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How to improve your self-awareness using psychometric testing 05/10/2009

From a personal development point of view, psychometric tests help you to increase your self-awareness and understand the impact of your behaviour on others.

How to improve your self-awareness using psychometric testing

Click to jump to section

  1. Different psychometric tests
  2. DISC personal profile
  3. Are you a dominant person or an influencer?
  4. Or are you a steady or compliant?
  5. How can DISC personal profiles be used?
  6. Team profiling tool
  7. Greater impact

Different psychometric tests

There are many different types of psychometric tests. There are ones which test someone’s ability or aptitude to do something, such as verbal or numerical reasoning, and others that assess a person’s behaviour or personal style. 

Psychometric tests are used widely as part of the recruitment and selection process, and more often they are an important part of personal and team development. In recruitment, the purpose of a psychometric test is to assess the match between a person and a job. In team development they can be used to find out the strengths and limitations of individuals, how they fit into a team and how they can behave more effectively. From a personal development point of view, they help someone to increase their self awareness and understand the impact of their behaviour on others.

DISC personal profile

A common and easy to use test is the DISC personal profile. Following the completion of a short forced-choice questionnaire – which takes a maximum of 10 minutes to complete – a practitioner can produce a six page report and set of graphs. The report is based on someone’s preferred style or self-image, how they may modify their behaviour at work and how they may change their behaviour under pressure.

What does DISC mean?

DISC is an acronym and stands for:

D = Dominance
I = Influence
S = Steadiness
C = Compliance

Are you a dominant person or an influencer?

Everyone is a combination of one or more styles as a working strength. Here are some of the different styles you may recognise in yourself or in other people.

If you are a dominant person, you will come across as direct, assertive and forceful. You will be a self-starter, be competitive, and drive to get Results. You will be motivated by power, and manage people by telling them what to do.

If you are an influencer, you will be a people-person. You will be positive, persuasive and friendly towards people. Motivated by recognition, you will be very communicative and will manage people by selling your ideas to them to get them on board to your ideas.

Or are you a steady or compliant?

If you are a steady person, you will crave pace and security. You will come across as kind, patient and amiable, and will be a great listener. A persistent person, you will manage by organising and will communicate by listening to others.

If you are compliant, you will be motivated by rules and procedures. You will come across as careful, systematic, logical and precise and may be seen as a perfectionist. Your preferred communication style will be by writing and you will manage through applying rules and regulations.

In the short descriptions above, you may start to recognise your preferred style, or you may find that you recognise the style of people you work with, your boss or your partner. 

How can DISC personal profiles be used?

There are various ways in which DISC personal profiles can be used to enhance performance on both a personal and team level.

Using a comprehensive system such as that provided by Thomas International, personal profiles can be used effectively in recruitment, team development and also to enhance personal performance.

In recruitment, a job profile can be developed as part of the definition of the role, and then when individuals apply for a job, they can be matched to the role requirements.  As part of a competency based interview or assessment centre, they can help to recruit the right person for a role.

Personal profiles are also an effective tool to enhance team development.  You can complete a profile of each team member and then create a team profile to assess the strengths, limitations and behaviours within a team. 

Team profiling tool

Using a team profiling tool allows an organisation to:

• Identify their ideal team culture based on their organisation’s requirements.

• Develop a gap analysis of where the team is now and where they want it to be.

• Assess the team roles within the team and which ones are required to improve the way they work together, develop relationships with others, and ultimately improve the way in which they achieve Results. 

Greater impact

From a personal point of view, the completion of a personal profile will help you to gain an awareness of how you prefer to behave at work, and give you a greater understanding of your strengths and how you can compensate for your limitations. It will help you to find out more about yourself and improve your personal and career development. 

Ultimately using DISC personal profiles, it will help you to have a greater self-awareness and understanding of yourself and others, and then make a greater impact and be more effective. Once you understand how you like to communicate or what motivates you, you can modify your behaviour to get better Results.

Karen Williams

Karen Williams