Emily Marsh

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What is Facet5 personality profiling and how does it work?

June 29, 2018

Introducing personality profiling into your organisation isn’t a decision that can be made lightly, or quickly.

There are lots of highly reliable, sound solutions to choose from, such as MBTI, Insights Discovery, Hogan personality inventory and Facet5. But, identifying the right one for your company’s learning and development goals can be overwhelming.

In this blog post, we take a close look at one of these measures - Facet5 - and attempt to answer some of the key questions you might have.

Facet5: the basics

Developed by Norman Buckley in the 1980’s, Facet5 is one of the most modern and advanced measures of personality available today. Designed specifically for the workplace, it was created in response to client demand for practical information to inform decision making at each stage of an employee's journey.

Facet5 is based on the five-factor model of personality (or ‘Big 5’). These five dimensions - openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism - are widely accepted as the fundamental building blocks of personality.

Facet5 is trait-focused, which means it looks at ‘how much’ of a trait a person possesses. Other personality assessments, like MBTI, are type-focused, which means they force people into a certain type, for example, ‘introvert’ or ‘extravert’, ‘thinking’ or ‘feeling’.

Facet5 and other trait-focused assessments provide a deeper and more granular insight into the enduring characteristics of an individual’s personality.

How does it work?

Facet5 measures individuals on five factors, or ‘facets’, based on the Big 5. Each individual has a certain amount of each of the following factors, and it is this pattern of scores which gives the overall picture of their personality.

  • Will - determined, assertive, independent;
  • Energy - enthusiastic, sociable, involved;
  • Affection - open, sincere, warm, generous;
  • Control - structured, orderly, self-disciplined;
  • Emotionality - this interacts with the other four factors and affects stress tolerance, confidence and emotional states.

Although Facet5’s main factors are distinct sets of character traits, they are made up of a number of sub-factors, as shown below. So an individual will be able to see how much of each of the factors and sub-factors are inherent in their personality.

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 12.23.14

What does an individual’s personality profile look like?

An individual’s profile will show a score of 1-10 on each Facet factor, and this builds up a picture of their overall personality.

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 12.21.30

As well as an overall profile and a breakdown into their scores on each factor and sub-factor, the Facet5 report provides people other useful insights into an individual’s personality and what this means for the workplace.

These include:

Family Portrait

With Facet5, there are 1,000,000 possible combinations of scores that would give noticeably different profiles. Facet5 have divided up this vast number of possible patterns into 17 different ‘families’ of similar profiles. For example, a person may be a ‘Supporter’, ‘Specialist’ or ‘Controller’. Emotionality is excluded from the family profile, so you may be a ‘Supporter’ with high emotionality or low emotionality.

Facet5 can be harder for people to carry around than type-based questionnaires like MBTI with its easy to remember types, e.g. INFJ or ESTP. However, people like to be able to identify with something and to easily spot how they are similar and different to others around them. The family helps give people this identity, while not taking away from the depth of insight the full Facet5 profile provides.

Searchlight - Review of competence

This is a guide that specifies where a person’s strength will lie and identifies things to watch out for against a list of behavioural dimensions that affect job performance. These include leadership, communication, interpersonal style, analysis and decision making, initiative and effort, as well as planning and organising.

Leading Edge - Guide to leading

This section of the profile describes how a person’s manager needs to respond to motivate, inspire and manage them. For example, it covers how they prefer to receive feedback and how they prefer to manage their time.

Overview of work preferences

This report identifies a person’s core drivers and shows which elements of a role can motivate or demotivate them. It covers the degree to which a person wants to influence events and the people around them, how much they need to be surrounded by people, whether they are more process-oriented or prefer less structure, and how much they need to feel like what they do is of value to others.

What does accreditation involve?

To use Facet5, you need to have successfully undertaken a 2-day accreditation program, run by a Facet5 training provider. You will leave with the ability to understand and debrief a Facet5 profile, using a process that effectively engages the employee.

Courses are available globally and are open to anyone working in HR, coaching, psychology, leadership development or related fields.

Summary of the key facts

  • Specifically designed for the workplace
  • Based on sound psychological theory
  • Recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Provokes people to be the best version of themselves
  • Helps individuals to understand who they really are
  • Explains behaviour in non-judgemental ways
  • Works quickly
  • Highly re-test reliability
  • Delivers clear results that are easy to understand and interpret

Whichever measure you choose, personality profiling can provide you with insights and data that will help you understand your people in a whole variety of different ways, and in different situations. This can have significant benefits for the overall performance of individuals, teams and your organisation as a whole.

Beyond the Personality Test

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