The Koa Club Newsletter (March 2023) – Understanding the Predictive Index

Life Musings

Written by Lisa Schmidt, Special Projects @ The Koa Club

I don’t know a single woman who can’t tell you their astrology sign. Even the most casual astrology fan will often take it a step further and tell you their Sun, Moon and Rising signs. We then use these signs to compare ourselves with friends or even potential partners to see our compatibility. We have numerous ways to categorize ourselves, which may include an assessment on where we fall under the nine Enneagram types, or even as simple as identifying whether we are a Spring or an Autumn.

I am definitely more of a Carrie, than a Charlotte (fans from the “Sex in the City” TV show may recognize those names). Myers Briggs says I’m part of the 7% that’s an INFR: Humanist. Definitely a night person with an omnivore diet. And it is always hot coffee over cold brew. We seemly never hesitate to type ourselves in our personal lives in an attempt to make better connections with others, so why not apply that same concept to your work life? If there was a way to better understand your work-self and the strengths you bring to the team, would you take it? Enter the Predictive Index, one of the most popular behavioral assessment tools available today to companies and individuals.

The Predictive Index (PI) has become a favored step used by numerous companies when hiring new talent, or building effective collaborative teams. There are two types of PI tests used to screen potential new hires – the Cognitive Test (PICO) and the Behavioral Assessment (PIBA). The PIBA is described by PI as a method to identify core behavioral points that provide a clear picture of how an individual works and collaborates best with others and is intended to help provide companies with a shorthand way of understanding the behaviors and needs that drive its people. PI touts that once an individual knows his or her reference profile from the PIBA, the individual can gain insight into their own work styles, such as communication, decision making, and risk-taking. This quick understanding can also allow companies to help its employees work with others more effectively. 

My first job in high school was working as a chair side assistant in my father’s dental office. It did not require any special training and I could learn on the job. Once I knew the instruments and could hand them to the doctor in an efficient manner, it was smooth sailing. That was until my friends and classmates started coming in as patients. I would walk my friend to the chair or X-ray room, all while chatting away about our days. Our conversations would carry on during any pauses in the exam. It did not matter to the teenage me that this was a place of business and this particular business required working closely with the patient’s teeth, so talking about our high school drama was not a priority. I thought I was being friendly and helpful by talking all the time and thought of myself as being highly personable, making all the patients comfortable! I did not last long in the chair side position. I was informed I was overly talkative and that I was causing delays in the exam process and putting the doctor behind schedule. I was allowed to keep working in the dental office, but I was, in my eyes, demoted to records. The records were filed in the basement. It did not require any patient interaction and it was one of those absolutely necessary, yet absolutely monotonous tasks, that I was told I had to do from then on. I felt I was being punished for being friendly and outgoing. Little did I know at the time, the PIBA could have provided me, and my then-boss, the foresight to avoid this situation.

The PIBA provides 17 “Reference Profiles” that create a behavioral map for different types of people. Through the PIBA I have taken, I learnt that I fall into the “Promotor” category, which is considered a “Social Profile”. Promotors are generally defined as casual, uninhibited, and persuasive extraverts with a tendency for informality. The PI Reference profile also provides a short list of some natural strengths, common drivers, and caution areas. I found the PIBA to be incredibly insightful and accurate at describing my motivations and behaviors, I would agree I am collaborative, outgoing, patient and flexible. That explains why I was a theatre major, a video producer and later, a nanny. I have always been able to connect with people quickly and adapt to any situation. I thrive when I am able to be candid and personal.  One of my caution areas, identified as “can be overly talkative”, hit a little too close to home. I was instantly taken back to that dental office basement. Oh, how this information. if I had known then, would have helped the younger me realize that talking all the time wouldn’t always be seen as being friendly or collaborative. The results from my PIBA could have also helped my then-boss understand me and to find productive ways to guide and help me, instead of sending me to the basement and basically destroying any motivation I may have had in working at that dental office.

The PI not only provides insight on the individual, but it also provides suggestions on unique work styles an individual may contribute to a team. For example, being classified as a Promotor, I now know that I prefer a team-oriented setting that allows opportunity for relationships and a working environment that is more casual, which offers flexibility in how I may approach work. Having this knowledge now, I find myself looking back on every job and work environment I have ever been in and I see that I have been most successful and happiest in jobs that met these criteria. In other situations where I have struggled, I now understand that I was not working with my strengths or drivers.

This month’s newsletter is not about promoting the Predictive Index or any other specific behavioral assessment tools. Rather, it is intended to help you understand why companies are using these tools extensively in its pre-hire and also personnel development programs.  These behavioral assessment guides help give both managers and employees insights into how to work best together. It is not a surprise to note that companies that do not focus on aligning their business and their people have higher turnover, lower engagement and are ultimately, less successful.  These behavioral assessments claim to help companies build an organization of happy, engaged employees. When that happens, both employees and their employers become in sync, resulting in improved productivity.

If you would like to understand which of the 17 “Reference Profiles” you fall into for the PIBA, check out the free trial assessment of the PIBA at this url link: (business email required).  We also discussed this topic earlier this month at our “Collaborate for Success Huddle” meeting, and we encourage members of The Koa Club to go to the “Collaborate for Success Huddle” group in our Koa Network to share your Profile and any further insights you may have about this topic.  

Happy Profile hunting!

Lisa Schmidt
Special Projects
The Koa Club

Learn. Connect. Lead.

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