Emotional Intelligence versus Personality Assessments

A Beginner’s Guide to Selecting the Right Assessment for Your Organization

Are you a Human Resources consultant or Executive Coach looking to choose an assessment for your organization?

Are you new to the psychometric arts and want to know which assessment will be most impactful for your style of coaching?

This article discusses a broad overview of the 5 major psychological perspectives, where a few of the major assessments fall within that range, and a recommendation at the end.

Disclaimer: I have not been asked to recommend assessments by any of the assessment providers, this is simply based on my experience and observations.

Iam often asked about the difference between emotional intelligence and personality. While both are extremely important to measure if an organization is serious about leadership and organizational development, emotional intelligence and personality assessments measure completely different aspects of the psychological spectrum, and it is important to understand what you want to measure, to determine how it will help your organization.

In my role as an I-O psychologist, I have been fortunate enough to help many Fortune 500 organizations, government departments, and individual coaching practitioners, select proper assessments and stand up coaching practices and internal behavioral psychology consultancies. A big portion of that process is to understand what the desired business outcomes of the new coaching practice are (selection, succession planning, leadership development, team performance acceleration, etc.), and then recommend which assessment can serve as a baseline instrument for those outcomes.

This article will discuss my personal insights within this journey, help others who are searching for the right assessment for their organization, and highlight where each assessment falls on the psychological spectrum.

While I will discuss what each assessment intends to measure and the outcome that is expected, this isn’t a discussion about reliability (the degree to which an assessment produces stable and consistent results) or validity (how well the assessment measures what it is intended to measure). We can certainly nerd out about those things in a side discussion, but we will assume that all of the assessments discussed here are considered reliable and valid, unless otherwise noted. This will also not be a deep dive into psychometric assessment theory, but rather a general overview and a discussion about where certain assessments fall in the psychological spectrum, in order to guide you into making the right choice for you and your organization.

Why Assess Anything?

Leaders make important decisions every day, so gaining insight into how those decisions are made, and what could be done to make those decisions better, faster, and stronger, leads to better change management and employee engagement (among tons of other great things) within organizations. Assessments give leaders a clear understanding of performance capabilities, motives, drivers, possible personality derailers, use of emotional skill, and external views of the self. Assessments help organizations identify and develop top talent, increase employee engagement and achieve desired business outcomes, quickly and cost-effectively.

The 5 Major Perspectives in Psychology

Why do people do what they do? The scientific study of psychology examines how we think, feel and behave. Over the years, 5 major perspectives have emerged, which is important to note when discussing which organizational assessment is right for you. Every leadership development program, coaching practice, or organizational effectiveness initiative, follows a psychological approach, so understanding them, and where assessments fall within them, is vital to success.

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