Living Outside Your Comfort Zone: ‘Back to McQuaig Basics’

Three Legged Stool from The McQuaig Psychometric System from HolstLiving Outside Your Comfort Zone: ‘Back to McQuaig Basics’

We look at High Performance as being a three legged stool. The three legs are Ability, Character and Temperament.

Assuming that your employee has the basic Skills & Knowledge along with some Experience, we can take it that they can actually do the job.  But as we know, sustained performance requires more than just these factors.

Ability, or Aptitude and Capacity to Learn, as measured by The McQuaig Mental Agility Test ® (formerly McQuaig Occupational Test®) (MMAT), gives us a strong indication of a person’s ability to develop competence or mastery over their skills and knowledge. In other words, they have the capacity to learn on the job and strengthen their experience.

Individuals with lower MMAT scores tend to favour routine and repetitive tasks.  If the demands of their job change, or they work in a dynamic environment, they will have difficulty in adapting their skills and knowledge to meet the needs of their role.  Sometimes 5 years of experience may be no more than one year’s experience repeated five times, very different to five years of active learning and adapting.

Such individuals will struggle to meet the demands of their role.  We typically see this struggle reflected in their performance and in their Word Survey profile as a pressure response, Holding Back, or as a Stress response – Transition.

Individuals with higher scores will be able to absorb the pressure and adjust their skills and knowledge or quickly take on new skills and knowledge. Temperament is pretty much fixed.  We enter the workforce with an established set of core behaviours that in most cases do not change, or do so slowly.

Therefore the behavioural component of the Job Description is critical.  It ensures that an individual is not put under undue pressure or stress by having too big of a gap between their natural temperament and the temperament they must display to deliver the expected performance in the role.

Next time, Behaviour Adjustment vs Stress.
Cormac McGrane from HolstAbout the author: Cormac McGrane is the principal of THG Ireland and partner of Holst (distributors of The McQuaig Psychometric System).

To find out more about the McQuaig Psychometric System visit or call 0203 111 9292

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