The Cult of Psychometric

"The sign of a first rate intelligence is the capacity to hold to opposing truths and still retain the ability to function" - F.Scott-Fitzgerald

Got the tshirt

The problem with psychometric is not the tool it is the facilitator, let me start there and keep shooting. I've been delivering psychometric for over two decades which is longer enough to have a t-shirt that says, "I've got the t-shirt".

What seems to happen in development is possibly more defined than in many other spheres of life, it is when you get the people that really shouldn't be in development, as they haven't done the work on themselves, but rather have validated themselves through their learning and qualifications.

Am I an expert

This is true in all aspects of life, however in development you get this strange breed of person who was a little bit broken and in the process of learning their craft got a little bit of religion (their favourite psychometric or learning methodology)and then it started to go horribly wrong.

You see these people in other walks of life, though they are easier to spot as they really stand out, they are evangelists, so you can kind of go:

"Righty ho then, mental note to self, don't invite them to the party again"

It's harder to do that when the person who thinks like that, who in all other aspects of their life seems quite normal but in this one area has quite literally lost the capacity to reason and is:

  • in you HR/L&D Function
  • a team member
  • the person giving you the feedback ad you just realised......."nutter"
I am the way

Not Fact

Of course passion is important, however the danger with any tool, psychometric in particular is that.....especially preference tools....they are NOT absolute fact.

What I mean is that they are a guide and an indicator.

The truth of the matter is that most tools in this arena are quite good, after that you have preference as to usability etc.

What tends to happen is that the cult psychometric giver has had a personal epiphany on their feedback, which is usually little to do with the tool, but more to do with quality of the facilitation of the tool.

This person then gets accredited and now believes they are anointing everyone with its wonderfulness.

In fact

What they are doing is switching a lot of people off psychometric and usually reinforcing the caricature of people in the learning game being a bit woolly (#bit mental)

My Point

  • Don't buy into the tool, too much
  • Yes have a preference, (just remember all ice cream is good, even pistachio)
  • Accreditation hasn't made you good at delivery, it just explained it to you


If you frame your entire world view through the lens of your favourite psychometric and see it as the only one that is any good and that somehow you seem to bring it into every conversation...then:

Its you.png