Road-testing the CVI: A Management Expert's Review

Sharon Green, Contributor
Monday, June 28, 2021
Road-testing the CVI: A Management Expert's Review

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Sharon Green, a coaching and interim management consultant, presents a review of the Core Values Index psychometric assessment and compares it to other tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Meet the Expert

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Sharon Green. I live in the UK, in London, and I help companies maximize the power of their people, by providing clear thinking people solutions.

How do you know eRep?

I came across eRep on Twitter (@erep_com) as we are both part of the HR community and specifically the weekly #HRHour weekly chats every Thursday at 8pm GMT. eRep takes part regularly as do I, and we have had some great debates over the years.

Twitter has been more valuable than I could ever have imagined when I joined eight years ago. It has helped me to broaden and develop my network and provided wider access to companies, people and learning and, without it, I might not have come across eRep or the Core Values Index psychometric assessment (CVI).

Tell us a bit about your interest in psychometrics?

As a people professional for more years than I care to disclose, I have a deep interest in what makes people tick. I am proud to invest in my continuing professional development.

I spent time specifically focusing on psychometrics as part of my Masters in Human Resource Management program. As a result, I gained level A qualifications with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and then earned level B qualifications. This means I am licensed to administer psychometric assessments and provide individual feedback.

Psychometric tools are often part of the tool box that I draw on, so it's useful to have a range of experiences with different tools to give clients added value on projects.

I worked in people development roles at that stage so I trained to use development tools like Myers-Briggs (Type I and II), OPQ32 and High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) from Thomas International. I've also been able to experience many other tools, so I was excited to try the CVI myself.

When do you use psychometric tools in your professional practice?

Clients might need help with assessment or development centres, want advice on what to use as part of their selection assessments, or they may wish to support individual career coaching or team development and team building.

I think clients often view an external consultant as an impartial, trusted advisor who doesn't necessarily have an attachment, commercial or personal, with a particular tool so they appreciate an honest appraisal and any recommendations.

Road-testing the CVI

What were your first impressions of the CVI?

I found it easy to use, the forced choice format of the questions was familiar, so it had face validity (does it fit with what your people expect, and does it align with what you are testing?) This is a consideration when looking at any assessment.

I found the depth of insight and information in my CVI profile report to be very useful. It is extensive and the video that came with my full report made it more dynamic and interactive.

The tool's repeat reliability rating is also important for reassurance on the consistency of the tool. [Editor's note: The Core Values Index has the highest repeat reliability rating — 97.7% — of any psychometric assessment available.]

I noticed some comparisons between the CVI and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). When I trained on MBTI, it was always emphasized that it is a tool for individuals to use for personal development, not for job assessment or evaluation (unlike the CVI). I also know that MBTI has been subject to scrutiny, so drawing a comparison between MBTI and the CVI might be misleading for clients or individuals who've heard about MBTI's challenges and are worried about the validity of the CVI as a result.

When you read your full/comprehensive CVI report, what rang true with you?

A number of things in my CVI report resonated with me, things I know to be true about myself, familiar themes from past feedback and elements I recognize (I won't go into them all). Here are just a few tidbits from my personal report that rang true:

  • "Charm and enthusiasm are part of your arsenal for success."
  • "Talking with others is your way to learn and to teach."
  • "You strive to cause people and things to function well together."
  • "You finish projects because you don't want to disappoint someone, not because you value completion and results."

The final point got me thinking about what drives my need to finish something. I might not completely agree with that statement, yet I still identified with it.

I can imagine the full CVI report being used as the basis for a career coaching or self awareness conversation, for example, where a deeper dive would help validate where this is true and when I might respond differently.

The CVI report could act as the basis for any conversation that seeks to establish a greater understanding of self and the potential impact of overusing individual strengths on ourselves and those around us.

What didn't resonate with you?

Being from the UK, I found some of the language in the report's descriptors to be culturally more appropriate for a US audience and perhaps less relevant for a Brit like myself. For example, the report had some basketball analogies that are a bit more niche for me. I wasn't sure I felt connected to this particular line from my report, '...solving problems is their highest form of pleasure, arguably valuing this game above sex and movies.'

The full CVI report is gendered, using 'he' as the default pronoun. I have a personal preference for 'they' where possible.

What is your honest opinion of the CVI?

Any tool is only as good as the evidence behind it, the context it's used within, and the skill of the person supporting the interpretation.

The rise of online psychometric assessments is helpful on the one hand as it efficiently allows an individual to gain a deeper level of self awareness. The depth of detail in the full CVI report is helpful, although I think the tool and report would have maximum value if it was used in the context of a development conversation. I feel slightly uncomfortable using it as a standalone tool.

What's your advice to clients when using assessment or development psychometric tools?

I have three pieces of advice for clients wanting to use psychometric tools:

  1. Use the tool to meet the need and context. It's rare to find a personality tool that both meets the need of both an assessment and a coaching, team or individual development or individual self awareness context. Use the right tool for the need.
  2. Closely linked is being clearly focused on the purpose at hand. If clients wanted to use a personality assessment tool in a selection process, I'd suggest they start with the job, pull together a competency matrix and then consider how the tool gives evidence for at least two of the competencies you need to test before using it. [Editor's note: Please see Top Performer Profiles™ for a tool that accomplishes this.]
  3. Think about when to use psychometric assessments. If it is in a development or an assessment context, when to use the tool is important, and consider the employee experience and your brand. I try to discourage clients from starting the assessment process for a new role with just an online tool. Even though a tool like the CVI has a detailed report, it works well where there is an opportunity for additional feedback. I don't believe even the best online tools can be presented as facts. They offer hypotheses and insights. They are often brought to life in a conversation with a skilled super-user or test administrator. [Editor's note: eRep offers CVI Foundations Courses to provide the expanded context and training Sharon mentions.]

If you can't offer additional feedback to candidates, then think about using tools at a different stage of assessment and as part of more holistic development programmes rather than as programmes in isolation.

Finally, I'd like to close with this. No tool is perfect. It's unlikely to have a predictive validity of 1, i.e., a perfect correlation between the test results and job performance, so do your homework. If people want to read more about using psychometrics, I'd recommend this from Blake Jelley1, (thank you Tom Robinson) and this article2 (thank you, Ron Eldridge) as well as all the information on the eRep website3, all of which I found interesting when responding to these questions.





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Sharon Green

Sharon Green


Sharon Green Chartered Fellow CIPD, MA (HRM), Post Grad Dip. BA (Hons) is a trained coach, project and programme manager and professional interim consultant based in the UK. Sharon founded Chiara Consultancy over 15 years ago following a successful, cross-sector career as a project, people and change management specialist. Her consultancy helps clients, change, innovate and maximise the power of their people.

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