If you are a coach or therapist and looking to use personality profiling, then there are a few things you should know.
The PeopleMaps Personality Report range is designed to help you understand self and others. In this regard, it can certainly be a huge help when coaching someone as surely the foundation of successful coaching is a basic understanding of the individual you are working with.
Our Personality Type affects many aspects of our life. It determines our preferred behaviour and our preferred environments, which is useful for both coach and client.
What Happens To Behaviour Under Environmental Pressure?
The PeopleMaps approach to personality is that your personality type is largely formed at birth and remains relatively unchanged all your life. Your behaviour, however, changes minute to minute. We can always modify our behaviour. This is not the same thing as modifying our personality type.
When we experience environmental pressure, we adapt our behaviour, usually to meet the demands of the environment. Humans are very adaptable to their environment.
However, it takes energy to adapt and the larger the adaptation, the more energy is required and the more difficult it is to sustain.
For example, if my job requires attention to detail and I am not naturally detailed, I can still make the effort and for a short while aim to get the details right. I can turn it on for short periods of time. However, if the job required someone to be detailed all the time, then someone else would be better suited to this work environment than me.
We will adapt our behaviour to meet the environmental pressure, however, as soon as that environmental pressure is removed, we will revert to our preferred natural, behaviour.
Environmental pressure can be too much and can be harmful. Sometimes we can’t cope with the demands of environmental pressure.
Will It Identify If Their Behaviour Is Normal?
PeopleMaps is a Jungian system and does not believe there is any such thing as “normal” when it comes to humans.
“. . .there is no such thing as a normal person, even in biology. The result of science is to reduce everything abstractly to an average; in spite of all its ingenuity, it cannot create identity.” Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski
What may be considered “normal” behaviour for one person, maybe unusual behaviour for another.
Comparing individuals is not helpful or useful. It is better to take the time to understand an individual and what their natural preferences are.
Can A Personality Report Tell You if Someone Is Going To Harm Themselves?
The short answer is “No”. I would not rely on any type of personality assessment to try and predict self-harm.
It may help you get to know the individual faster.
How Can You Safely Use A Personality Report In A Clinical Scenario
If you stick to the concept that the personality report is designed to help you understand your client and for your client to understand themselves, then this deeper understanding will be useful.
For example, a personality report can tell you about their preferences. For example; their prefered communication style.
Used properly, a coach can use the personality report to adjust their approach, their communication style and how they interact in general.
The personality report can also provide an excellent catalyst for conversation. The report should be the beginning of the conversation, not the punch line.
What If The Client DIsagrees With What’s In Their Report?
It’s OK if the client disagrees with things in their report. PeopleMaps aims for an individual to agree with 80%+ of the statements found in their report.
If a client disagrees with something in their report, encourage them to talk about it and explain what they think it should be and why. these discussions will be very helpful to the coach and the client.
How Is A Personality Report Useful When An Individual’s Behaviour Has Obviously Changed Considerably?
The classic example to use here is where the usually perfect employee suddenly becomes a problem. They are going through a divorce and struggling to cope. They are missing work and when they do turn up their work is substandard. Can a personality report help in this situation?
Well, one way of looking at this is that although the individual is undergoing some extreme environmental pressure (a divorce), and clearly their behaviour has changed significantly, their personality type remains intact.
Their personality type, maybe one of the few things that are solid and reliable in their life. As a coach, you can use this solid base to help them cope with the environmental pressure they are under.
Even if you do not understand their new behaviour, you can still understand their core personality type.