iWAM – So What’s it all about?

Up until last year (2010) I was not aware that there was an Emotional Intelligence (EI) test called iWAM. I was certified to administer the Bar-On EI test and I had experienced the MSCEIT test. I thought both were spectacularly powerful (the Bar-On test in particular has had a profound effect on my personal and professional development over the last few years). However, I never really realised just how powerful and important Emotional Intelligence tests could be until I experienced iWAM.


The inventory of Work Attitudes and Motivators (iWAM) test blew my mind.


The iWAM measures a person’s 48 cognitive patterns (Meta-programs). Using this, one can predict what motivates a person, what is their work attitude and how they will want to communicate and to act during their work context. iWAM allows the individual preferences  to be taken into account and to value each person for their strengths. iWAM will allow an organization to make better use of the human potential of its workforce.


iWAM has been developed to test the full white collar workforce, entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals, from call desk employees or first line sales people to middle and top management and beyond. It is successfully used in applications from hiring interns for summer jobs to assessing managers at all levels and improving team performance.


The power of the iWAM test lies in the fact that once a person becomes aware of their key motivators, they can more effectively manage how they interact with others. The self awareness they achieve will help them to recognise the patterns of the people they interact with.


On average completing iWAM takes 30 minutes online. Most people complete iWAM between 20 and 40 minutes (no time limit is imposed). The test itself consists of 40 questions/statements and a choice of answers which the participant must arrange from most to least relevant to them. Once completed, the assessor will have access to a wide range of reports that include summary graphs and charts to full reports to various team reports. This provides multiple HR, Coaching and Management tools to effectively select and manage staff. The bonus is that a single price covers all reports, making it an extremely economic form of psychometric testing.


InnoChan Solutions is one of only a handful of companies in Ireland currently certified to administer and assess the iWAM EQ test. Additionally, InnoChan Solutions is the ONLY company in Ireland licensed to train and certify test administrators. Being certified to administer the test makes sound economic sense to HR departments and companies who, after certification, will be able to manage the tests themselves either through InnoChan Solutions or through their own Closed User Group (CUG). Certification training can be run as an open training event or (if numbers are available) as an in-house program.


More information can be obtained by contacting InnoChan Solutions on +353 (0)59 9134733 or by emailing info@innochansol.com

Who Are You??

(This Blog originally appeared on my other website; www.secs.ie)

We are all familiar with phrases like “that person wears their heart on their sleeve” or “I can read you like a book” or “what you see is what you get with that one”. All imply that we fully see the ‘real’ person in question, but is that really true? Do we ever really get to see the real you, or is ‘what we see is what we get’, the view that you have unconsciously (or consciously) decided that we should ‘see and get’?

We all suffer from split personalities; the person we really are (our unconscious profile, aka our ‘natural style’) and the person we allow others to see and interact with. Have you ever thought that you knew someone until a time when, perhaps they were under particular stress or pressure, they acted in a manner that seemed alien to them? We are familiar with the line from the movies;“Who are you and what have you done with ‘Name’?”

In fact there are times, when the people we thought we knew so intimately act in a manner that is strange to us. They display traits that we never saw from them before, sometimes we don’t like what we see. We try to explain away their unusual behaviour by putting it down to pressure or stress and we tend to give these people some space until ‘normal service is resumed’. In essence, we wait until the mask that has fallen off, is replaced.

It’s sad to think that we all live under false pretenses. To some extent we all wear masks that hide our true selves at some point in our lives. In a world dominated by ‘PC” (Politically Correct) behaviour and the need to impress others, we may feel that we have little option but to ‘follow the pack’ and match others. In effect, we air-brush our natural style to become the person others see. So what are we ashamed of?

In a world where image is everything we are constantly bombarded by messages telling us how to act and behave in various circumstances. Add the hardship of a global recession and the increase in the numbers of unemployed people looking for work and we see the pressure increasing for us to become someone else in order to get a job or just ‘fit in’.

We engage with people with whom we have no connection and we demonstrate the external signs of interest while internally, there is a voice in our heads telling us to get away. We take on roles that do not suit us and force ourselves to undertake tasks that we are uncomfortable with. Such tasks put us in a spiral that can have serious consequences to our health, our relationships and our work, if left unchecked for a long period of time.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation (work or social) which left you feeling drained? You might blame your tiredness on the pressure of the work or having to deal with so many people. You might feel guilty over feelings you have about ‘having to talk to’ , or just spend time in the company of certain people.

In reality, your feelings may not be due to the pressure of work or the people you interact with. You might, in fact, be feeling this way because of how much you have to change from your Natural Style to another style in order to interact with your job or other people. The greater the level of change, the greater the effort required and the greater the effect it will have on each of us.

You could argue that in the current climate, it is necessary to take on roles that require a major change in our personality in order to earn money and pay the bills. While, that may be so, it is also important that we are able to recognise the effects the additional effort is having on us.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. It is possible for us to change so that our natural style becomes the style we need in our lives. However, before we can change, we need to know what to change and, we need to be happy to make the change.

Emotional Intelligence tests (EQ-i) as well as other Psychometric tests can help indicate specific areas that we could work on in order to become more effective in our lives or in a specific situation or role. For example, a person in a customer facing role might need to work on his/her interpersonal skills to help when dealing with customers, while a person in a pressure role might need to reduce their chatty nature and develop their stress management skills. Without such tests, the people in question could continue in their roles blissfully unaware of their need to make changes. Blissfully unaware, that is, until something goes wrong.

When things go wrong, the first indicator is that the mask is dropped. The person will return to their natural style. If they are naturally very quiet and withdrawn people, then in a customer facing role, they will stop interacting with their customers and they will tend to avoid contact. They may then move to avoiding the work altogether. To colleagues and managers, this will probably seem like abnormal behaviour, while in reality it is actually the person’s natural behaviour and what the management had been seeing up to this was abnormal for the person.

At it’s extreme, a continuous change from our natural style could affect our health. How many times have we witnessed celebrities suffer from what we call a ‘melt-down’. While some of it may be drug or drink induced, we should ask how much of it is simply because they have been so long operating outside their natural styles to the point where the effort required to ‘be the person everyone else expects them to be’ has become too much of an effort.

Even those celebrities we see flaming out through drink and drugs may be using the intoxicants to help them play the role that the public expects of them. Drink and drugs are simply ‘courage in a bottle’ that they use to overcome their natural styles and put on the mask of someone else.

We see similar ‘burn-out’ situations in the people around us and much of it can be due to people reverting to their natural styles due to the level of effort that has been involved in maintaining this mask or alter-ego.

It can be scary to see your profile in the black and white print of a psychometric report, but it is also fascinating to be able to get a clinical view that is not tainted by friendship, fear or some other emotion.

If you are feeling increasingly tired after work. If you feel something is wrong with your life, or if you would like to find out more about yourself, why not take the test. You will be surprised at what you will discover about yourself.

Packing for the Journey

(This Blog originally appeared on my other website; www.secs.ie)


We are in the middle of the holiday season. Thoughts of so many people turn to ‘where will we go?’, ‘how long will we stay?’ and ‘what will we bring?’. Even in the current economic climate, people are traveling for holidays; some to foreign or sunnier climes, others are opting for ‘stay-cations’ and either using their homes as a base, or finding a holiday location within their own country. No matter where people go, there is one challenge that they all must face; what to pack. Whether traveling abroad, staying locally, or just heading off on a day trip, there is the question; what should I bring along with me?


There are so many things to be considered when packing for a journey; ‘Where am I going?’, ‘What do I need to bring?’, ‘What are the baggage allowances?’, etc. We all know of people who pack so much that even a simple day trip looks more like a military mobilisation. We also know of people who take a matter of minutes to pack and bring little more than a small holdall. With the current restrictions (and additional costs) on the amount of baggage that we carry when we travel, primarily on air travel, we spend much time selecting what to bring, weighing the bag, reviewing what we have packed and lightening the load so that we meet the required limits. Even after we go through this exercise, we go on our trip and return without ever using many of the items we packed as essentials.


This got me thinking; we spent so much time agonising over what we should pack to take on a short trip, what about giving some consideration to what we need to bring on our ultimate trip, our journey through life?


It is ironic that we refer to our life experiences and emotional states as ‘baggage.’ Have you ever heard someone say: “that person carries a lot of personal baggage with them”? The analogy is so close to the real use of the term, that it is scary.


We spend our lives gathering stuff. In practical terms we gather clothes, equipment and other ‘things’. We also gather things in our emotional lives. We collect experiences, feelings, emotions, thoughts and memories. As we continue our journey through life we must decide what experiences, feelings, emotions, thoughts and memories we should bring with us for a specific situation that we encounter. This does not mean that we dump all the other emotions, we must just select those that are most suitable for the current situation. This is the same as the situation we face when we are taking a trip; we must decide what clothes, and other things we need to bring and what we must leave at home.


When we ‘pack light’ for a trip we notice how much easier our trip becomes. There are less bags to be dragging around, it is easier to check in, there are less delays when it comes to collecting our bags on the other side (particularly if we manage to travel using carryon baggage only) and what is more important, we feel more relaxed. So transfer this feeling to our emotional lives and see what happens.


If we focus on only bringing those experiences, emotions and memories that will be of the greatest benefit to a given situation with us, what will happen? To begin with, it will be easier for us to deal with decisions that have to be made. We don’t have to root through all of our baggage to find what we need to deal with the situation. Our heads feel clearer, more focused and, I will bet, we also feel much more relaxed.


Just look at the speed with which we will be able to deal with issues if we have packed light for our journey. In more practical environments, lighter baggage can travel by air, which is currently probably the fastest way to move our baggage around the world, whereas bulkier and heavier baggage travels by road, rail and/or sea all of which are much slower.


So do you want to carry all your personal and emotional ‘baggage’ with you and be forced to take the slower route through life, or would you like to be able to select which ‘stuff’ you really need to bring and leave the rest for when you need it. Imagine if every one of your past experiences, memories, etc, weighed 1 Kilogram and you had to pack them all in a suitcase (or suitcases). What would the total weight of your baggage be? Would you have to pay a charge for excess or would you need to hire a container to ship them for you?


Now imagine that you can only pack the experiences, memories, etc., to bring on today’s particular journey and all the rest must stay at home. Just how much lighter would you be. Tomorrow, you will need to pack for another ‘journey’ and that might require different baggage, but the allowances are always the same; Carryon luggage only.


We should all learn to only carry what we need for the specific journey we are on; either for a regular trip or for our daily journey in life. So how can we do this? The answer is simple; Imagine that you have a small carryon suitcase and everything that you can bring on today’s journey must fit into it. Next focus on what you need to do today and decide what experiences, emotions, feelings, memories, etc., you will need to help you deal with what you come across today. For each ‘item’ you select, ask yourself “how, specifically, will this help me today?” If you can answer this question with good reason, then ‘pack’ that item in your case, however, if you can’t answer the question, then put that item back in the press and select something else. Remember, you are not dumping the items that you don’t select, you are just picking the specific things that will help you today. Tomorrow you will pack a new bag for tomorrow’s journey.


Give it a try, just take a look at the emotional baggage that you carry with you every day and ask yourself, “how is this helping me?” Remember, the more you carry, the more it will slow you down. You will still get to where you want to go, but you may be so overloaded that you have to travel by surface rather than by air. Which do you want to do?