A psychological test is an objective and standardized measurement of sample behavior. Objectivity refers to the consistent manner in which responses are scored. For example, all test-takers who “very strongly disagree” to an item will receive the same raw score for that item regardless of any other demographic information, such as race, religion, age, or orientation.
Secondly, a psychological test’s standardization means that no matter who administers, scores, or interprets the results, there is procedural uniformity. For example, two interpreters should reach very similar conclusions about one individual’s test results.
Third, a test is not a magical or supernatural “X-ray” that reveals otherwise hidden elements of an individual; rather, the test-taker is simply providing a personalized response to a common set of standard items. The uniqueness, therefore, does not lie within the test, but within the individual.
Just as the individual may respond uniquely to a list of standard questions, this same individual also responds uniquely to their ever-changing environment, circumstances, and interpersonal relationships. As such, a test by these standards can be understood to mean any type of objective, standardized observation, not just a questionnaire.
Hence, it is the duty of the practitioner-interpreter to bring about a coherent synthesis between test (standard items) results and their own observations of the individual’s interactions with their environment. The trained professional will not to merely accept one test and dismiss another; the truth is revealed from the synthesis of all relevant test data.
The relationship between leaders and team members is a key driver of individual growth and development. Consider the following concepts and tips regarding development-focused conversations using an assessment report with your team.
Have the right mindset. Whether providing feedback or engaging in a conversation about a team member’s future, your goal must be to be helpful. Having this goal will lead to a positive, constructive outcome. This is absolutely necessary. Have optimism and cultivate a desire to see the other person succeed.
You know you’re in the right mindset if you can answer “yes” to each of the following questions.
Be curious. Before getting right to asking what they learned and what they are going to do differently, take some time to get to know the person better. In order to figure out how to help someone, it is necessary to determine where they want and need to go. Spend at several minutes figuring this out and “setting the stage.” Be curious about THEM. Consider some of the following prompts:
Ask for Specifics. As you start to discuss the reflection and action questions, ask for specific examples around their perception of what they read and learned about themselves. Here are some helpful prompts: