“Walking around” on this site you will very soon notice and become aware of what kind of firm Gordon Consulting is.
We are behavior scientists and psychologists, specialized in personality assessment of people applying for advanced positions or training possibilities.

Welcome to get in touch – preferably by e-mail (we are not always at the phone)!
And very welcome to “walk around” on this site!

Acting as a psychologist within recruitment and selection

A rose is a rose and a spade is a spade and there is not so much more to say about that (even though there are hundreds of different types of roses). But the man or the woman who applies to a position in a company or any other kind of organization may appear as he or she is exactly up to the requirements, but this could be “fake news”. Most Humans are early trained to become Masters of Disguise, meaning that several resources are used in order to convince other people that you are very kind even when you are not in the mood for that kind of feelings, and that your are very reliable, or very sustained, or very truthful or whatever even when you, yourself, have doubts about it all.

Anyway, when you apply for a job position that you really want, you will most probably straighten up and try your very best to stand out as the best of all possible candidates. Just looking at the surface is always tempting. Bright eyes, a good looking facial expression, nice clothes, hair dressed properly and we want really to find that this is the candidate looked for because we don´t like to stroll around with a generally critical mind. But, in the back of the brain, there might be some warning signs, leading to some doubts.
And this is quite often the corridor to the psychologist. “Could you please assist in this case”, is the start of the request. “Please try to come up with an answer of what kind of person this candidate is, not only in the recruitment situation, but later on, as a manager or a leader within this organization.”

For me this is a very well known situation. I have decades of experiences in detecting and uncovering several of all layers in humans, and yes, I quite often use test instruments, but as I do not look at them as completely realiable or valid, because there is no test that is complete in this sense, I have to trust my own senses when meeting and speaking with the candidate. And there is nothing mystical about my senses. I just have to be careful and as logical in my analysis as possible. In that respect I work almost as a judge in the court room: I have to interrogate and come to fair conclusions, and, most of all, I have to come up with clear statements based on facts and good enough arguments for my findings, and I can definitely not just refer to some points on a test scale, but I have to give a wide and deep enough description of the candidate to reach my goal.

Are you fit as a pilot? Some points of view concerning the psychological aspects.

It is up to the Air Medical Examiner to investigate and assess if a pilot or a pilot candidate is really fit for flying. Many AME:s co-operate with experienced aviation psychologists in this matter in Sweden.
The text below is from an informative site from the UK CAA Medical Department about the requirements for the medical certification of aircrew.
Applicants shall have no established psychological deficiencies, which are likely to interfere with the safe exercise of the privileges of the applicable licence(s).
Class 1
(a) Where there is suspicion or established evidence that an applicant has a psychological disorder, the applicant should be referred for psychological opinion and advice.
(b) Established evidence should be verifiable information from an identifiable source which evokes doubts concerning the mental fitness or personality of a particular individual.  Sources for this information can be accidents or incidents, problems in training or proficiency checks, delinquency or knowledge relevant to the safe exercise of the privileges of the applicable licence.
(c) The psychological evaluation may include a collection of biographical data, the administration of aptitude as well as personality tests and psychological interview.
(d) The psychologist should submit a written report to the AME, AeMC or licensing authority as appropriate, detailing his/her opinion and recommendation

Class 2
Applicants with a psychological disorder may need to be referred for psychological or neuropsychiatric opinion and advice.

Examples of special psycho-neurological problems:

Dyslexia is a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010 because it is a long term impairment which can have an adverse effect on an individual’s ability to perform normal day to day activities.  Someone with dyslexia should, therefore, be entitled to reasonable adjustments to enable them to obtain and remain in employment.  However, it can never be considered reasonable to make adjustments that will compromise safety.
Although it is considered reasonable for students of most disciplines to have help from a scribe when writing essays, sitting exams etc. it cannot be considered reasonable for a pilot to have to rely on someone else when reading checklists, weather reports, instrument displays, charts etc. in flight.  Scribes or other aids to word recognition should not be permitted in pilot training for this reason.
Provided a pilot has been able to successfully complete the written work involved in training, he or she will have demonstrated a level of reading and writing ability sufficient to safely pilot an aircraft.  If an applicant for pilot licensing is unable to complete training without assistance with reading and writing there are no reasonable adjustments, with current technology, that can be made to enable him or her to safely fly solo or pursue a career in aviation.

Asperger syndrome
Asperger syndrome is an autistic spectrum disorder characterised by impaired social interaction and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour.  The DSM IV diagnostic criteria also include significant impairment in social or occupational functioning.  Nevertheless, language skills and cognitive development are not impaired and someone diagnosed with Asperger syndrome may be able to acquire the skills necessary to function safely as a pilot or air traffic controller.  Interpersonal difficulties may arise or emerge in the Crew Resource Management environment of the modern professional airline cockpit.  It is, of course, essential that an applicant with Asperger syndrome undergoes assessment by a psychologist with expertise in the condition before embarking on a career in aviation.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD) Disorder
This condition is diagnosed (according to DSM-IV) when an individual demonstrates inattention, hyperactivity or impulsiveness sufficient to cause significant impairment in social, school or work functioning.  The impairment should have appeared before the age of seven years for the diagnosis to be made and may improve with age.
Therefore, anyone applying for pilot licensing who has been diagnosed with this condition must undergo neuropsychological assessment to assess the likelihood of them being able to perform safely as a pilot.  An individual with ongoing ADHD will not (by definition) be able to complete pilot training.  Medication used for this disorder is normally disqualifying.

The psychologist meets her/his client and “music” occurs – or not.

In my last post I wrote some lines about the sensitivity talents that now and then take place when man meets, or even rides, a horse. Most horses, at least those who are trained as riding horses, seem to have developed several sensitivity organs; they “read” the rider’s intention directly and fast, and there is almost impossible for a by-stander to see what is happening when the horse makes a pirouette or whatever the rider wants to become performed. A horse and a rider may form an absolute unity provided that the rider is equipped with a corresponding sensitivity as the horse is. But a rider lacking that kind of sensitivity will certainly have quite great difficulties becoming a good enough rider.

The same goes for the psychologist (or psychotherapist) meeting a client. But are not all psychologists sensitive people? Of course not. Sensitivity is not included in the requirement profile of a psychologist, even if this could be asked for in certain cases. What is primarily looked for is a general good cognitive-intellectual skill, good grades from college and university, such things. But you can hardly find any employer hiring any psychologist on musical or horse riding talents – or any other sensitivity measures.

Which means that a client meeting a psychologist cannot take for granted to become completely understood or genuinely “read” by just showing up, telling a complicated life story, those sort of things. Many psychologists insist of making use of so called “evidence based” psychological test instruments. Without such tests there are psychologists that have certain difficulties in their endeavors to reach a good comprehension of their client; they will soon come to a dead-end without a good enough ability to assist or to fulfill the investigation.

The main problem with the psychological tests is that all of them are quite rough tools, particularly tests used as measures of the personality. Such tests could be very interesting, providing useful results, in the hands of the sensitive psychologist, combining the outcome of the tests with her or his other findings based upon observation and deep interview questions. But in the hands of what I will call “the psycho-engineers” (emphasizing “engineer”) the tests could lead to false or inaccurate conclusions.

By the way – I have no horse and it was a very long time ago when I practiced as a rider. But I like music, particularly the kind of music that I would say is based on a broad intelligence in combination with phantasy and creativity.
End of the lesson for today.