Move over MBTI… Engage is in town.
I did it all wrong.
It was 2003 and my business was growing so quickly I couldn’t recruit fast enough. My biggest challenge was to ensure those I recruited could do the job. I found a free tool online, and used that as part of the recruitment process. I even turned many candidates away because their four-letter type wasn’t what I believed we needed.
It wasn’t until my Masters in 2009 that I learned using MBTI in selection is a no-no.
Taking MBTI for myself was actually a powerful experience. It highlighted my preferences (high extroversion, highly intuitive, high feeling/values lead and spontaneous). No prizes for which letters I was for those of you in the know.
Reading that I was in 3% of the population was personally satisfying (I liked that rarity). Reading that many of my behaviours weren’t character flaws, but natural for someone of my type was hugely affirming. So much so, I even wiped a tear from my eye.
Fast-forward seven years. I have my Masters (Leadership Coaching), and am also Level A/B or Personality/Ability accredited. I’ve learned a bit since those heady days of not knowing what I was doing, yet succeeding anyway.
I’ve learned a bit since those heady days of not knowing what I was doing.
Psychometrics play a big part in learning and development. Personality types, or traits, provide a wealth of information about individuals. When using within a coaching or development context I’ve found the increase in self-awareness to be a significant catalyst for change. It is difficult to un-know or ignore something once we become aware of it.
But, and there is a but, psychometrics don’t tell the whole story. They give us an insight into behaviours, sure, but what they don’t, and can’t do, is tell us about our internal mind-set. What we believe. What we think.
Psychometrics don’t tell us about our internal mind-set.
What we believe. What we think.
A branch of psychology called Cognitive Behavioural Psychology (CBP) is based on the premise that how we think directly affects how we feel and behave. Take just one example, if you truly believed there was a flea on your seat what would your resulting action be? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is now the preferred approach for governments due to the weight of empirical evidence demonstrating positive change within just a few sessions.
Applying this approach to development has powerful implications.
Applying a cognitive behavioural approach to development has powerful implications.
If I don’t think I can do something, I’m less likely to try. If I believe my boss won’t listen to me, I won’t try engaging with him. If I believe I’m right and others are wrong, I’m less likely to ask for feedback.
This is where the work by Dr Jodi O’Dell comes to the fore. Driven by wanting to understand why some people successfully engaged in change whereas others didn’t, her research lead her to create Engage.
Engage is based on the cognitive behavioural model. It measures what people think and believe about themselves within a work context across three categories; Confidence (self, task and social), Openness (communication, change and attitude) and Impact (commitment and performance). The three together give a unique score of engagement.
The result is a powerful self-diagnostic, useful for any development or change process whether working with a coach or on a development programme. Engage works Alongside, or instead of, other psychometric tools. For It measures what I believe about myself, others and the work environment I find myself in.
Engage is a powerful self-diagnostic, useful for any development or change process
Taking just one example, if I believe I am unable to influence others, I’m less likely to seek buy-in from others, am likely to take less responsibility for outcomes and less likely to succeed as a result. Scoring myself in this way, Engage provides a robust process to challenge and develop my thinking. I’m challenged to look at where I do have influence, what has worked in the past and how I can develop myself to influence more.
Imagine a mind-set diagnostic with a robust coaching methodology. That is Engage.
Where I score myself very highly I am likely to be experiencing derailers of some sort (greatest strength becomes my greatest weakness).
Engage not only measures those thoughts/beliefs which act as inhibitors or accelerators, but also assesses “readiness for change”
Engage not only measures those thoughts/beliefs which act as inhibitors or accelerators, but also assesses “readiness for change”. If you are seeking to understand where individuals or groups are in relationship to their openness to change, and to participate in a change programme – it may be worth you looking at Engage.
I now find myself running another high growth business. This time, I’m working with a Doctor and Occupational Psychologist. Less chance for me to get it wrong.
Author: Mark Bateman is the CEO of Engage Coach International, has a Masters in Leadership Coaching & Mentoring and is Level A/B accredited.
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(C) Engage Coach International 2016