I wouldn’t consider myself a techie, but on occasion I have been known to dabble in the social media space—posting the occasional observational wisdom, a vacation picture every so often, and dare I admit it, a complaint here and there. But this blog entry isn’t about my world wide intertube surfing trends, or any highfalutin comments on the varying notions of privacy. Rather, I would like to take this opportunity to express my secret delight with the outputs of the latest pedantic personality pandemic. Surprisingly I’m not talking about the terrible alliteration of which that last sentence was so incredibly guilty. I am referring to the hokey but lovable evaluations that have become the most recent cross-generational fad.
Let me first say that I commend all those who are not only interested in self improvement but are also motivated to complete an inventory to gain perspective. So in a way, I am excited to see individuals spend time reporting their preferences to determine which Hobbit, Game of Thrones Character, News Anchor, OTC constipation pill or rare bacterial disease best captures their essence. But I think it’s important we lay down a few best practices before this branch of the industry really takes off.
Stay current: I understand if early 90s snap-bracelets or funky hair-trolls are still your thing. But I cannot for the life of me remember the names of the My Little Pony characters. And thus it’s hard for me to comment and relate to your results. (Ok that’s a lie, but I’ll never admit it online). Best to stay current so you can maximize audience appeal.
Do your due diligence: Was the sample against which the instrument constructed a stratified representation of the Muppet population? Should Fraggles have their own local norm? Was the test brought to you by a suspicious combination of letters that form an enigmatic acronym? These are questions that really should be asked before committing to an assessment.
Keep it neutral: I don’t care which political scandal or religious dogma says the most about your interpersonal style. I want to read about fun loving results like which Miley Cyrus phase best represents you. Or which Justin Beiber crime is emblematic of your management approach. However, I shouldn’t have to visualize the likes of brassy over exposed governors or congressional private parts to know how you prefer to be seen.
Not a standalone: When considering what kind of, say, vegetable or cookie you would be, perhaps it’s best to not use such evaluations as a standalone assessment. I recommend pairing them with the appropriate assessment center modules. In this example perhaps an In-Supermarket-Basket exercise would augment the results.
Don’t overdo it: I get it that you want to see yourself from varying angles. But must you take seven of these quizzes a day? Furthermore, I think you lose credibility when you’re equally excited about each one. I know it’s hard to contain yourself when you find out that you would be a poppy seed bagel. But honestly, after reading which waste management vehicle, computer antivirus software and CBS network television character you would relate to most, I’m on the verge of losing interest. Let’s cap it to 16 a week, shall we?
By choosing your social media assessments wisely you can not only ensure more valid results, you can also help me resist the temptation block you from my timeline forever. Thanks for considering these best practices going forward and for doing your part in making the internet, and my timeline a better place.
Buros Center for Testing, an independent organization that publishes authoritative reviews and reference materials on commercial assessments, recently released a review of the Hogan Development Survey.
“The assessment industry is unregulated, and there are thousands of assessment providers on the market, which can make it hard for consumers to find a quality assessment that suits their needs,” said Jeff Foster, vice president of science at Hogan Assessments. “We rely on organizations like Buros to help consumers identify quality assessments.”
“The HDS is alone in its test space and it has been developed with exceptional psychological and psychometric care,” states a portion of the review. “The care that went into developing the HDS as a psychometrically adequate and user-friendly tool for aiding personnel selection and professional growth lives up to the need,” it continues.
The review will appear in The Nineteenth Mental Measurements Yearbook, which includes consumer-oriented test reviews and will be available for purchase March 21, and may be pre-ordered here. The full review is also available for $15 on Buros’ site.
For more information about finding the right assessment for your company, check out our Assessment Evaluation Guide.
Who wouldn’t want a higher level of emotional intelligence?
“Studies have shown that a high emotional quotient (or EQ) boosts career success, entrepreneurial potential, leadership talent, health, relationship satisfaction, humor, and happiness,” says Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.
We sat down with the VP of Innovation and Research to pick his thoughts on emotional intelligence. Here’s what he had to say…
It’s not a secret that people with higher EQ are more rewarding to deal with. Is it possible to raise our EQ?
Your level of EQ is firm, but not rigid. Our ability to identify and manage our own and others’ emotions is fairly stable over time, influenced by our early childhood experiences and even genetics. That doesn’t mean we can’t change it, but, realistically, long-term improvements will require a great deal of dedication and guidance.
Does EQ change over time?
Fortunately, EQ tends to increase with age, even without deliberate interventions. That’s the technical way to say that (most people) mature with age. The bottom line is that some people are just naturally more grumpy, shy, self-centered or insecure, while other people are blessed with natural positivity, composure, and people-skills. However, no human behavior is unchangeable.
Do EQ coaching programs work?
Yes. Although no program can get someone from 0 to 100%, a well-designed coaching intervention can easily achieve improvements of 25%. Various meta-analyses suggest that the most coachable element of EQ is interpersonal skills — with average short-term improvements of 50%. Think of it as teaching negotiation and social etiquette — what the great Dale Carnegie called “how to win friends and influence people.”
So we can learn empathy?
Even empathy can be trained in adults. The most compelling demonstration comes from neuropsychological studies highlighting the “plasticity” of the social brain. These studies suggest that, with adequate training, people can become more pro-social, altruistic, and compassionate.
Which is easier to change – reputation or identity?
Everyone can change, but few people are seriously willing to try. Think about the worst boss you ever had — how long would it take him to start coming across as more considerate, sociable, calm or positive? And that’s the easier part — changing one’s reputation. It is even harder to change one’s internal EQ; in other words, you might still feel stressed out or angry on the inside, even if you manage not to show those emotions on the outside.
Are individuals good judges of EQ?
Most of us are generally unaware of how others see us — and this especially true for managers. A recent meta-analysis shows that the relationship between self- and other-ratings of EQ is weak (weaker, even, than for IQ). In other words, we may not have a very accurate idea of how smart we are, but our notion of how nice we are is even less accurate. Thus any intervention focused on increasing EQ must begin by helping people understand what their real strengths and weaknesses are..
Are certain people more changeable than others?
Yes, some people are more capable of changing than others. Ironically, those individuals tend to be more pessimistic about their very chances of changing. Indeed, neurotic, introverted and insecure people are more likely to change, whereas highly adjusted and resilient individuals are less changeable. Likewise, optimism breeds overconfidence and hinders change by perpetuating false hopes and unrealistic expectations. There is an old joke about how many psychologists it takes to change a light bulb. Just one — so long as the light bulb wants to change.
Besides coaching, how can we improve our EQ?
The recipe for self-change is fairly straightforward — it is just hard to implement. In order to change, we need to start by building self-awareness, which is best achieved by obtaining (and believing) honest and critical feedback from others. Next, we must come up with a realistic strategy that focuses on attainable goals, such as changing a few specific behaviors (e.g., more eye contact, less shouting, more smiling, etc.) rather than substantial aspects of our personality (e.g., interpersonal sensitivity, empathy, and sociability). Finally, we will need an enormous amount of effort and dedication in order to both attain and maintain any desired changes — or we will quickly revert to our old habits.
There are more than 80 million Millennials in the U.S.; about one million more than there are baby boomers. Experts predict that individuals born between 1980 and the early 200s will make up more than 40% of the labor force by 2020. That’s a lot of high-potential Millennials stuck working as individual contributors, and that’s a big problem.
Although it temporarily alleviates the skills gap HR managers expected, Boomers’ lagging retirement is creating a new kind of skills gap: a gap in soft skills.
Fortunately, soft skills can be learned, it just takes a more innovative approach. Check out these 5 keys for developing your Millennial employees and keeping them engaged in a multi-generational workforce.
It’s the end of February and that can only mean one thing: the start of the NFL off season. For many football fans, the off season presents a welcomed break from the sport. For others, the off season is an eight-month opportunity to salivate over the prospects of what the next year could hold. Each year around this time, the NFL holds their Scouting Combine where college players display their skills in front of coaches, general managers, and team scouts in hopes that a team will draft them.
Now comes the point in this post where I should probably disclose that I am not a fan of using sports analogies in the business world (see what I did there?). Sports analogies have become a tiring cliché and they all too often over simplify a complex situation. Having cleared the air, I will now contradict myself and state that the business world has something to gain by paying attention to the NFL Combine. At the Combine, athletes are subject to a series of tests and evaluations designed to assess their skills and abilities. In part, the Combine helps teams to decide which players have the potential to thrive at the next level. Not surprisingly, teams that draft better are more likely to have success on the field. In the business world, organizations are notoriously bad at identifying potential for next-level leadership. Rather than concentrating on skills, abilities, and other personal characteristics (the measureable qualities that are the focus of the Combine), businesses tend to rely on other factors (similarity, attractiveness, and who can play politics) to populate the leadership pipeline. Could you imagine what would happen if NFL teams stopped relying on objective data points to help make decisions, and instead started drafting players based on the cars they drive, how interesting their post-game interviews were, and how they dressed when they arrive at the locker room?
Information is paramount to any decision-making process. Without relevant information, any decision is likely to net a 50/50 outcome at best, with only half of the decisions being correct. If organizations are comfortable getting it right only half of the time, then there really is no reason to change the prevailing modus operandi for identifying emerging talent. If, however, organizations want to improve their decision-making abilities, they will need information. The only way to get relevant information on a pool of candidates is through some form of validated test, evaluation, simulation, or assessment designed to detect key attributes that influence job performance (the lack of relationship with performance has caused some to scrutinize the use of cognitive assessment at the Combine). Perhaps what we need is a Business Leadership Combine to help solve our current leadership crisis.
Dr. Robert Hogan, president of Hogan Assessment Systems, will receive The Career Achievement Award at this year’s Association of Test Publishers’ (ATP) Innovations in Testing Conference. The conference, which fosters innovation by showcasing the latest technologies and collaborators, will be held March 2-5 in Arizona. The Career Achievement Award honors individuals who have made sustained and positive contributions to the development, application and innovations in testing and measurement through research, publications, presentations, professional activities, technology, conceptualizations, or theoretical contributions over a career.
You can view past recipients of the Career Achievement Award on ATP’s Wall of Honor.
On March 3, Dr. Hogan will present Personality Theory and Assessment: Predicting Career Success and Organizational Effectiveness in a preapproved invited session for the I/O Division. He will discuss personality theory and assessment, identity versus reputation, and faking. He will also reveal the reason why people are the most consequential and dangerous forces in our environment and, ultimately, why the critics are wrong about personality measurement. Read more and find out who else will be presenting by downloading ATP’s Innovations in Testing program book found on its website.
We combined Hogan’s experience developing executives at more than half of the Fortune 500 with research on Millennial learning styles to come up with five keys for developing your millennial employees.
1. Start with science: Tools like valid personality assessments and 360-degree feedback from not just a supervisor, but a peer and subordinate level can give participants a realistic view of their strengths and hidden blind spots. Without a basis in objective, scientific assessment, any type of development program will experience very limited success.
2. Allow for self-gudiance: Millennials are digital natives. Forget about in-person courses and workshops. Instead, development tools should provide mobile, anytime access to a broad, but targeted library of resources that participants can work into an action plan.
To continue reading the next three steps and learn about the new skills gap HR managers are facing, check out our ebook, The Kids (Millennials) are All Right.
Hogan’s scientific foundation and commitment to research distinguishes us from the competition. Each year, Hogan and our affiliates publish works that contribute to the knowledge and development of (a) the Hogan assessments and (b) the field of personality and psychology. These publications build the Hogan brand and allow us to better serve our clients worldwide.
Hogan employees work to promote our brand through publishing in well- known academic outlets and presenting at professional conferences. Also, we leverage the Hogan Academic Network, a group of researchers, professors, and students across the globe, to disseminate Hogan-related research through theses, dissertations, peer-reviewed journals, and professional conferences.
This year has been no exception to our commitment to progressing the science of personality. This list details Hogan-related publications and presentations from 2013. Take a look.
With content ranging from 17 Maya Angelou Quotes That Will Inspire You To Be A Better Person to quizzes like Which Sandwich Are You?, BuzzFeed continues to gain followers and disrupt work flow.
“We love lists: they produce a fake sense of logic and rationality, as if they presented a formulaic argument or tautology,” writes Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic in his latest Guardian article on the appealing aspects of BuzzFeed. How does this media sharing phenomenon continue to be the envy of marketers and media outlets everywhere? Check out Chamorro-Premuzic’s reasoning on 18 human traits that explain why readers can’t get enough of BuzzFeed.
People are complicated, and predicting performance takes a holistic view at their strengths, weaknesses, and core values. In our second installment of Drinks with Hogan, Global Alliances Consultant Dr. Darin Nei explains the problem with type indicators and the reason we recommend using three assessments.
SEE THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF DRINKS WITH HOGAN