Tapping into natural potential using psychological profiling

Helen Frewin, Talent Directora at Totem Consulting, discussed the exciting possibilities of deploying psychological profiling to uncover potential talent during a seminar at the World of Learning conference at the NEC Birmingham. 



During the seminar held on Tuesday 29th, September, Frewin explained the benefits of understanding how the brain operates for recruitment purposes and offered practical tips for tapping into the unconscious. 

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“When information enters the brain, we know that there things happen. The first is fight or flight is how people react to change. The second thing is the emotional response and the third is how we engage our logical, rational way of thinking. We see this every time we talk about change or something new. You might see them going red, or getting angry, but then they present it at perfectly logical.”

“As 95 per cent of what I do and say is driven by my unconsciousness. I am still me, but it’s a part of me that I am not always aware of.”

She recommended the Headspace app as good mindfulness training and a “powerful way of bringing the unconscious into the consciousness and notice what is going on for us.”

During her seminar, Frewin explained the Odin Development (ODC), an online profiling tool that reveal people’s true strengths and untapped potential. It can be used to assess someone’s suitability for a particular role, understand the issues that are blocking someone’s development, or evaluate the qualities of individual team members.

It works by allowing users to select the imagery they are drawn toward or away from, which taps into the unconscious bypassing the limitation of self-report questionnaires.They are then given a list of 24 competencies on behaviour and have to select top 10 skills or strengths. 

Natural Potential: goldmine for development where an unconscious drive is not yet being fully used. This is untapped potential that can be easily developed. 

Natural Strength: These are aligned to our unconscious drivers and we’re confident in our skills. When we use these at work, we’re playing to our strengths.

Resistance: We’re unlikely to be keen or interested in developing capability here…it can however be helpful to explore how this might play out under pressure. 

Fragile Strength: Areas we’ve worked hard to develop, but we do not come naturally. Under pressure, these strengths can quickly become unhelpful behaviour. 

Research by Gallup reveals that the number one predictor of high employee engagement is people working to their strengths daily and achieve more in less time.

The ODC uses images to understand the deepest patterns that we relate to and express in our behaviour. This tool goes deeper to reveal natural and fragile strengths, potential and personal drivers. It helps people understand how they react under pressure and why and how they can develop to be at their best. This can improve engagement and performance. 

Global surveys of business leaders annually reveal that their top concern are about talent. Where are future leaders coming from? What strengths and gaps exists? The insight gained from the ODC enables leaders to prioritise talent attraction, selection and development activate in the right areas. 

Frewin described how Dixons Carphone​ successfully used profiling tools in their coaching, development and recruitment strategies.

Neil Garnett, resourcing manager said: “It’s so useful we’re now looking at using the ODC to calibrate our intern teams and identify gaps for the future.”




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