The foundations of PI
The PI Behavioral Assessment is an untimed, free-choice, stimulus-response tool that measures a person’s motivating drives and needs. For more than 60 years, thousands of businesses around the globe have used our EFPA-certified behavioral assessment to understand what makes their employees and candidates tick. It’s used to hire candidates who are hardwired to be a great fit, to design teams that perform like magic, and to manage employees in a way that pushes them to perform at the top of their game.
The following interactives take you through the basics of the data that results from the assessment: the Factors, Factor Combinations, and the Full Profile. You’ll learn the four key factors that drive workplace behavior, how those factors work in combination with each other, and the pattern they create to accurately describe a candidate or employee. Each section ends with a brief quiz.
This interactive requires sound. Approximate time: 30 minutes
Transcript: PI Foundations
Welcome to PI Foundations.
Talent optimization requires self-awareness, or an understanding of how you naturally behave, and an understanding of the behavior of others. This helps you outline job requirements, identify the best candidates, form the right teams, and manage employees to accomplish their goals and the goals of the business.
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The 4 factors
We all have drives, which create needs. Our behaviors are a response to a need. The PI behavioral assessment measures the amount and intensity of four key behavioral drives to help predict and understand workplace behavior: Dominance, Extraversion, Patience, and Formality. We refer to each of these key behavioral drives as factors.
We all have some amount of each factor. Knowing how much and how intense they are provides insight into how we’re likely to behave. This helps us better understand how to communicate, interact with, engage, and motivate others.
The results of the behavioral assessment are translated into a pattern — four points plotted on a graph — one for each factor. In the center is the midpoint — essentially the average point for each factor. On either side of the midpoint are the sigmas, which show how far the person’s factor is from the average.
Everything to the left of the midpoint is referred to as low and everything to the right is referred to as high. Since there are no right or wrong responses to the behavioral assessment, there are no good or bad results. Low and high are neither good nor bad, they’re simply indicators to help you better understand a person.
Explore each factor to see how they influence needs and behaviors.
Factor A, dominance, is the drive to exert one’s influence on people or events.
Someone with a low need for influence or control is collaborative, cooperative, and harmony-seeking. They tend to be accepting of company policies and generally happy to go along with the ideas of others. They prefer to be recognized as part of a team, and tend to shy away from individual competition.
Someone with a higher desire for influence or control is independent, assertive, and self-confident. They enjoy being challenged, are comfortable with conflict, and like autonomy in problem-solving. They prefer individual recognition and, due to their desire to have things the way they want them, can sometimes come across as authoritarian.
Factor B, extraversion, is the drive for social interaction and is often the most misunderstood. This isn’t measuring how talkative someone is, if they like people, or if they’re an introvert. It looks at how much someone needs social interaction and how much energy they get from building relationships in their work.
Someone with less of a need to work with and through people takes time to trust others, values their privacy, and needs opportunities to reflect individually before discussing ideas with a larger group. They like to work with facts and are analytical and imaginative. They prefer private recognition and can sometimes come across as matter-of-fact.
Someone with a high amount of the extraversion drive connects easily and needs opportunities to interact with others. They’re outgoing, animated, and enthusiastic. They prefer public recognition and like seeing visible signs of accomplishments.
Factor C, patience, is the drive for consistency or stability and also influences a person’s perceived pace.
Someone with a low amount of the patience drive needs variety, freedom from repetition, and opportunities to handle multiple priorities. They’re comfortable with change and work at a faster-than-average pace. They can sometimes be seen as intense, restless, impatient, or brisk. Due to the intense pace at which they work, they may struggle to maintain patience with others.
Someone with a high amount of the patience drive craves a stable work environment and the ability to work at a steady pace. They need freedom from constantly changing priorities and are generally patient, calm, and peaceful. They tend to form long-term affiliations and like being recognized for their loyalty. Additionally, they may have more patience with people.
Factor D, formality, is the drive to conform to rules and structure.
Someone with a low desire for formality needs freedom from rigid structure as well as freedom from rules and controls. They’re tolerant of ambiguity, like to be spontaneous, and would rather delegate the details to others. They’re flexible, informal, and adaptable. They’d prefer not to follow a set process when completing their work. According to them, there are many roads that lead to the finish line.
Those with a high amount of the formality drive need clarity of expectations and time to gain expertise. They see themself as a subject matter expert and need freedom from risk of error. They are meticulous, thorough, disciplined, and prefer to be recognized for their depth of knowledge. Those with higher Ds thrive in process. According to them, even if there are many roads to the finish line, one of those roads is the best, and that’s the one that should be taken.
Most people’s factor levels fall between one sigma on either side of the midpoint, but you’ll see varying degrees along the continuum. The farther a factor is from the midpoint, the stronger those workplace behaviors will appear.
Click on a factor to reveal its continuums. Use the slider below the pattern to see how the language becomes stronger to illustrate greater expression and emphasis.
Remember, a drive that is high or low is not good or bad. I’m sure you can think of jobs at your organization where you’d need someone with low or high amounts each drive. For example, outside sales representatives need a higher B so they feel comfortable reaching out and starting those relationships.