A life waiver – are you up to the challenge?

The following waiver, courtesy of Anonymous (undated), is so good it's worth sharing: "I understand that during the course of my life I will be required to make decisions, such as where I want to live, whom I want to live with, where I work, how much fun I have, and how I spend my money and time, including how much time I spend waiting for things to get better and people to change, and whom I chose to love. I understand that many events that occur will be out of my hands and that there are inherent dangers and risks in all decisions I make.

Life and people have no obligation whatsoever to live up to my expectations; I have no obligation to live up to the expectations of anybody else. Life is a high-risk sport, and I may become injured along the way.I agree that all the decisions I make are mine and mine along, including how I choose to handle the events that are beyond my control. I hereby forfeit my right to recourse as a victim, including my rights to blame, complain, and whine or hold someone else responsible for the path I choose to take. I am responsible for my participation – or lack of it – in life. And I take complete responsibility for the outcomes and consequences of all decisions I make, understanding that ultimately it is my choice whether I become happy, joyous, and free or stay miserable and trapped. Although people may voluntarily nurture and love me, I and I alone am responsible for taking care of and loving myself".

Personal annual reports called from personal management trainer

In his regular column, Reg Garters (The Press, 04/02/2012) talks of the benefits of regularly reviewing one's personal and working life in the key areas of: physical, mental, family, spiritual, financial, social, community and business. He suggests after completing the review, to jot down the findings in an annual report to oneself. It's a great idea, as it encourages us to check the balance in our lives and to see where and what we are spending our energy and time on. It can show us where we may be excessive or deficient in some areas. The analysis can encourage us to make any changes we need and want to make.

Birkman Method® and success factors

Another natty assessment is the Birkman Method® which examines aspects of behaviours and the motivations that influence them. The Birkman Method® questionnaire contains a total of 295 questions (!) and elicits success factors intrinsic to each individual and provides information that illustrates how people interact with one another. Moreover, the assessment predicts how people can effectively contribute to an organisation's goals. This assessment can be completed online or through a paper questionnaire.


The ‘why’ of individual behaviour assessed by PIA&V

The PIA&V assessment (Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values) used today is based on research done in 1928. The assessment measures the ‘why' of behaviour and helps individuals discover their personal motivators by identifying their attitudes, beliefs and values. It is a person's attitude, beliefs and values that move them into action, so the PIA&V focuses on why people act in the way they do.

Assessments – do they really help or hinder?

I'm often struck by the numbers of different assessments employees are put through as part of recruitment processes and then, once in an organisation, as part of ongoing team building processes or self development initiatives. Assessments are great tools to understand why we are as we are; and the conditions that enable us to be at our best or worst. It's great for teams to know the different ‘types' within the team and how to use the strengths of everyone's different personalities, to best advantage. The important thing once individuals or teams are assessed is to do something with the learnings so they're talked about, applied, reflected upon and talked about some more. This way, the return on the original investment increases, for individuals and the organisation.

FIRO-B™ – needs in a nutshell

FIRO-B stands for Fundamental Interpersonal Relationships Orientation – Behaviour. It is an assessment designed to see how an individual's personal needs impact on their behaviours towards other people. The measurement is in two different dimensions: expressed behaviour and behaviour desired from others. In essence, this assessment measures how we would usually behave with others and how we expect others to behave towards us. It's designed to help us see ourselves, based on our own interpersonal needs. It provides feedback in assessing our needs for inclusion, control and affection.

The MBTI® – Jung’s theory in a nutshell

Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung observed human behaviour follows identifiable patterns that develop from the structure of the mind. Jung believed that when the mind was active, people were doing one of two things: perceiving (as in, taking in information) or judging (organising and prioritising the incoming information, to arrive at decisions). He believed everyone uses these mental processes and people are born with preferences for how they use them. Moreover, he identified two very different ways that people perceive and judge: perception may be by sensing or intuition; and judgement may be by thinking or feeling. What does this really mean for us? Our underlying preferences for one way of perceiving and one way of judging information influences the kind of information we are most likely to pay attention to and the process we use when making decisions. Jung also identified two opposite orientations that we take toward the world – namely, introversion and extroversion.

The Highlands Ability Battery – a military regiment or something else?

I hate to disappoint but this battery isn't a measure of your firearm skills in the Scottish Highlands but rather, it is an assessment that measures one's natural abilities including: inductive and deductive reasoning, spatial abilities, visual and musical abilities and learning channels, as well as personal style factors. It is one assessment, amongst many, designed to support individuals in their career development; and it enables managers to compare individuals with the known characteristics of a successful team and see how individuals and groups may behave under stress.

Assessment tools – are they new or old hat?

There are hundreds of assessment tools available now to individuals, recruiters and human resources personnel, thanks to some early work that started in 444 BC. At this time, Empodocles, the founder of the school of medicine in Sicily, categorised behavioural elements in terms of earth, air, fire and water. About 100 years later, Hippocrates determined that four ‘humours' of blood, yellow bile, phlegm and black bile were each thought to be responsible for a different type of personality. Over the centuries some of these descriptors have changed, however the work to understand people and how they tick, continues. Carl Jung, in 1923, described people's ‘types' in terms of Feeler, Intuitor, Thinker and Sensor – the foundation for the Myer's Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The basis for the DiSC assessment emerged from William Marston and his research on the emotions of people, in 1928.