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Trapped in an Unfulfilling Job? How to Find Out What You Want to Do

Mar 17, 2016 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article originally appeared in HuffPost Business and was written by Karen Naumann, Organizational Psychologist. To read the article in its original format, click here.  Lately, I’ve been talking to quite a lot of people of all ages, and I’ve noticed a common theme: unhappiness with their choice of job in some way, wishing they had done something else, but don’t know what they would want to do instead. Okay, every once in awhile I guess it’s safe to say that every one of us is questioning things in our life. It usually happens when we are in a low mood or transition phase; however, if that unhappiness and determination of wanting to quit your current job remains, then you might want to reconsider what you actually want to do. As a career counselor, I always tell my clients that there are four factors that determine their happiness in their next job or occupation: Skills, Interests, Personality, and Values. If one of them is out of sync, then they will probably eventually feel like a car running out of gas. If you are at this point in your life where you urgently need to make a stop at a gas station to refuel your motivation and happiness, then perhaps you want to consider talking to a career counselor or coach. The tools I’ll be introducing are just examples that I have worked with in the past and found to be useful in gaining insight and for continuing the process of self-reflection. I strongly recommend working with a career counselor or coach who is trained in those assessment tools to avoid any misuse or misinterpretation of your results. Also, please keep in mind that those tests serve as additional help for your career exploration only. Here are 5 tools that can help you replenish or restart your career: 1. Personality How do you approach new tasks? Or, do you find team meetings depleting or energizing? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can help you understand yourself better. The test is based on Carl Jung’s Theory of Psychological Type and looks at how you make decisions, communicate with others, and perceive the world. After answering over 70 questions, you’ll get a four letter code type showing where you focus your attention (Introversion vs. Extraversion), how you take in information from the outside (Sensing vs. Intuition), the way you make decisions (Thinking vs....

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Linking Interpersonal Needs and Employee Productivity [Webinar]

Nov 21, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

What are interpersonal needs and why do they matter? What happens when people don’t get their interpersonal needs met at work, and how does that influence their behavior? From a big-picture perspective, how does it affect organizational productivity? And how can you find out what is going on in your organization? All these questions are not only relevant to talent management, but pertinent to organizational success and employee engagement. Yet without basic knowledge of interpersonal needs and the behaviors related to them, issues between employees will continue to arise. To help answer some of the above questions, we’ve put together aninformative 30-minute webinar, where we’ll apply information gleaned from the FIRO-B® assessment to explore the questions above and more, such as: What is the impact of appreciation on employees? How do encouragement and praise affect leadership style and employee buy-in? What need do people focus on first when dealing with others? How does the way they prioritize their needs affect their relationships with others? What is the FIRO-B®?  The FIRO-B® assessment helps people understand their interpersonal needs and how those needs influence their behavior—and in the process improve their relationships and professional performance. It has helped individuals, teams, and organizations around the world grow and succeed by serving as a catalyst for positive behavioral change. Register for the December 3 webinar...

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A Personality Assessment Used by Major Companies Screens Leaders for These 18 Traits

Sep 21, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article was originally published on Business Insider’s website. To see that article, click here.  Written by Shana Lebowitz I recently took the CPI 260, a personality test designed to assess leadership potential, and one piece of feedback I received was a report comparing my characteristics to those of successful leaders. The report, which includes clients’ ratings in 18 key areas such as decisiveness and the ability to handle sensitive problems, is based on years of research on the factors that go into effective management. The CPI 260 and the reports that come with the results are used by major companies including Red Cross, AIM Investment Services, and Delta Associates. We spoke to Rich Thompson, divisional director of research at CPP, the organization that publishes the CPI 260, about how the report is produced. (You can see a sample report here.) In the 1990s, 5,610 managers and executives participated in leadership-development programs at The Center for Creative Leadership. All the execs — a group of mostly white men from a wide range of industries — took the CPI 260 and received 360-degree feedback from managers, peers, and subordinates. A team of researchers led by psychologist Sam Manoogian, Ph.D., then looked at which CPI 260 scores correlated with the most positive feedback in different areas. Manoogian was the chief assessor at CCL from 1996 to 1999, and, based on his experience, he selected the 18 traits that he felt were crucial to successful leadership. They are organized into five core competencies: self-management, organizational capabilities, team building and teamwork, problem solving, and sustaining the vision. The competencies represent a hierarchy, so each competency builds on the ones before it. Self-management is at the bottom: You can’t excel in any domain until you’re able to regulate your own thoughts, emotions, and habits. Here are the 18 traits of successful leaders, according to the report:   1. Self-management Effective leaders can regulate their time, attention, and emotions, and they are familiar with their strengths, weaknesses, and potential sources of bias. Self-awareness refers to your ability to manage your own feelings so that you respond to people and events in an authentic and appropriate way. Self-control is about being disciplined, without being too reserved or inflexible. Resilience involves managing stress and devoting time to important areas of life outside work.   2. Organizational capabilities Successful managers know how to use power appropriately, work within established procedures, and make decisions. Use of power...

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Introducing CPP Innovation Labs

Sep 10, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

A few weeks ago we announced the formation of CPP Innovation Labs (cppilabs.com), an innovation-fueled incubator focused on applying rigorous data analytics and artificial intelligence to research-tested personality insight. The lab’s core team combines deep experience in data science and artificial intelligence from companies such as Equilar, Inc., Samsung Accelerator, LiveNation, and Match.com with a wealth of expertise in personality research. “While many companies attempt to leverage data and technology to help people in various aspects of life, most lack the benefit of working with assessment instruments that have been scientifically validated over the course of decades. With our assets in personality research, the possibilities are endless,” says Chris Mackey, CPP Innovation Labs Senior Vice President. CPP’s been committed to improving people’s lives through a better understanding of themselves and others (for example, read why the Myers-Briggs is meaningful to millions), and CPP Innovation Labs is dedicated to combining large data sets with visualized personality insight to create a more intimate and familiar communication experience through digital mediums that help clients solve problems. CPP Innovation Labs have already hit the ground running. The labs have recently launched an experiment combining data from LinkedIn and CPP’s CPI 260® assessment, and have developed a research platform to quickly integrate large datasets from partner organizations for analysis alongside CPP’s personality data. Much like other company’s incubators (think Google or Amazon), CPP Innovation Labs retains full freedom and flexibility to experiment and explore new horizons, while benefitting from the support of CPP and its existing research. Guiding development of technology through understanding of personality Central to this effort is a product vision to accelerate development of new ways for users to interact with and leverage CPP’s instruments through visualization platforms. “Personality has always been integral to human interaction, yet as our lives have moved into the digital realm it has not come along for the ride,” says Darrell Mockus, CPP Innovation Labs CTO. “One of our objectives is to increase the role of the human personality component in driving the function and performance of technology.” The group is initially focusing on applying predictive analytics to student success, healthcare and HR, with a particular interest in the role of personality in habit formation. One of its first initiatives involves developing new ways to leverage CPP’s Strong Interest Inventory® tool–the world’s most respected and widely used career planning assessment–to put students on the fast track...

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I took a personality test to assess my leadership potential and it was freakishly accurate

Aug 11, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article was originally published on Business Insider’s website. To see that article, click here.  Written by Shana Lebowitz I’ve long been skeptical of using personality tests for hiring. Having never been asked to complete one while applying for a job, I assumed they were somewhat similar to the quizzes in Seventeen magazine I spent the better part of my adolescence taking. Those quizzes, it seemed, were only useful for diagnosing people on the extremes — those who were destined to become the next Shakira or those who were permanent wallflowers. Every single assessment I took labeled me “average,” and yet with each new issue came the hope that the editorial team would be able to discern something novel and exciting about me. Eventually, I stopped taking those quizzes, resigning myself to the belief that I was, alas, exactly like everyone else. Then, a few weeks ago, I spoke with a consultant at CPP, the organization that publishes the Myers-Briggs personality test, about a newer tool, the CPI 260. It’s designed to assess leadership potential in the workplace. On some level, I thought the whole idea sounded vaguely ridiculous. But the Seventeen-subscribing brace-face in me was dying to know: Could this be it — the test that would finally tell me who I really was and could potentially become? Would it drastically alter the course of my career? I registered to take it online. How the assessment works The CPI 260 is typically used either when there’s a performance issue with an employee or a manager wants to help an employee develop into a more senior role at the company. Individuals can also purchase the test themselves when they’re working with a career coach. Companies including the Red Cross, AIM Investment Services, and Delta Associates have used the assessment for talent development. The test consists of 260 true/false items and takes approximately 40 minutes to complete online. In order to register for the assessment and purchase the three reports analyzing your personality, you need to work with a practitioner who is certified by CPP to interpret the results. All three reports together cost $136.85. (CPP waived my fee.) The questions are strange, to say the least. There’s one asking whether you’d enjoy listening to an opera singer and another asking whether you’d like to be a race car driver. When I initially spoke with Sherrie Haynie, the CPP consultant, about the CPI 260, she told me the...

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Which Conflict Mode Is Used Most Frequently (Whether in a Group or in an Entire Country)?

Jul 20, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

That question comes up from time to time, especially during group training and classroom discussions. Here is my response (which may or may not surprise you): Technically speaking, the TKI cannot answer this question, even though people often try to extract inferences from various statistical tables (incorrectly). The fact is that the TKI does not measure absolute frequencies that can then be summed or averaged in any meaningful way across individuals. The TKI consists of 30 A/B choices of one conflict mode relative to another mode, so a person is asked to choose the competing mode vs. the avoiding mode, the collaborating mode vs. the compromising mode, and so forth, across the 30 A/B items on the TKI. As a result, each person’s raw score for one mode is always relative to his choices for the other four modes. That’s why every person’s total sum of raw scores always equals 30. One person can face a lot of conflict every day, while another person faces far fewer conflict situations. But both of their TKI scores would still add to 30! Thus, the TKI does NOT measure the absolute frequency of using a given mode ACROSS THE INDIVIDUALS IN A GROUP OR AN ENTIRE COUNTRY, only the relative frequency (per person) ACROSS THE FIVE CONFLICT MODES. So if Person A gets a raw score of 10 for competing, it’s only because he uses that mode more than the other modes (all of which he might not be using very often). But Person B might get a raw score of 8 for competing, but be actually uses that mode much more frequently (in an absolute sense) than Person A, because Person B faces many more conflict situations. Essentially, comparing one person’s raw score on a mode to another person’s raw score is comparing apples to oranges. TKI ProfileThe 30 A/B “forced-choice” items on the TKI assessment result in five raw scores for each person, which are then transformed into normative percentiles (from 0% to 100%). Based on these percentiles, we can suggest whether a person might be using a conflict mode too much or too little—as compared to a large normative sample. Without using percentiles, we really couldn’t interpret what a person’s raw scores mean and we wouldn’t be able to suggest how a person might improve his or her conflict-handling behavior—by using some habitual modes less often and other dormant...

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Why Using the MBTI to Select a Career is Good, but Using It to Select a New Hire Isn’t

Jun 15, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Are you confused about Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment’s role in career selection? If so, you’re not alone. For decades, the Myers-Briggs assessment has been used in college career planning and other programs designed to help people identify and flourish in the right career. Yet, if you’ve followed the news, you may have heard that CPP, the MBTI instrument publisher, opposes using the MBTI as a hiring tool. So what gives? Does the MBTI assessment, or does it not, identify how someone will perform in a certain career? In a nutshell, the MBTI tool provides a great deal of insight into how we’re likely to think, act and interact in a particular work environment–making it useful in career selection–but it isn’t designed to predict how we’ll perform within that environment, making its use in hiring selection inappropriate. Other instruments, such as the California Psychological Inventory™ (CPI™) assessments, are designed to be used in this capacity. MBTI Use in career counselling For several decades CPP has been collecting data regarding the relative frequency of each of the 16 personality types within a wide range of careers, published in MBTI Type Tables for Occupations. This data, along with individual MBTI results from a certified practitioner, typically serves two fundamental purposes in career counseling. First, it can help identify where people of similar personality type have found satisfying careers. This is particularly beneficial in exposing people to a wider range of careers than those they might normally consider. Second, it can help people make more informed career decisions by providing insight into the kind of work environment and work culture that predominates a particular profession. For example, MBTI results yield a wealth of information regarding how our work style and communication preferences may play out within an engineering team, identifying potential areas of challenge and areas of advantage. The MBTI, for instance, may offer insight into how the way we naturally approach a project–in terms of planning, setting and meeting deadlines and milestones–meshes with how most engineering departments run. Knowing this helps us gain a clearer picture of what day-to-day life as an engineer will be like for us, and that insight can be factored into a career decision. Preference vs. Aptitude However, the MBTI isn’t designed to predict aptitude, or our grasp of fundamental skills or principles related to a certain profession. You may have a personality well-suited for life as...

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2015 MBTI® Users Conference: Learning, Connecting and Fun Along the Way

Jun 11, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Taking place this September 28-30 in San Francisco, CPP’s 2015 MBTI® Users Conference offers you opportunities to…

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How to Manage Conflict

Jun 9, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article originally appeared in Forbes Magazine and was written by Kristi Hedges. To read the article on that website, click here.  If you’re a leader, you deal with conflict. It’s inevitable. Effectively managing conflict is imperative to generating trust and maintaining confidence. Leaders who avoid conflict, mishandle it, or stoke it find it very difficult to sustain followership. We expect our leaders to be innately adept at managing conflict. But before people become leaders, they already have a natural tendency for how they will address conflict. This tendency is usually unconsciously carried into the leadership role. Thomas-Kilmann’s Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) provides a helpful guide for identifying what our conflict predispositions might be. The TKI breaks down our conflict styles into five distinct types: Competing: In a conflict, this individual is assertive and uncooperative and will pursue his or her own concerns at the other person’s expense. He will use his power to win the argument, even if it’s for the sake of winning (and he’s wrong). Accommodating: This individual is unassertive and cooperative, i.e., the opposite of the competing type. This person will sacrifice his own concerns for those of the other person. Avoiding: This is the person who does not want to deal with the conflict (he’s neither assertive nor cooperative). He sidesteps, postpones and withdraws. Collaborating: A collaborator is the opposite of an avoider. He actively works to work out a solution that makes everyone happy. Compromising: This individual is moderately assertive and cooperative. He will address the issue directly, but he may not spend as much time digging into the root of the problem as a collaborator. He will seek the middle ground in a disagreement. While we all have a style we favor, we’re capable of using all of these styles. In fact, leadership requires us to be adept at each. To be the best resolvers of conflicts, we need to learn to flex to the situation – and not be swayed by our default style. While we may never enjoy conflict, we can get better – and more strategic – at handling it. To be more agile at how you manage conflict, consider these suggestions: Establish clear procedures for dealing with conflict. Jeanne Brett, the DeWitt W. Buchanan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations at Kellogg Graduate School of Management, says that we should have “solid conflict management procedures in...

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For a More Flexible Workforce, Hire Self-Aware People

May 27, 2015 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article was originally posted in the Harvard Business Review on January 10, 2014. Written by Rich Thompson. Companies frequently complain that it’s tough to find the right people. If, amidst high unemployment, this seems counter intuitive, consider the deep trends driving the mismatch: technology and globalization have transformed what it takes to succeed in business. A new generation of professionals places more importance on organizational values and passion for the work than on a paycheck. Organizations, as Cathy Benko argues in The Corporate Lattice, have replaced hierarchical structures with flatter, more collaborative work arrangements. Amidst all this fluidity, it’s difficult for managers to specify the content of jobs, and the skills and specialized knowledge required to perform them; harder still for aspiring job-winners to offer those. If companies are having difficulty finding that “perfect match,” perhaps it’s time for an equally profound shift in how we think about staffing. Rather than detailing a job description and looking for someone to match it, companies should look for people with the right fundamental qualities and then allocate tasks in such a way that they apply their talents productively and develop important new ones. Furthermore, companies must acknowledge that those people may already exist within their own ranks, and implement processes to make the best use of existing talent. Accomplishing this hinges on understanding people – whether it be a new hire or long-time employee. And when it comes to discovering what makes people tick, a good way to start is with helping them understand themselves. Self-awareness is a millennia-old area of study – the aphorism “know thyself” dates back to at least to Socrates. Why is it important to organizational performance? According to Gary Yukl, a researcher on leadership, “Self-awareness makes it easier to understand one’s own needs and likely reactions if certain events occurred, thereby facilitating evaluation of alternative solutions.” He defines the concept as including “understanding of one’s own needs, emotions, abilities, and behavior,” indicating that a person able to identify his or her own strengths and weaknesses will be more effective. The concept of self-awareness as a foundation for effective leadership has been theorized, implied, and researched in a variety of contexts. For example, studies by Bass & Yammarino (1991), Atwater & Yamamarino (1992), and Church (1997) showed that those who demonstrated a more accurate conception of their own skills, abilities, and preferences tended to perform better than those with a less accurate self-conception. In the literature surrounding the Myers-Briggs...

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