Archive for May, 2015

Be presentable, be professional

You might not like doing presentations, which is quite normal as most people are scared of standing up in front of a group and talking. The thing is that to be a real success in business you need to be able to do a professional presentation whenever you are called upon.

I spend a lot of time coaching and mentoring businessman and businesswoman to be confident public speakers and presenters .Why? You might ask. Well, whether you are standing in front of a group or sitting at your desk selling a prospect a deal, you will need to have competent presenting skills. You will need to show your audience that you are comfortable and confident, even when you aren’t.

There are certain skills you can learn which will make you a better public speaker and presenter. The more confident you look and act, the more positive energy coming from you, the more likely that you will be a major influence on your audience. They will buy from you, they will like you and trust you more. I know this may sound a bit unusual and you may not believe me, but I help people on a day to day basis to improve their presentation skills and they become more successful business people because of it.

Get more professional and get better at presenting your opportunities. Whether that is in front of one or 100 people the skills are the same and I can give them to you. Get your success.

Give me a call at our Leeds Office today to find out how I can help you be a better presenter and a bigger success.

Simon Cartwright APCTC 2014 Business Coach of the Year

The point of Personality Testing?

Personality testing has become a core part of many business processes, from recruitment to leadership development, but the understanding of its usefulness is full of misconceptions. Many people ask what the point of personality testing can be, so we will look to address some of the common issues with personality testing and show where it can provide some usefulness to your organisation.

Cultural Bias

When IQ tests were extremely popular, studies found that they suffered from cultural bias. Personality tests are no different although those produced after many years of extensive study are less likely to suffer from this particular concern. For example, if you create a personality test based on the study and analysis of results of 200,000 scientists, you are unlikely to get a valid result if you then get a bricklayer to answer the same questions. How the individual taking the test interprets the questions will differ considerably between countries, race, economic status, level of education and similar demographic segments. All of which make their validity less credible depending on the people you are testing.

Mood swings

Everyone has good days and bads days. The impact of attitude and mood will influence the results of any test but more so when the test is self-reflective. Someone who is generally a positive person and who is having a good day will answer more positively and be fairer on themselves. This may extend to the point where they exaggerate what they consider to be positives in their behaviour as well as reducing the negatives.

The opposite of this is also true, a negative person or someone having a bad day will be less inclined to be positive about themselves and will answer more negatively. This follows a predictable path of human behaviour. The person that had a car accident on the way to the test will answer more negatively than someone who was given some good news prior to the test.

Situational ambiguity

Do you ever find yourself being a different person in different situations? Are you orderly in the office but untidy at home? When responding to a personality test you will associate the behaviours being questioned to the most common or memorable situation that relates to the question. This may cause some discrepancy between questions based on similar behaviours but are interpreted differently based on the situation that the person taking the test see themselves in. There is some thought that you can ask respondents to consider the questions in a particular scenario such as when they were working, in the office or similar, however instinctively people will answer in the most natural way based on the association between the question and their memories. This also comes up when people can’t relate to a question or don’t feel like they have been in a situation that allows them to answer confidently.

Personality Testing on Groups

There is a misconception that you can use personality testing to make organisational change or to increase collaborative working amongst a group of people. The expectation is that once everyone has been tested you can know their personality, understand them and determine how best to relate to them, how best to influence them and so on. Although a nice idea, the formality of a personality test, the “one result” approach and the complexities of mood and situation, all make this a bad idea. Understanding how you work as an individual is one thing but applying the results of personality tests on mass is a sure-fire path to disaster. It will break communication channels, reduce trust and increase silo working. Although seen as a team building exercise, using the results of a personality test can often have the opposite effect.

Surely it is good for recruitment?

Personality testing is often used to try to get a specific type of person for a role or to try and fill personality gaps to create a balance in a team. Another great sounding idea and there are companies out there that provide this service and sell it on the basis of scientifically calculating a person’s suitability for a role, however, due to the flaws in personality profiling the results will only be on the basis of the responses provided and will fundamentally reflect how well a person deals with testing in a recruitment situation. How they will behave in their job and manage their day to day workload in the office is a totally different thing.

People in a recruitment situation will also try to guess what personality type a company is looking for and answer positively for that type rather than answering honestly. This adds further error to what is already a complex calculation. Companies that sell this service will typically be able to advise what percentage of accuracy they expect to get from the tests. If it is 100% they are lying to you but for very specific roles and after an immense amount of study and analysis, some companies do offer very attractive numbers.

So What are the Benefits?

If everything is so wrong, why do we use them at all? As I’ve mentioned, there are many variables that can influence the results of a personality test. Humans are complex beings and the same person responding to the same test may answer differently from one day to the next but will eventually answer the same way every time. They will develop a habit of answering in a particular way which will more or less correspond to their natural response and give a more accurate result. For the occaisional test, answered honestly and with the right mindset, personality tests can be great for your self awareness and to understand your personal preferences. These are things that you would be aware of subconsciously but the personality tests can bring these to the surface, allow you to focus on them and also to change them.

For every personality test or personality profiling system there are positives and negatives. To do a personality test yourself, you need to reflect upon the result and understand if it feels right for you. Reject what doesn’t fit and take on board that which does. Ultimately, a personality test is designed to reflect who you are and you are the best person to judge that.

I recommend you take the time to understand yourself better and if you are looking to dig a little deeper into your own personality a good place to start is Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. It is not aimed at typecasting you as just one thing but it will allow you to understand the range in which you work in and some broad categories that you can recognise in other people. Once you have a better understanding of yourself, you can work on removing weaknesses and building strengths to create the person you want to be. Work out how to flex your own style to match the varying personalities and situations in which you find yourself interacting with others. You have the power to do it and the resulting balance will be a great stepping stone to building better relationships with other people and improving your life.

Looking for More?

You have the power to understand yourself and use that knowledge to learn how best to interact with other people. If you want some help on using Personality Testing in your Yorkshire business, get in touch with us on our Leeds number and one of our talented Business Coaches will arrange a time to meet and understand your requirements.

Have a great day!

Brodie Asaris



Yorkshire Business Coaching is brought to you by ThinkPositive Coaching Ltd and provides business coaching and advice to small businesses
and companies in Hull, Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate, Otley, Huddersfield, Shipley, Wetherby, York and all of the surrounding Yorkshire areas.