Pegged From The Start?

Pegged From The Start?

I have blogged a number of times about psychometric testing and more recently the Judgement Index (JI) (from the world of Axiology or values), but I had forgotten how far back my experience started.

In late 1980 I joined Bank of America’s Graduate Training intake and sometime in the first six months or so I was put through the LIFO (for LIFe Orientations) Strengths Management Programme. I remember this because whilst decluttering my office last week I found the workbook we used.

Looking at the workbook, the process looked to see which one of four types you preferred in normal or favourable circumstances and when under stress or unfavourable conditions. The four types are:

·       Supporting-Giving.

·       Controlling-Taking.

·       Conserving-Holding.

·       Adapting-Dealing.

The workbook shows that in favourable conditions my strongest and primary type was “Controlling-Taking” with back up of “Supporting-Giving”. In unfavourable circumstances, my back up type became “Adapting-Dealing”, and the gap between the preferred styles closed significantly.

I don’t propose to go through all the styles, but I was shocked at how the analysis seemed to have me pegged back then and in truth is still very relevant, even if the years and intervening experience have honed some skills and knocked the corners off others.

The Controller-Taker is identified as someone who:

·       Enjoys challenges and difficult situations and people.

·       Likes pace and variety, novelty and new projects.

·       Is quick to seize an opportunity to create one.

·       Likes to debate ideas.

·       Has a willingness to experiment, generates new ideas.

·       Builds from the ideas of others.

The supporting styles resonate too as do the many subsequent psychometric tests I have taken over the succeeding 37 years. MBTI has repeatedly come out as ENTJ (with an occasional ENTP). I forget which DISC colour I was, but I don’t recall any conflicting feedback.

Now LIFO, like MBTI and others (though not the JI), uses self-reporting to collect the data its analysis. It may just be that I am very consistent in my sense of self and completion of the data inputs, but I feel it is more than that – I do feel a heavy sense of “rightness” about the results.

The scarey thing is that it seems these tools had me pegged from the moment I started work. Food for thought, eh?

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  • Scott Carlyon

    The problem is that none of the psychometric tests are actually scientifically valid.

  • Leon Paskvali

    No personality test can predict accurately how an applicant will do on the job.

  • Matthew LeBlanc

    Good point !

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Ian J Sutherland 

Business Change Expert

Ian J Sutherland is a highly skilled director with expertise in governance, partnerships and regulation and almost four decades of experience serving as a powerful catalyst for change for organisations of all sizes and sectors. He thrives on identifying areas for innovation and improvement, forming effective strategies to drive efficiency and create bottom-line results. He has a proven capacity to serve as a bridge between organisations and functions, creating unity and operational coherence. A personable and creative leader, with a unique insight and the ability to see the big picture and provide constructive challenge, he writes on many matters including the delivery of change in today's world and is an opportunistic photographer who seeks to capture images that interest him. He enjoys good beer, good company and good music - not necessarily in that order.

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