“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!
Nowadays we are used to it. There are lots of education and training programs and there are even more professions requiring psychological suitability certificates prior to entrance. There are also lots of psychological test factories from which it is possible to rent or to buy tests for selection of people. And those who sell selection services to companies and organizations and to individuals are often called experts. Some of those experts have nice sounding titels such as Licensed psychologists or Ph D or both of them. And when you visit them you have to open up, providing the expert with your thoughts and your wishes, your successes and your mistakes, your mental abilities and more. The expert wants to have a real good and close look at you.
But who has got a good and close look at the expert? Who is that man – or woman – behind the nice titles? Has he or she ever been tested by someone else?
In most cases I would say no. The titles and the general work experiences are mostly good enough. But is it really good enough?
A few days ago I talked to an experienced airline pilot that had applied to a Flight Instructor Course at a Swedish Flying Training Organization (FTO). And the FTO representative said that it was mandatory to first undergo a psychological suitability screening process.
OK, and off he went to a small Swedish organization selling psychological selection services to the aviation industry.
Here he spent three hours solving different cognitive tests including a ten minutes (!) long interview. This interview included two main questions:
a) Why do you think that you will become a good enough Flight Instructor, and
b) How many flying hours have you spent flying single engine airplanes?
That was all.
After a couple of days he was called by the expert (a psychologist), who told him that he had not reached the qualifications due to a weak performance on the simultaneous capacity test.
But how about the result of the other tests?
Well, they were good, above average.
So, the only low result was on the simultaneous capacity test?
Yes. And good-bye.
The phone call went on for one minute and ten seconds.
When I heard about this I became almost furious.
What is the matter with some of those so called experts? One single test overrules every other information parts. And what about the reliability and the validity of the simultaneous test?
And what is going on in the minds of the experts? Who is clever and who is not? Who knows enough about flying skills – and of the real requirements of a Flight Instructor?
Be careful when you turn to a so called expert. And it is not wrong to, in advance, ask the expert of his/her experiences and of the requirements of the training program or the job you are applying to – and also of which methods the expert will use when you are to become examined.
During recent times Gordon Consulting has been involved in following missions:
a) It started with a very interesting and not that uncommon question: how to intervene in an old, well planted and traditional organisation in order to change attitudes and basic behavior patterns? Could this be made within a time limit that will not be too long?
Well, well, well, in most cases people oppose more drastic changes, particularly if they are required to change quickly. So, this has to be studied a bit more – and experienced consultants have to be called in to assist.
b) Is it acceptable to punish airline pilots or sea officers if they make operative mistakes that, in the worst case, could lead to expensive and added costs for their companies?
Punish? In what way? And why punish? Would such interventions lead to something better? Are you sure? Ever heard of added training possibilities?
I stepped in and checked the guy. He was alright, but sorry. Excused himself and would never do this mistake again. I believed him. Report was written.
c) Discussions concerning personality assessments of two candidates applying to a management position.
What kind of personality profile do you want? How about the level of intellectual capacities? Abilities as leader?
I made notes and confirmed: yes, I can.
d) The Chief Air Medical Examiner at The Swedish Transport Agency called. Would it possible for me to appear at a conference for Air Medical Examiners this coming autumn and there give a speech about Aviation Psychology – in historic times and up to now.
I said: yes, it is possible. And I can.
This is just an example: a customer of ours (we can call him C) turns to us asking for our service. C wants to employ a new CEO for one of C:s companies or organizations. C says that a recruitment agency has selected three very good potentials for the position. C has now met and interviewed all three, but he feels uncertain. Who is the best one? Is any of them really good enough? Will they possibly live up to the expectations? C wants us to meet the candidates for a second opinion.
First step: Meeting C, finding out as much as possible about the company and the expectations of the new CEO.
Next: Creating a requirement profile based upon what we have found out.
Next: Selecting our investigation tools from our “tool library” – psychological special inquiries, a few test instruments, such things.
Next: Making a schedule when to meet who.
Next: The investigation starts – meeting candidate no. 1. Starting time around 09:15 a m.
Fifteen minutes socialization: Introduction talk, making our best to make the candidate feel relaxed but yet up on his/her toes.
Working time: A series of tasks is introduced, one by one, and the candidate is asked to make his best to manage them. Time varies depending of what tasks are to become fulfilled, but normally this part of the investigation takes around three hours, a brief coffee break included.
Lunch break: While we are analyzing the data from the tasks the candidate will have a one hour lunch break on his/her own.
Interview: Our way of interviewing varies from time to time. The aim is to really get a good enough knowledge of the candidate. Who is he/she behind the formal outlook and the credentials? What about the personal, social background? We try to figure out the major parts of the social network around him/her – all the way from the childhood, up through the young years and further on up to now?
Preferences, avoidances, the easy ways and the complications. How has he/she previously used his/her mental resources? Have there been any stops on the way forward? Successes and failures? Leisure activities? And more… Time for the interview is normally around two hours, but could vary.
Ending time of the investigation: Around 3:30 p m.
Next: Analysis of all parts of information. The main analysis is made by and while writing a report, or a “tale” of the candidate. We are writing a brief life story of the candidate, pointing out special parts of interest: the development of the mental resources and the major parts of the personality such as the degree of maturity, the self-confidence, the strong parts and the weaker parts. The story of the candidate ends with a brief summary and a final recommendation or advice.
Time to write the report varies quite a lot, but mostly it takes in between two-three hours.
Next: The report is confidentially provided orally and/or in writing to C. And we are of course open for questions and for discussions of our findings.