Occasionally someone questions the “accuracy” of BestWork. The act fact of calibrating the instrument ensures that it is “accurate.” The question has more to do with the perspective of the person asking the question. Most people have little knowledge or experience with psychometrics, the esoteric branch of psychology that involves the measurement of human traits and abilities. There is a common misconception that BestWork is attempting to divine the information about an individual’s personality through some type of mysterious algorithm. The BestWork Experience is, in a sense, simply a mirror. The participants are asked to describe themselves by responding to a highly sophisticated set of simple questions. Their answers effectively paint a picture describing their hard-wired core personality traits. The number of questions provides a robust sample that statistical analysis during the calibration (sometimes called the validation) has proven to be an accurate and reliable measure.
It is difficult to imagine a participant questioning the accuracy of the DATA as they were the author of that DATA. It has happened that a participant reading that they were reserved, private and preferred to work alone, did challenge the accuracy. Their challenge evaporated when they were shown their responses to the questions in that area. Three-fourths of their responses supported the “reserved, private...” descriptions, and upon seeing that, the participant admitted that it was accurate. Their fear of appearing unfriendly in the report was the cause of their original accuracy challenge.
Sometimes circumstances or history have given certain words a personal value. An individual whose strength is consistency with conventional ways of doing things may have been told that creativity is important and encouraged to “think outside the box.” That is like telling a seven-foot-tall athlete that exploring caves is better than basketball. DATA lets people see their true strengths that never go away, rather than chasing after whatever is popular or promoted.
Sometimes a participant’s current position seems at odds with the DATA. A perfect example of this was a senior financial officer at a major corporation. The individual’s job performance was exceptional and that had merited several promotions. As a part of a team engineering project, the financial officer completed BestWork. Three strengths stood out for different reasons. He learned quickly and processed information quickly, which was a benefit for that job. Next, he was persuasive and quite comfortable managing others. This also was a benefit in his job. Then came the surprise.
He was in the tenth percentile in being able to handle detailed information. He had virtually no ability at all to work with details, yet he had a degree in accounting and finance. When asked how that happened, he explained that he was a promising boxer with the potential to become a professional. Unfortunately, an unexpected medical condition precluded that option. His father advised him that accountants could always find jobs. In college, he just assumed that the detailed work was hard for everyone. Once hired, the challenge became even greater, and with each promotion, it took more time to do the job. His manager said that the young man typically worked eighty or more hours each week, and she was concerned about him. Once the DATA was explained, the level of sacrifice that was required week after week became clear. His hard work and dedication were evident. He was presented with a range of options in either sales or management that offered outstanding opportunities for his career. His strengths were excellent for any of those roles.
The psychometric instruments that provide the DATA for BestWork, represent the state of the art in that science, with an unparalleled level of accuracy and reliability. At times, it may require a bit of explanation to understand how it relates to certain perspectives and preconceived ideas. BestWork is happy to help with that. There are hundreds of articles in our library, a series of podcasts and blogs, a few books, and other resources. Of course, a conversation is always welcome.
Chuck Russell is a thought leader on applying behavioral data to business, educational and social challenges. For over 25 years, he has worked with companies of all kinds to optimize their talent acquisition and talent management practices with behavioral data. He is an international speaker on behavioral data analytics.