Welcome to the Meyler Campbell Podcast Series. In this episode, we speak with Meyler Campbell Faculty Member, Penny Moyle about Psychometrics in Coaching.
Penny has a profound understanding of psychometric tools gained over her impressive career. She shares lessons she learnt through her work both in both psychometrics and as a coach. If you're completely new to the world of psychometric assessments, listen in for Penny's advice on how you can get started from scratch and start to build assessments into your coaching practice.
Penny’s early career in psychometrics
02:00 Penny tells us about her early career and the experience she gained from working on large-scale programmes for organisations. She focused on personality assessments rather than ability assessments. As a consultant her practice centered on team building and management development.
06:40 Since progressing from her role at OPP into her second career as a coach, Penny has been exploring the application of psychometrics in coaching. She describes her early experiences of coaching clients following the completion of detailed assessments and how she’s gained an understanding of how overwhelming that can be for a client.
Finding a fresh approach in coaching
08:15 While she was completing the Meyler Campbell programme, Penny was encouraged to develop a fresh approach to her coaching and start the process without psychometrics.
How Penny uses psychometrics in her coaching practice
09:20 Penny listens carefully to her clients in order to select the right tool for them. She finds great value in using the Myers Briggs assessment as a starting point, in her coaching practice. She values it for its broad application and the fact it enables great flexibility, so she can adapt it to the needs and interest of her coaching clients.
12:00 Penny is also experienced in helping her clients understand the implications of psychometrics they’ve completed elsewhere previously. This has given her an interesting insight into a wide variety of assessment tools.
15:25 In addition to more formal psychometric models, Penny finds the 360 feedback approach useful, particularly the verbatim feedback. She tells us how she obtains information from conversations more than from forms for this type of feedback. She also shares some insight into her Stop; Start; Continue model for feedback.
19:45 Penny tells us about some of the other models she likes to use, such as the TKI model where a client is facing conflict; or FIRO-B for assessing relationships and interpersonal needs. She described how she can ‘dip into her toolkit’ of models as needed.
Challenges to the validity of psychometrics
21:35 There has been some highly-publicised criticism of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. Penny unpacks some of this criticism and tells us why she thinks it’s unfounded and what type of validity we should consider.
New forms of assessment
24:45 More recently, Penny has started to take an interest in Strengths Finder and Career Anchors, as some positive and helpful frameworks for different clients and situations. She tells us about the importance of taking a positive approach and of appreciating that personality will mean we all have different experiences of things like stress and wellbeing.
How to build psychometrics into your repertoire of skills
27:30 It’s worth taking the time to become qualified in an assessment. Take a look at the training and support that’s offered when deciding where to start. This might cost a little more but you will learn a whole lot more and be able to rely on the resources when you’re coaching.
Penny found the Myers Briggs training to be life changing – it’s in-depth and provides a great grounding in feedback and interpretation skills.
Other tools using the Jungian typology that have good training are Type Coach and Lumina Spark.
Be wary of assessment tools that don’t offer a technical manual – it may be an indication there isn’t much depth of research behind them.
It’s worth talking to people in your network to find out what tools they are finding useful. Your coach clients may also share insight into approached they’ve been using too. It can also be very helpful to find someone experienced you can work alongside in your early days.
To read Penny's latest article, click here: Personality Assessment for Employee Development: Ivory Tower or Real World?
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