This dictionary of psychology and management firstly provides a definition of the terms commonly used in the fields of psychology, management and assessment in talent management. In the second part, it then sets out the dimensions most commonly surveyed in the context of an assessment of managerial potential in an Assessment Center.
Psychology, behaviors and management
An assessment technique based on the observation of the participant’s behavior, personality and potential in a professional situation. This approach defines an in-depth evaluation of a candidate or employee in a professional environment, often with a view to selecting a profile for recruitment or internal career development.
Career Committee / People Review
Strategic internal diagnosis carried out annually between managers, management and Human Resources. It consists of working on the medium and long term development of employees: their performance, their potential and their career development prospects within the company. This leads to action plans that reflect the forward-looking management of jobs and skills.
Control is an individual’s need for mastery. It is a matter of (re)taking control over events and one’s fears, most of the time either through thinking (analysis, rationalization, planning, anticipation, conceptualization, perfectionism, imagination), or through management that is also directive / top-down.
He defines the missions and expects proposals to carry them out. He/she gives meaning to projects and leaves a great deal of autonomy: decisions are made with or by the teams. Providing direct assistance, he positions himself in a relationship of trust and on an equal footing with his subordinates. He/she may forget to check that the level of delegation corresponds to the employee’s abilities or to control the finalized work.
Ability to build and activate new cognitive, relational and managerial strategies, while inhibiting those previously existing. The development of an individual is linked to his or her capacity to learn, adapt and experiment with new practices and behaviors. It can take several forms: individual support (coaching) or group support (training).
A professional assessment approach identical to that of the Assessment Center, this time with a focus on developing skills and potential. Highlighting the resources available to an individual, the approach offers recommendations in the form of coaching and/or training. The areas of progress are intended for the employee, his/her manager and HR.
Makes decisions, sets the rules and the results to be achieved. With little interest in interactions, he/she communicates in a top-down manner. They are precise and detail-oriented. He has a sense of hierarchy and knows the content of the work. He believes more in management by sanction than by reward. He can also become authoritarian. He assumes the responsibilities entrusted to him by using structure.
Emotion is a complex psycho-physiological experience that causes a change in an individual’s state of mind. It affects our perceptions and induces verbal behaviors (rhythm, intonation, volume, etc.) and non-verbal behaviors (tension, trembling, redness, etc.). In concrete terms, it disrupts our ability to reason, to enter into relationships and our ability to make decisions.
Because it plays an essential role in the learning and development of skills, evaluation consists in assessing an assignment as objectively as possible. At the managerial level, assessment is based on quantitative and qualitative performance indicators. The Assessment Center is a process for evaluating know-how, interpersonal skills and potential.
Expert (expert profile)
The expert likes to learn in order to develop real expertise on a subject. The expert needs to understand the ins and outs of an issue before making a decision. More at ease in controlled situations, the expert often makes high demands on himself and those around him. They generally need time on their own to analyze the elements and also before making a decision.
Feedback literally translates as “feeding back”. This anglicism is mainly used in a managerial and/or evaluation context. Indeed, feedback can be given between colleagues, between an employee and his/her manager and vice versa. Feedback is human, ethical and factual and should enable the recipient to improve and develop his or her skills.
Feedback (feedback interview)
In-depth interview carried out during an assessment (Assessment Center or 360°) allowing to collect the feelings of the person being assessed, before giving back the salient elements, as well as the way the person being assessed operates. The feedback is one of the cornerstones of the assessment. It takes the form of an oral exchange and a written summary with the resources and development areas of an individual.
This is causal and open reasoning, which associates an effect with a cause. It is also called sequential thinking, processing the elements of a problem one after the other, in a linear way, until it is solved.
Ability to undertake, choose, lead, decide without being afraid to face the reactions of one’s professional entourage. It is a question of assuming the consequences of one’s managerial actions, namely the control following delegation and also the sanction if necessary. Useful for managing difficult situations, a courageous manager exercises his authority with diplomacy and firmness, without being authoritarian.
This encompasses the levers that drive a person or a team to act. Extrinsic motivation is generated by external elements, such as the level of remuneration, recognition from a manager or peers, working conditions, etc. Unaffected by external elements, a person with intrinsic motivation is fueled by the interest and pleasure of performing a task.
A person who uses omission in communication forgets all or part of the instructions and/or messages that are transmitted. This may be related to an unconscious protective mechanism, particularly related to a form of stress management or a lack of assertiveness. Sometimes it is a conscious strategy to avoid dealing with a problem that is anticipated as confronting.
Used in the fields of evaluation and training, they reconstitute scenes from professional life. With a preparation time planned beforehand, the participant(s) appropriate the context and the specificities of the case, before “playing” the role that has been entrusted to them. The role-playing allows for training and anchoring with a view to developing, for example, a new managerial posture.
Like a mother or a father, he maintains relationships that refer to transactional analysis. He generally centralizes decision-making by relying on authority and a reward system. He also seeks the loyalty of his teams. Attached to providing his employees with the working conditions he deems necessary for the proper execution of tasks and their well-being.
He shares decisions because he is convinced of the need for team support. He communicates both top-down and bottom-up. He appreciates pleasant relationships. Driven by team cohesion, he/she can sound out ideas and implement his/her collaborators’ proposals. His openness to others, his adaptability and his search for consensus sometimes distract him from respecting deadlines or priorities.
A perfectionist aims for a perfect result. Demanding towards others and/or themselves, their own standards of satisfaction and quality are very high. As a result, he or she fine-tunes his or her work, sometimes ignoring the time invested. As a result, she may deviate from the objectives defined by her hierarchy.
He makes decisions and convinces employees of their relevance. He gives meaning and explains the causes and issues. He ensures that objectives are well understood and that everyone is motivated. He encourages, supports and enhances teams and projects. As a consultant, he/she is driven by the desire to pass on his/her experience, to train his/her teams and to guide his/her employees.
A person with a short term vision deals with emergencies and pending projects as a priority. He or she may also find it difficult to take a long-term view.
Stress impacts the ability to deal with a situation while remaining assertive. When an individual has a naturally high level of stress, it is generated by current personal and/or professional situations. Stress management encompasses a wide range of methods and techniques aimed at controlling stress levels with the objective of maximizing performance.
It generates an intellectual proliferation. It unfolds in several directions at the same time. It is networked thinking because several branches of a knowledge system are exploited, each one referring you to another and involving new mental associations.
The Assessment Center’s methodology
The Assessment or Development Center are methodologies that use a professional situation. The objective is to carry out a precise diagnosis of the strengths and areas for improvement of a candidate or employee.
In the context of recruitment, this stage enables the company to advise on a suitable integration plan for the individual’s personality and skills. Also, having a global vision of talent is essential to prepare a new organisation within a company. In the case of internal mobility, the assessment includes specific recommendations on a development plan.
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