widely used personality tools (and also one of the most controversial!).

If you have any burning questions at the outset, drop me a line on LinkedIn, Tweet at @dovenestjacob, or e-mail me at Jacob.minihan@dovenest.co.uk.

If you’d like to be notified when a new Monday Morning Metrics is out, please follow the Psyence linked in or twitter feeds.

You can also follow the link to opt into the ongoing Dove Nest newsletter:

Jacob Minihan

Psychologist

Psyence & Dove Nest Group

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Why bother with Psychometrics?

Why bother with psychometrics

Why bother with Psychometrics?

What is a Psychometric test?

Since the dawn of time, mankind has sought to measure things, since measuring things is useful. But we’re not always very good at it. The job of measuring physical characteristics like height, weight and so on is very easy, because there is a clearly correct answer. If we somehow get the answer wrong, we can quickly figure out why. Things like weight are obviously useful to measure, since they let us track our development when we’re growing up, and when we want to change.

But these days, great amounts of effort are put into measuring things that are much harder to measure: the time it will take to finish copying that file, the predictions of which candidate is going to win the election, and even our own psychologies: Hence the term ‘psycho’ – ‘metric’, or psychological measurement.

These things are also clearly useful to measure, just as it’s useful to measure weight, but we need more specialised tools and methods to do so. Even then we might not be able to get the answer entirely right. However, what we absolutely can do is come to an answer close enough to be useful.

This is what a psychometric test is trying to do: It’s a way of measuring the characteristics that make up ‘you’ as a person, and being accurate enough to help people decide what to do next. Very often a psychometric test is an online-or-paper exercise or questionnaire, but there are some more unusual ones out there – and the key is that they are a measurement of a psychological concept: personality, intelligence, memory, emotion, resilience, and so on.

Why should we bother with them?

There’s no doubt that psychometrics split opinions. One of the most common criticisms is that they are trying to simplify things that are actually very complex: “How can we reduce a whole person with all their thoughts, to a simple set of numbers?”. Well, guilty as charged – this criticism highlights one of the biggest limitations of a psychometric. On its own, the test can only ever give us an indication about a person. It needs to be understood, contextualised, tempered with the rest of the story.

The key element that separates a psychometric from witchcraft is a grounding in empirical science, and there are hundreds of articles and journals you can delve into to find evidence for and against each one. For instance, a cursory google search shows three great articles: Showing the misuse of psychometrics can be troublesome, but myths denouncing their use are busted, and that they contribute to making better decisions as long as the tests are backed up by good follow-ups and by people properly trained in their use.

Simply put by Voltaire, or perhaps Spiderman depending on your generation, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. If psychometrics are used like a blunt instrument, they will distort the truth. If they are used carefully and precisely, they can be invaluable.

Here is another way to look at it: Psychometrics are a set of hypotheses about you as a person. Ones you agree with are useful, as you now have the proof-in-the-pudding that you behave in that way and can take some actions as a result. Ones you disagree with are also useful because the conflict highlights a difference in the way you actively see yourself, and how you implicitly answered to the questions relating to that hypothesis. Of course, these situations can’t be explained by the data itself, and really need to be followed up on to be of any value. Thus, you will almost always see proper personality tests used in conjunction with coaching conversations, ability tests in combination with interviews, and so on.

How do we know if they are ‘good’ or not?

So, we have the justification for using a psychometric test. How do we know whether, say, the EQi 2.0 is more valuable than “which Hogwarts house are you in”?

(Ravenclaw, by the way.)

The two key words to look out for are reliability, and validity. A good psychometric will be able to support itself with reliability and validity studies when asked for. There are many different ways these two characteristics can be measured, but by & large, they refer to:

Reliability – Is it consistent? Can I take the same test several times, and expect the same results?

ValidityDoes it do what it says on the tin? If the test says I am untidy, is it true in reality?

It’s important to know that these two things are independent of each other. For instance, imagine you have a set of scales that always measures 10 pounds heavier than it should. It’s certainly reliable – every time you measure yourself on it you get consistent results, because any change is a real change and not due to the problem with the scales. But it’s certainly NOT valid – because your actual weight is 10 pounds lighter than the scales are telling you!

Wrapping up

There it is then: a short introduction into the world of psychometrics. If anything in this article inspired you to ask a question, please do comment on Linked In or Twitter, Tweet at @dovenestjacob, or e-mail me at Jacob.minihan@dovenest.co.uk.

Next time, I’ll be looking at the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (or MBTI), one of the most widely used personality tools – and often considered to be one of the most controversial!

Jacob Minihan

Psychologist

Psyence & Dove Nest Group

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Feeling ‘snowed under’ during the holidays? Here’s your solution

stress holidays

Feeling ‘snowed under’ during the holidays? Here’s your solution

Are Holidays Stressful?

In the last decade, Mental health at work has been a critical issue.

Though the holidays are a time for relaxing and catching up with family, around this time of year stress levels are often at their highest for those still at work – with two-thirds of people feeling additional strain during the holidays!

According to Wrike’s 2015 work management survey, more than 50% of workers experience stress as a result of Missing Information and Prioritisation Problems, both issues which can be particularly painful during the holiday season when workload might shift around to accommodate key people being on holiday.

What can we do about it?

As a leader, it’s critical to be able to respond effectively to the inevitable stressors that will rear their ugly heads in front of your team. You might be able to address stress in 1-to-1 meetings throughout the year, but such issues are often quite a private thing, and people are to an extent incentivised not to share their stress, as they inevitably want to be seen as high performers and great team workers.

MindQ – an efficient solution

A novel way to address this problem is MHS’s new tool MindQ: A scientifically validated way to confidentially assess individuals’ mental health risks, which can be used in tandem with employee assistance programmes, coaching and other interventions to seamlessly provide your people with the assistance they need to remain healthy and productive at work.

MindQ is now in the suite of Psyence tools at Dove Nest group, and we never charge for exploratory conversations – so if this is something you would be interested in exploring, call us on 015395 67878, email us at enquiries@dovenest.co.uk or visit our website at www.dovenest.co.uk.

Jacob Minihan

Psychologist

Dove Nest Group

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Using Emotional Intelligence in Recruitment

Using Emotional Intelligence in Recruitment

As a species the human race likes to pass judgement rather quickly and in a recruitment scenario this is no different. Throughout the journey a hiring manager may well be subjected to discrete tactics, whether consciously or not, that help to formulate an opinion on a specific candidate. An awareness of this is important to ensure that recruitment is undertaken efficiently, ultimately with the company’s future success in mind.

What is emotional intelligence?

As we’ve explored before emotional intelligence is the ability of a person to identify and control their own emotions and those of other people around them. In an interview scenario it can become evident fairly quickly when emotional intelligence is being used to build rapport or manipulate other characteristics of the situation for the betterment of the candidate. The risk of course is that for hiring managers, recruitment decisions may then be made based upon how a candidate made you feel as opposed to their ability to do the job.

How can recruiters improve their knowledge of emotional intelligence?

An understanding of what emotional intelligence is, and that it can be increased, is a great start point for anyone working within recruitment. Significant amounts of research show that an individual’s level of emotional intelligence can be increased. By having an awareness of your own thoughts on a candidate decision making can become more objective.

How will an understanding of emotional intelligence help the recruitment process?

Now that you are aware of what emotional intelligence is and how it can influence your decision making capability you can start to design recruitment processes that enable you to hire the best candidates. Rather than making decisions based on gut feelings about a personality, your decisions can be based on scientific evidence that a person can do the job well.

A keen awareness of the company cultures, subcultures and strategic goals from an organisational and departmental level will help formulate the talent strategy. For instance, if the business has a highly competitive environment with a robust approach to sales then it may be suited towards certain character traits than others. This knowledge can help to formulate the competencies you look for in a hiring process and aspects of the strategy can be geared towards this. By seeking a demonstration of competencies in your interview you are providing a platform where candidates are less likely to be judged with bias.

Another way to ensure that bias due to emotional intelligence does not creep in is to include the use of psychometrics in your recruitment. Psychometrics are proven to deliver higher success rates in recruitment than a basic hiring process.

Final Thoughts

Whichever way you choose to recruit moving forward, by being aware that emotional intelligence can play a significant role is a start point. The ability of someone to tell a great story that appeals to emotions does not necessarily provide them with the evidence needed to be the right person for the company, its culture and the role. An awareness of this will help you to ensure recruitment errors are reduced.

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3 Tips for Improving Life Balance

3 Tips for Improving life balance

It’s pretty much a given fact that when you look around the office there’s always someone who seems calm, relaxed, good at what they do and has a keen sense of work life balance. For many of us we look at this person with a tinge of jealousy. At the same time there are others who can often be characterised as frantic. They’re in early, they beaver away for hours without coming up for air, and more often than not are the last to leave. It’s these people with whom we might often associate burnout.

Achieving life balance isn’t just about making staff happier and providing a better environment for work. Research from EY suggests that approximately a third of staff across the planet struggle to manage their work and personal lives effectively. It’s easy to see why, as a challenging external environment, with low wage rises means that for many working harder might be the badge of honour they need in order to be in line for that next promotion. However, in the States, research from the Corporate Executive Board shows that workers who believe they enjoy a healthy work/life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t.

Not only do performance levels improve in companies where work/life balance is important but so does staff engagement. By prioritising your work life balance both staff and managers stand to benefit. Here are some useful tips on where to start.

Make Your Rules Early

In the workplace people often find it difficult to alter a certain pattern of work once it has been established and others form expectations of you. For instance, if you are always first in work and last to leave, or always willing to take on extra projects, then colleagues may start expect this from you. Once you start to deviate from this example they may question why. You personally may be aware of this. Instead, set your stall early. Be at work on time, take your break allocation and go home at the end of the working day. If there is a culture for working overtime and taking time off in lieu then take your time off. This will help you maintain the balance as the role evolves.

Manage Your Communications

One of the biggest challenges for any employee these days comes from constant communication and being contactable 24/7. If this is a concern for you then don’t let it be. Once again manage the parameters early and stick to them. Only reply to emails during work hours and get into the habit of not replying straight away to emails that are not urgent. Be careful about which emails you respond to and which you don’t. Perhaps the best tip is to remember that emails are more likely to fill your inbox when you send them. If you don’t want your inbox filling up then be careful about filling your outbox.

Work Smarter

Not harder as they say. We all have colleagues who are perfectionists, that like to make sure they have every last detail correct, even if that means working until late to get the job done. When this becomes a habit it can have a serious impact on work/life balance. What are the expectations of the role? What are the expectations of the team? What needs to be done in order for you to be successful in your role? Take time to consider these things and how they fit into the role in the hours you work, instead of over delivering consistently with no greater reward.

Workplace well-being is vital for the success of your organisation. To find out more about well-being policies in the workplace contact us to discuss your requirements.

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Introducing Development Centres

Development centres

Organisations often confuse development centres and assessment centres thinking that they are one and the same. The truth is they are not, and whilst both play a vital role in a company’s people strategy the development centre is more concerned with just that…. Development. A development centre is designed to help specifically identified high potential staff members within the company to develop the competencies needed to drive the company in future.

Why Development Centres?

Development centres came to prominence off the back of assessment centres. In similarity to the assessment centre the development centre typically uses a form of observational assessment of an individual or group placed in real life scenarios. There may also be some form of psychometrics involved in the development centre. The key difference is that the outcomes are designed to support the competency development of key staff in order to align effectively with organisational goals, as opposed to supporting recruitment decisions.

What types of task take place?

Development centres focus on using simulations of real life scenarios to help candidates examine their ability to demonstrate a particular competency. Often the individual will be monitored by a member of staff who will provide objective feedback. In a development centre environment however candidates are encouraged to self-reflect on their performance, and are afforded a safe environment in which they can be honest with themselves about how they move forward with a particular competency.

An example might be a group task where an individual is being asked to lead a small group of staff. Following a task, the individual in question may be encouraged by an observer to reflect on their communication style, listening and delegation methodology. The observer plays the role in this scenario of a facilitator encouraging self-reflection rather than assessor giving performance feedback.

The benefits of development centres

As the name suggests development centres are about enhancing potential and equipping future seniors within the company with the skills and awareness to perform effectively in management roles. By implementing a culture of development within the organisation the company will benefit from enhanced engagement as staff feel supported on their learning journey. The competencies developed will help make the company more resilient to the commercial landscape in future years. With so many positive outcomes from such a strategy its worth looking at how your organisation could benefit from development centre learning.

If you want more support on how to start a development centre in your organisation, then contact us for more details.

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4 Tips on Becoming a More Self-Aware Manager

How to become a more self aware manager

No matter how good we might think we are in our jobs, how much we outperform our peers and colleagues, deliver income and get great feedback, none of us are perfect. For those people moving towards leadership and management roles a track record of success can often help to mask shortcomings.

The Leadership Transition

Many great performers on the front line often struggle in managerial roles because they aren’t aware of their skills gaps. Those who are at a more youthful stage of their career often make mistakes or do something wrong but a lack of self-awareness means they justify their actions despite obvious negative outcomes.

It’s our nature to act first then consider and learn from consequences afterwards. Often impulsive reactions to challenges and workplace issues create further problems, upsetting colleagues or getting us into trouble. We’ve all known ‘untouchable’ star performers who seem to be able to get away with saying what they want regardless of the consequences.

However, when your role changes and you are starting to take responsibility for the performance of others, an abrasive and inconsiderate approach won’t do.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to understand not only where your strengths lie but also your weaknesses. Successful managers are self-aware and understand quite clearly their limitations. If they are unable to perform in certain tasks self-awareness means they can identify others who can. As Anthony K Tjan remarks in the Harvard Business Review, “You can’t be a good leader without self-awareness.”

Self-awareness helps to improve performance by supporting your ability to make better decisions and act in a considered fashion when under pressure. Becoming more self-aware, and aware of your actions however takes time and dedication. There is no overnight quick fix but there are things you can start doing to improve self-awareness. Here are our tips

1.Self-Reflection

Taking time regularly to stop and reflect on events can help you to become more self-aware. Whether you practice meditation or just take time to quietly reflect, by asking your yourself why you took certain actions and not others will help you to be more considered next time similar challenges arise.

2. Get Feedback

Seeking feedback from a trusted source can be an easy way of getting the views of someone else. By taking on board how others view your actions it can help to see how what you do impacts others.

3. Practice Writing

The art of writing and keeping diary notes is perfect for helping to reflect on daily challenges. The act of committing your thoughts to paper will enable you to reflect during the process and reading afterwards will also give you time to consider your actions.

4. Tests

There are a wide range of personality tests available that are designed for people to help improve awareness about themselves, their abilities and their blind spots. Such tests provide detailed feedback which can prove invaluable on a leadership journey.

Self-reflection is a key attribute for anyone who wishes to excel in a leadership arena. For more details on how Psyence can help improve self-awareness please contact us today.

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Graduate Skills of The Future

Grad skills for future

A recent article talked about how in future the role of the sales person will change, to a point where the function of the role will be to tell the customer the price and accept the signature. The world we live in is changing dramatically. Technology, globalisation and mind set changes are three of the main drivers behind the evolution of the commercial environment. An awareness of this change is important for leaders of organisations and when considering how success may be derived in the longer term its vital to know what are the skills that will be needed to drive organisations forward.

A number of reports in the past have highlighted just some of the key skills needed in the future workforce. Indeed, like with the sales person example above research from the World Economic Forum suggests that in the region of 35% of skills that are common today will not be required for the workforce of 2020.

If you look closely at some of the popular industries around us nowadays the picture starts to become clear. The travel agency sector, in decline for a number of years, for how much longer can travel agents remain in play whilst bookings move online? The print media sector is in steep decline, potentially impacting on thousands of roles. In financial services automated software is making decisions which no longer require human intervention.

All that said there are other sectors where staff demand is clearly high, in areas such as electrical engineering, software development, nursing and care. Roles may be changing alongside the face of many industries but what is clearly evident is that in future there’ll be plenty of new opportunities for skilled candidates to go for. What skills may be popular in future?

In short the types of skill that may be popular will perhaps be those that relate to tasks that cannot be done by a machine or a computer. Generally speaking, these are skills that are distinctly human in nature.

Creativity
Although nothing is impossible the brains ability to conjure up creative ideas and concepts for new products and services is unique. Those who have the ability to harness their creativity effectively will find that opportunities may well be more available.

Problem Solving Skills
In a more entrepreneurial working environment with polarized job roles (where many require a low skill base and others a high skill set) there will be plenty of room for people who can use their initiative to make things happen, rather than accept the status quo.

Global Mind-sets
As the world becomes a smaller place and the barriers to entering new markets less of a challenge those people who are capable of communicating internationally will stand out. Rather than just have an ability to speak the language cultural awareness and understanding will elevate candidates out from the crowd.

Digital Communications
In the workplace of the future your ability to communicate via digital media may not just be something you do for fun. With messaging apps, file sharing and gamification of systems more and more common, in a few years-time they may just be must have skills.

For some, considering the changes is daunting but for others its exciting. What’s for sure is that change in some form is certain. Your ability to identify what those important future skills might just set you apart.

The team at Psyence has helped to develop graduates in some of the UK’s largest organisations. For help on how we can support your teams feel free to get in touch to find out more.

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The Resilient Leader

THE RESILIENT LEADER

Resilience is one of the keywords of 2016 with so many experts in the field of Occupational Psychology talking about the importance of the theme. A company’s ability to be able to adapt itself to the influences of internal and external pressures are more vital than ever before. Of course the role of the leader in any organisation plays an important part in setting the tone of organisational mind-sets and one’s ability to be resilient in times of change is vital for the future direction of the business.

Professional Insights

At Psyence we’ve recently seen some first-hand demonstrations of the importance of adapting to the world around you in business. At our recent ‘Discovering Resilience’ event Hazel Wheldon of Multi-Health Systems spoke extensively of the changing workplace and the impact of technology. As the next generation of the workforce becomes more prolific communication is just one example of change. Will messenger tools soon replace email as we know it? Are the motivations of new graduates, with a work to live ethos, changing the office dynamic.? On both counts the answer is most certainly yes. As leaders of organisations is resistance to such changes futile?

Types of Challenge

Changes in technology, economic pressures such as the risks associated to Brexit, the changing demands of customers and many other factors are just some of the things that apply challenges to the business. The resilient leader has the ability to bounce back when challenges like these impact the organisation.

What is a resilient leader?

Resilient leaders see the big picture. They are aware of what is on the horizon and create strategies that will meet the challenges head on. That said, plans that are laid down may often be flexible to adapt to the uncertainty of the current climate. Their ability to change direction when required is vital in a modern commercial environment.
Communication is also a common factor for the resilient leader. Understanding that social relationships and the support of a board of directors is vital in a changing environment is key. Furthermore, the ability to keep the workforce informed effectively will help the resilient leader to achieve corporate goals.

4 tips for improving resilience

Be Proactive – For many the threat of change can lead to paralysis. When change is on the horizon, attacking the issues head on as opposed to ignoring them and hoping they will fade away is vital. Understand that change requires action.
Build a Strong Support Network – They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. By building a team of trusted advisors and having a network around you of individuals you can listen to in times of need, it will help to become more resilient in times of challenge.
Keep Healthy – The benefits of good physical health mustn’t be underestimated in times of tough mental rigour. Physical activity, balanced diet and adequate amounts of sleep are important to making sure that your decision making capabilities remain at their optimum levels.
Maintain a Positive Outlook – Resilient leaders understand that turning negative problems into challenges and keeping a positive outlook is vital. Remember that problems will come and go, and tomorrow the challenges will be different.

Resilience is a key attribute for modern leadership. If you want to discuss how Psyence can help your leaders be more resilient .