Although a profile such as the e-interpersonal profile has a high degree of predictive validity when it is used correctly, the person presenting the profile should always inform the recipient that no profile tool shows the full true depiction of the focus person. Due to metrological reasons, all profile tools will only provide a true view in sub-areas.

Predicative value is 25 to 30 per cent

Research shows that the predicative value of personality tests are at 25 to 30 per cent. In practice, this translates to one third of a person’s behaviour being predictable by a personality test. In addition to this, the concrete situation, the sum of previous life experiences and other social psychological aspects are taken into account. Thus, tests and profile tools only show parts of the entire personality.

It is therefore crucial that the feedback to the focus person is not statements such as ‘You are…’. A personal profile ought to and must be presented as ‘preferences’ – examples of preferred response patterns and typical behaviour. It is always up to the recipient to decide to which extent these indications are true!

Charts, graphics and illustrations

Charts, graphics and illustrations are useful as guidelines for a presentation of and a dialogue regarding a profile. When a recipient sees the graphic depiction of his/her own profile and perhaps movements in the placements, it often authenticates the person’s own intuitive understanding of his/her own behavioural traits.

Texts are poetry

But remember that graphic presentations as well as the textual descriptions in profiles and tests are interpretations – and not ‘absolute truths’. Therefore, remember also to read texts and descriptions of personality traits as ‘poetry’, i.e. try to draw a picture of the person with words.