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Psychometrics in Coaching

Psychometric assessment refers to the process of administering a standardized set of questions (an instrument) to individuals for the purpose of making some type of psychological measurement.  Most commonly these measurements focus on achievement, aptitude, attitude or personality.  Some personality assessments can be useful in the development of soft skills/emotional intelligence (EI). 


Soft skills/EI refer to those intrapersonal and interpersonal skills that enhance one’s performance and effectiveness on the job.  Many people believe that soft skills/EI are not fixed and can be developed.  Examples of some intrapersonal and interpersonal skills include, but are not limited to the following:

  • self-control
  • flexibility/managing change
  • conscientiousness
  • taking initiative appropriately
  • motivating self/motivating others
  • ability to collaborate/functioning on a team
  • general social skills
  • managing conflict
  • awareness of others values and feelings
  • awareness of individual differences and how they impact communication needs and preferences



Caveats in Using Personality Tests for Development

  • Personality tests, like all tests, are subject to measurement error.
  • Personality test results should not be used to stereotype, harass, or treat an examinee in a limiting or dismissive manner.
  • Some personality tests are not appropriate for use in selection, downsizing, and promotion decisions.
  • As a matter of ethics,  individuals have a right to decline participation in personality testing. 
  • As a matter of ethics, an individual who participates in personality testing has the right to keep his/her scores private.
  • For soft skills/EI development, the main value of personality testing is in the individualized feedback and follow-up.
  • Conflict can arise when personality tests are administered to groups of individuals, and peer pressure is put on individuals to participate in testing and to share results.  
  • Conflict can arise when soft skills/EI development and the related assessments are funded by an employer who demands for scores to be disclosed.  Because the instruments tend to involve self-report/self-disclosure, lack of score privacy can affect responses.



  Transpersonal Talent Development, LLC  supports the use of psychometric assessment for individualized soft-skills/EI development.  



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