There is no doubt that business ownership can be a messy experience full of hurdles to overcome on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.
But do you find yourself running into the same hurdles over and over? Believe it or not, many business obstacles are caused by the owner’s (and their employees’) unconscious habits. Uncovering these habits doesn’t have to be a lifelong process; you can have a better understanding of your automatic tendencies within minutes using the Personal Styles Inventory©, or PSI-120, developed by Educational and Psychological Consultants, LLC in Columbia, Mo.
“People in the business arena are in need of improved self-management skills in order to adapt to the changes demanded by COVID and other challenges [of business],” said PSI-120 researcher Russel M. Newton, Ph. D.
A better understanding of how you operate and interact with those around you will lead you to make more effective, smarter choices for your brand and business.
What is the PSI-120?
In his 2019 book ” The Personality Puzzle,” David Funder of UC Riverside called thinking, emotion and action ” the personality triad.” These are the same three domains that Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel called “basic areas of brain function” in 1979.
They also all happen to be the same three domains assessed with the PSI-120, which was designed to assess everyday neutral behavior (i.e. those behaviors that can be adaptive in some situations, but not others) and empower users.
Recent neuroscience concludes that mental processes are built to create automatic habits in order to take the load off of conscious awareness. The PSI-120 individually inventories and organizes these habits into an easy-to-understand map of 3 domains and 8 styles in each domain. Awareness of personal styles, which are usually unavailable to the conscious mind, allows subtle adjustment to everyday behavior and improvements in daily living. In this way, the PSI-120 helps make more people more effective.
As opposed to virtually all other inventories, PSI-120 results are compatible with modern neuroscience, and can empower us in our everyday activity by informing us of our automatic behavior.
“Awareness enables management and [business owners] seem to need that!” said Newton.
I’ve taken other personal assessments in the past. How is this one any different?
“Other personality assessments do not recognize the vast diversity among humans and are not compatible with modern neuroscience, relying on ‘naive realism’ by the recipient,” said Newton. “Any results from the assessments are verified by the brain of the recipient simply because they want to believe what they are told, in much the same way as astrology.” This keeps things simple and predictable to the user, but does not account for the true components of personality and behavior.
Additionally, antiquated personality assessments do not perceive personality as malleable; traits are static and immutable – that is, unable to be changed. The PSI-120 looks at habit clusters, not just static traits, to assess personality and behavior. These clusters are our “styles” – personality dimensions that trigger our behaviors and choices.
Awareness of personal triggers gives all humans, and especially those whose decisions impact bottom lines every day, empowerment.
“Traditional personality constructs will not empower us; they are about ‘what is.’ The PSI-120 is about ‘what can be,’” said Newton. “We need to build a better, stronger business environment in a very different world, and it cannot be done based on personality assessments from the last century.”
Lastly, Newton reiterates the unique nature of PSI-120 results. According to the Personal Styles website, PSI-120 results are highly complex with 8 styles in each of 3 domains, and each style with graduated results (not all or none). It is highly unlikely to find exact duplicates of results between any two people.
“In all of the years I have been doing this research, no two people have ever had identical results,” he said. “Our results show that personality is not any of the really simple things measured by nearly all other inventories. It cannot be broken down into combinations of 4 letters or 9 Enneagram groups. People are unique beings.”
How can I use PSI-120 results to improve my functioning within my business environment?
After completing the assessment, users will receive a customized report of their results. Ultimately, the report covers the relationship between basic and current behavior for each of the styles to accommodate dual processing within the trilogy of mind thinking, emotion, and action.
Newton says that results are typically surprising to users because of their complexity and neutrality – that is, lack of “normality” or “abnormality” in traits. Results simply show the reality of everyday behavior. A single behavior is not always good or always bad; situationally, it might be beneficial or problematic. Results and the accompanying report gives users simulations in which their unconscious habits may be helping or hindering their progress.
Additionally, personality is complex and highly individualized – Newton reiterates that you are unlikely to ever meet another person exactly like you. Using their results and newfound awareness of individual habits and triggers, users will be able to regulate their reactions and relationships to their benefit.
Business owners and managers who have been assessed alongside their co-workers and employees have found that the inventory is useful in facilitating team work and conflict resolution.
“The key to their experience of the PSI was increased self and team knowledge,” said Hope I. Hills, Ph.D., who has coached executives and business leaders using the PSI. “I created a template that I used with teams, so that they could recognize how they related to one another.”
Additionally, it allows each individual to become aware of their own automatic behavior and tweak it to facilitate cooperation within the workplace.
“These [factors] usually, if not always, contribute to betterment of the work environment,” says Newton.
You can try the Inventory free using the discount code APA18 at https://www.personalstyles.org.