For the last six months you’ve been planning an exciting new product launch. Board members, current customers, and the industry press have all been told today is the day when everything goes live including the new website. But then, your webmaster comes rushing into the room to say they need to go home immediately because their cat is sick.
How do you react? Do you yell at them and tell them to get back to their desk immediately as today can’t go wrong at any cost? Or do you calmly tell them to go home and not to worry as you’ll manage the situation?
While this might be an unrealistic situation as the chances are there would be a team of people managing the website launch, it does raise an interesting question. Do you really know how you react under pressure? You might have all the qualities and skills a great leader needs, but when stress kicks in does your behaviour let you down?
If you’re not sure what your answer is to that question, then you might benefit from psychometric testing. As well as determining your qualities and behaviour traits, it will also help identify the areas where coaching could increase your personal effectiveness.
Read on to find out how this two-pronged approach can help you become the best leader you can be, no matter what the business world throws at you.
What is psychometric testing?
Traditionally used as part of the recruitment process, psychometric testing is a way of measuring the potential behaviours of individuals. It allows employers to look beyond qualifications and assess someone’s intelligence, skills and fit with an organisation.
The main psychometric tests are:
- Aptitude tests: these look at someone’s ability to do certain things such as interpreting numerical data or understanding a passage of text.
- Personality tests: as well as determining if someone has the right attitude and personality to fit into a company’s culture, these tests also highlight specific personality traits and how someone would potentially react in a given situation.
75% of Fortune 500 companies use psychometric testing in recruitment, but it also can play an important role in developing a leader’s own self-awareness and identifying development opportunities.
How psychometric testing can benefit leaders
It’s one thing having the skills required to be a great leader, but do you really know how you will behave in any given situation? The best leaders do, so if you’re unsure, psychometric testing can:
- Help you understand yourself: we all think we know ourselves, but do you truly understand your traits, motivations, and values? Self-awareness is important if you have any interest in building strong relationships with your team and improving both their productivity and your own.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses: are you a good listener? Are you overly critical? Knowing what you’re good and not so good at will make it easier for you to play to your strengths and address your weaknesses.
- Show how you might handle setbacks: how we react in difficult or stressful situations can be very different to how we might behave when everything is running smoothly. A good leader knows upfront what their trigger points are and adapts accordingly.
Understanding yourself and your behaviour traits is only the first step of this process. If you really want to become the best version of yourself, you need to use what you have learnt to form a personal development plan which identifies which behaviours you need to adapt and how to make those changes. That’s where coaching comes in.
The power of coaching
There is a lot of talk about ‘born leaders’ but this is a bit of a misnomer, as research shows leadership is only 30% genetic and 70% learned, which means many of the qualities and behaviours of leaders don’t come naturally. Coaching addresses this issue.
Coaching encourages self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-leadership which in turn helps you manage and master your own behaviour. But the real power in coaching is that it isn’t just about getting the best out of yourself, it’s also about getting the best out of other people.
Consider the earlier product launch example: yelling at someone who is going through a highly stressful personal situation is going to have a negative impact not just on them but also on everyone they work with. And these negative ramifications could have long-term consequences for team morale and how you are perceived as a leader.
In contrast, allowing them to go home to deal with their own personal crisis presents you as an empathic and caring leader, which will inspire confidence and encourage the team to work with you to come up with a solution to the problem.
It’s this type of situation which highlights why the combo of psychometric testing and coaching is so powerful as leadership is so much more than managing employees; it’s also about managing yourself. So, if psychometric testing has identified that you are prone to angry outbursts and making rash decisions when stressed, then coaching will help you recognise the triggers and put into place strategies to curb those behaviours.
And with the Institute of Coaching citing that over 70% of individuals who received coaching benefited from improved work performance, relationships and more effective communication skills, why wouldn’t you want to give it a go?
We would love to help you unlock your true potential.