5 Psychometric Tools to Better Understand Yourself & Others

Discover 5 Psychometric Tools To Help Improve Your Understanding

There are many psychometric tools available. Having used, worked with, and tested many, there are five that I would recommend using if you wish to understand yourself, your colleagues and your team better. Each tool enables you to understand a different dimension of people. Collectively these tools are very powerful for creating a ‘building blocks’ type model of how a person will behave in a given situation.

You will not be able to appreciate all five psychometric tools quickly, however. To truly gain the value you first need to fully understand each tool. Therefore I have recommended an order of priority. We’ll start with the easiest to understand model, and then move onto some of the more heavyweight, advanced tools.

1. Which Driver Are You?

‘Drivers’ is a simple, free and easy to understand questionnaire, originally devised by Michael Reddy, founder of Human Potential Accounting. Simply complete the drivers questionnaire, which will take about 10 minutes.

Understanding our drivers helps us to understand why we do what we do. There are 5 drivers; ‘Be strong’, ‘Be Perfect’, ‘Try Hard’, ‘Hurry Up’ and ‘Please People’. Already, you may start to recognise yourself in one of these terms. Drivers are partly inherited through DNA and partly learnt as we grow up and learn from the adults around us. No driver is better than an other. The challenge is to understand and recognise which driver we are because we’ll understand why we do what we do.

5 different coloured cartoon cars titled The five Drivers
Which driver are you?

As an example, my driver is ‘Be Strong’, which means that in the positive, I can be very determined and get things done without depending on others. In the negative, this driver means that I will rarely ask for help. Even though I know that help would have benefitted me to get the task down quicker and/or better.

Knowing which driver you are is enough to help you begin appreciating why you do what you do. Moreover, it helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and identification will help you to overcome the negative side of your driver.

2. How Do You Deal With Conflict?

Gandhi said that ‘An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.’ This psychometric tool will help you understand conflict, which might be, how you deal with arguments, differences of opinion, or why you act in negotiations the way you do. Unfortunately, this questionnaire is not free and you need to purchase a copy for about £15 per questionnaire.

5 coloured circles within a graph titled Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument
How do you deal with conflict?

The questionnaire is called the ‘Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument’, which is a bit of a mouthful, so ‘TKI model’ for short. This questionnaire helps us understand how we naturally deal with conflict in one of the 5 modes:

  1. Competing
  2. Collaborating
  3. Compromising
  4. Avoiding
  5. Accommodating

Whilst the natural inclination is to believe that being competitive is best and avoiding is weak, each mode has its strength and its weakness. By appreciating the different modes we help ourselves to adjust our mode. Alternatively, we can adopt a different mode in a given situation.

For example, ‘going head to head’ (Competing) with the airport check-in clerk over baggage weight. It is likely to get your suitcase a holiday all of its own. Moreover, avoiding at a secondhand car dealer is likely to get you a high-priced banger.

Each mode has its advantage and disadvantage. The challenge with this psychometric tool is to know which you are and how to use it to your advantage. Or, alternatively, to adopt a different mode, if you can.

3. How Do You Learn?

Understanding your learning style is important. Knowing your learning style will help you learn more, more quickly and more enjoyably. Learning styles are about understanding how we prefer to learn.

3 pictures - a woman's eyes, a deer's head and hands holding yellow flowers
Knowing your learning style will help you learn more, more quickly and more enjoyably.

In this free questionnaire the guru’s of learning styles, Honey and Mumford, enable us to understand which of the following we are:

  • Pragmatists
  • Activists
  • Reflectors
  • Theorists

You’ve probably been on a training course and either you or the person next to you is bored out of their mind. This might be because the trainer is exceptionally poor, or it might be that you or the person next to you is an Activist. Many trainers teach from their learning style. Often, this seems to be ‘Reflective’, meaning that Reflectors in the class ‘get it’, but others do not. In particular, Activists will not follow as they need to be involved in the learning, doing something. Otherwise, they cannot engage with the learning and switch off. You probably knew an activist learner at school?

Even in these paragraphs on learning styles, if you have said to yourself, ‘that’s all well and good but how does it help me in the real world?’, then you are likely to be a ‘Pragmatist’. This is because you need to know how it applies. To answer your question, imagine if you were showing a Reflector how to learn Excel at their desk, in your style – Pragmatism. When, what they really wanted was to ‘have a play’ because they are an activist, what would happen?

4. Do You Need To Be Included in the Group Discussion?

‘FIRO-B’ brings a very different dimension to understanding people. Created in the 1950s for higher-performing military teams, this psychometric tool helps us understand what we need to get from a group. And, Moreover, how much we are prepared to give to a group. Unfortunately, this questionnaire is protected to maintain its quality and, therefore, can only be purchased through accredited trainers.

FIRO-B helps us understand that in a group we have needs for inclusion, control, and affection. These vary by individual. Furthermore, they vary by much we express these needs and how much we want others to express those needs adds to the understanding.

For example, when people are organising a get together one night after work, you really want to be invited. This is because you have a high need for inclusion. However, say you want to be included, but fail to express it. You quietly wonder why they didn’t ask. This would be classed as high inclusion needs with low expression.

In another example, I have a curiosity to understand others, yet do not naturally share things about myself. FIRO-B was spot on with my scores, identifying that I could appear elusive to others in a group. This was not my intention. However, it awakened my self-image to share more of myself in groups.

5. Facts, Form, Future or Feeling

The heavyweight psychometric tool is the ‘Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument‘ or ‘HBDI’. By completing the 80 questions people have a profile of themselves that leaves them saying, ‘Wow, that’s me!’. Created by Ned Herrmann in the 1960s, this questionnaire has now surpassed over 500,000 profiles. It is a very useful tool for understanding people because it can be understood quickly and then drilled into later for further insights.

Again, it is only available by speaking with an accredited practitioner, like ourselves. It is useful for team building, project work, individual personal development, and to be embraced by a whole company would improve communication skills greatly.

Learn more about HBDI in our exclusive video with CEO of Herrmann International, Ann Herrmann-Nehdi: 

Screenshot of MBM YouTube video on HBDI Interview with Ann Hermann-Nehdi
HBDI allows us to understand how a person thinks

In essence, the tool enables a person to understand how they prefer to think, either in, Facts – We all know someone that can pluck facts out of the air astonishing everyone around them, Form – Some people seem obsessed with job titles, hierarchy and structure, Future – Those visionaries that can see where a project needs to get to, yet struggles to communicate the vision, and Feeling – Someone that touches your elbow when they talk to you because contact is important to them.

By putting people into 4 boxes, Facts, Form, Future or Feeling, we can understand what they need when we ‘sell’ them an idea. Moreover, it helps us identify what questions they are likely to ask, what they care about, and how similar or different they are to us.

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