While anyone can read a Word Survey Report to understand their personality profile, it can be helpful to have someone explain the graph to them. Many of our clients do this with new hires during onboarding as a way of demonstrating an interest in the personalization of the new employee’s journey within the company. Others will do so if there is a communication issue between employees. Some of our recruiting clients also explain the graphs to their clients as part of the candidate presentation process. Whatever the purpose of the debrief on the profile, it is helpful to have an outline on how to do so to ensure that the information is communicated clearly. The following are steps to debrief a Word Survey profile:
Explain the 4 trait scales:
McQuaig measures personality on 4 trait scales. Each one is represented by a different colour and has 2 opposing traits at each end.
- The red trait scale measures the degree to which individuals want to assert themselves or influence others versus their need to be team-oriented and seek consensus. The key word used to describe this trait scale is power. The opposing traits are Dominant and Accepting.
- The green trait scale measures individual styles of communication, how they interact with others and their preferences for making decision based on analysis or emotion. The key word used to describe this trait scale is people. The opposing traits are Sociable and Analytical.
- The blue scale measures the degree to which an individual will exhibit patience and planning versus a sense of urgency and desire for change. The key word used to describe this trait scale is pace. The opposing traits are Relaxed and Driving.
- The yellow scale measures the degree to which an individual will be diligent about adhering to guidelines and policy versus a desire to be more flexible and autonomous. The key word used to describe this trait scale is structure. The opposing traits are Compliant and Independent.
Explain the midpoint line:
All 4 trait scales are displayed vertically on the Word Survey Report graph. The bold line at the number 42 is called the midpoint line. It depicts 2 things:
- It is the breaking point between the two opposite traits of each trait scale. For each trait scale, one trait is at the top of the graph, the opposite is at the bottom.
- If a coloured bar is above the midpoint line, the personality profile includes the trait at the top of the graph.
- If a coloured bar is below the midpoint line, the personality profile includes the trait at the bottom of the graph.
- If a coloured bar is on the midpoint line, the profile is balanced on that trait scale. This means that the person will sometimes demonstrate one of the opposing traits, other times they will demonstrate the other and this will depend on the situation.
- It is a marker for how strongly a trait is pronounced. The further away a coloured bar is from the midpoint line in either direction, the stronger the trait is expressed.
- Above the midpoint line, the higher the score, the stronger the trait is expressed. For example, a score of 80 is stronger than 50.
- Below the midpoint line, the lower the score, the stronger the trait is expressed. For example, a score of 10 is stronger than 30.
Explain the difference between the Situational and Real graphs:
There are 2 graphs, 1 labelled Situational and 1 labelled Real.
- The situational graph displays how the respondent is currently behaving and represents a snapshot in time, when they took the assessment. If there are arrows on the situational graph, the individual is behaving far outside of their natural personality. If there are not arrows on the situational graph, the respondent is not making any significant situational adjustments.
- The real graph displays their natural personality, which is stable over time.
First discuss the Real graph.
Identify which traits the individual has and provide some descriptive words for each trait. Contrast that with some descriptive words for the opposite trait but spend the most time on the traits that they do have.
Then discuss the Situational graph.
- If there are no arrows, explain that at the time they took the assessment, they were not making any significant situational adjustments and were behaving in-line with their natural personality.
- If there are arrows, explain that at the time they took the assessment, there were making some significant situational adjustments, in other words, behaving outside of their natural personality.
- Discuss each arrow individually.
- If the arrow is pointing towards the top of the graph, it can be described as the respondent is behaving more [insert trait at the top of the graph] or less [insert trait at the bottom of the graph] than is natural for them.
- If the arrow is pointing towards the bottom of the graph, it can be described as the respondent is behaving more [insert trait at the bottom of the graph] or less [insert trait at the top of the graph] than is natural for them.
- If the individual falls under the pattern of Stretching or Holding Back, explain their combination of situational adjustments that creates this pattern as well as common reasons for this occurring.
- Discuss each arrow individually.
Ask if this resonates with them and discuss any questions.
It is helpful to re-affirm that when it comes to personality, there are no positives and negatives, just strengths and weaknesses. The strengths of one will be the weaknesses of another and they can work with their manager and teammates to make the most of their strengths and develop strategies to overcome their weaknesses.