Instruments for Self Awareness

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Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. The field is concerned with the measurement of skills and knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits etc. There are many types of psychometric instruments available, which can be used by the CIOs and which can reveal the hidden dimensions of their psychological make-up.

These instruments may concern wide variety of aspects such as inner motivation, leadership style, learning style, personality type, behavioral issues, transaction profile, self understanding, personal effectiveness, competency mapping etc.

There is a plethora of such instruments. One can select the most relevant ones, depending on the need. The most popular of these instruments, which can also be relevant for the CIOs, include the following:

1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. These preferences were extrapolated by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers from the typological theories proposed by Carl Gustav Jung, and first published in his 1921 book Psychological Types (English edition, 1923). Jung theorized that there are four principal psychological functions by which we experience the world: sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. One of these four functions is dominant most of the time.


Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation- Behavior (FIRO- B) is a theory of interpersonal relations, introduced by William Schutz in 1958. This theory mainly explains the interpersonal underworld of a small group. The theory is based on the belief that when people get together in a group, there are three main interpersonal needs they are looking to obtain – affection/ openness, control and inclusion. Schutz developed a measuring instrument that contains six scales of nine-item questions that he called FIRO-B. This technique was created to measure or control how group members feel when it comes to inclusion, control, and affection/ openness or to be able to get feedback from people in a group.

3. Transactional Analysis

According to the International Transactional Analysis Association, TA ‘is a theory of personality and a systematic psychotherapy for personal growth and personal change’.
As a theory of personality, TA describes how people are structured psychologically. It uses what is perhaps its best known model, the ego-state (Parent-Adult-Child) model, to do this. The same model helps explain how people function and express their personality in their behavior
As per Eric Berne, there are four life positions that a person can hold and holding a particular psychological position has profound implications for how an individual operationalizes his or her life.

The positions are stated as:

– I’m OK and you are OK. This is the healthiest position about life and it means that I feel good about myself and that I feel good about others and their competence.

– I’m OK and you are not OK. In this position I feel good about myself but I see others as damaged or less than and it is usually not healthy,

– I’m not OK and you are OK. In this position the person sees him/ herself as the weak partner in relationships as the others in life are definitely better than the self. The person who holds this position will unconsciously accept abuse as OK.

– I’m not OK and you are not OK. This is the worst position to be in as it means that I believe that I am in a terrible state and the rest of the world is as bad.

It is also a theory of communication that can be extended to the analysis of systems and organizations.
It also offers a theory for child development by explaining how our adult patterns of life originated in childhood. This explanation is based on the idea of a “Life (or Childhood) Script”: the assumption that we continue to re-play childhood strategies, even when this results in pain or defeat. Thus it claims to offer a theory of psychopathology.

4. Learning Style Inventory

Learning style is an individual’s natural or habitual pattern of acquiring and processing information in learning situations. A core concept is that individuals differ in how they learn. The idea of individualized learning styles originated in the 1970s.

One of the most widely used theories of learning styles is the Kolb’s model. It was first developed by Psychologist David Kolb in 1984. He proposed that individual learning styles develop due to our genetics, life experiences, and the current life realities. Kolb identifies four different learning styles and developed a theory of experiential learning and a learning style inventory.

5. Motivational Analysis of Organizations- Behaviour

A person’s behavior is the result of several motives. Six primary needs or motives, which are relevant for understanding the behavior of people in organizations, have been identified- achievement, affiliation, influence, control, extension and dependence. There are two sides to each motive, an approach side (which should be developed) and avoidance (which should be avoided).

This instrument can be used to gauge an individual’s level of these six motives. There is no good or bad motive, but a higher score on each motive helps an individual become more effective.

6. CIO Leadership Roles and Competencies Inventory (CIO LRCI)

Coeus Age has developed a CIO Leadership Roles and Competencies Inventory (CIO LRCI) Framework to identify the major CIO roles, and the competencies required for playing those roles. The framework is an outcome of my doctoral thesis on CIO Role Effectiveness and the extensive research, which went behind that. The framework is holistic as it covers 360-degree of roles a contemporary CIO is expected to play.. I have developed this instrument based on my doctoral thesis on CIO Role Effectiveness. It is designed to become the basis for holistic CIO leadership development.


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