Dr. Sandra L. Shullman, Executive Development Group partner, writes this month in Talent Management magazine on the subject of personality profiles.

Sandy’s article offers an objective review of the fortes and foibles of personality assessment instruments and includes insights from two Executive Development Group clients, Jeff Holst and Gregory Pennington, Ph.D. Jeff is a 35-year corporate HR veteran with Coopers Lybrand, Bayer US, Kennametal and now a talent management consultant specializing in executive feedback and coaching. Greg is vice president and global senior leader of development and planning at Johnson Controls.

From the article:

Personality assessments take a beating from skeptics and supporters. The detractors make a case for fallacies and dangers. Notably, Annie Murphy Paul’s 2004 book, Cult of Personality: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies, and Misunderstand Ourselves, challenged their prevailing use: “They cannot specify how we will act in particular roles or situations. They cannot predict how we will change over time.”

This is partially true. In many cases, personality inventories are presumed to predict comprehensive performance when they can’t.

The other beating comes from the most devout acolytes of personality assessments: the talent managers who misuse the tools. As management demands faster results, HR often is seduced by marketing promises and distributor claims. Myriad management consultant Web sites tout amazing solutions and advertisements for instruments such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Hogan HPI or FIRO-B and DiSC.

Personality instruments are good at predicting two main categories behaviorally related to work: getting along with people and the motivational aspects of getting ahead. READ MORE HERE.