Improving Managerial Talent : Practical Psychology for Human Resourcing and Learning & Development Professionals book cover
1st Edition

Improving Managerial Talent
Practical Psychology for Human Resourcing and Learning & Development Professionals

ISBN 9781138559202
Published November 29, 2017 by Routledge
148 Pages

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Book Description

Aimed at senior HRM and L&D specialists responsible for improving their organisation’s managerial talent, Improving Managerial Talent covers the core findings of the author’s and other published research. It provides a highly participative overview of personality and ability psychometrics, involving the opportunity for self-application. It reveals hard evidence of the extent to which such tests can add value to the prediction of managerial success and their link to requisite competencies. It shows how qualified testers, HR and line managers can each make a unique contribution to the selection process. The book goes on to show how management style is a product of personality and habit and how the acquisition and use of a complementary style can improve persuasiveness and the cultivation of interpersonal skill both for the manager and for those whom the manager might need to coach. It regards job-challenge as the primary engine of managerial growth, both for development in key result areas and for underlying personal competencies.

The book provides the reader with some self-insights and an appreciation of validated, powerful, often in-house, methods for selecting and developing better managers. The methods on offer have been validated on a population of over 400 directors of small to medium-sized business units. They include a generic psychometric algorithm for the selection of managers, some unique findings on styles of managing, coaching and persuading based upon close observation of over 200 senior managers and a distinctive and powerful approach to developing interpersonal skills by (1) practice, (2) demonstration of alternatives and (3) reflection.

Table of Contents



Section 1. What contributes to overall managerial performance?

A suggested model

Section 2. What type of evidence will be considered?

Mental abilities, personality traits and personal competencies of average and high performing managers


Section 3. Mental abilities and personality traits

An overview of general mental ability and the Big Five personality traits and how these are distributed across the general population

Section 4. General mental ability

Do managers need to be intelligent?

Section 5. Extraversion

Do managers need to be extraverted?

Section 6. Agreeableness

Do managers need to be agreeable?

Section 7. Extraversion and Agreeableness in combination:

Possible risks

Section 8. Conscientiousness

Do managers need to be conscientious?

Section 9. Agreeableness and Conscientiousness in combination:

Possible risks

Section 10. Neuroticism (aka Emotional variability) or Stability?

Do managers need to be stable?

Section 11. Extraversion and Emotional variability in combination:

Possible risks

Section 12. Openness

Do managers need to be open-minded?

Section 13. Summarising the mental ability and personality of managers

Including differences amongst the key business functions

Section 14. Harnessing personality and IQ test scores to guide selection

A worked example

Section 15. Recognising potentially dysfunctional personalities

A need for caution

Section 16. Leadership and personality: A review of research

Section 17. Is personality stable or ‘plastic’?

Accept it or change it?

Section 18. Moving on to personal competencies

Sixteen competencies into four common competency clusters

Section 19. Competency clusters and overall managerial performance

Some impressive connections

Section 20 . Drawing the threads together:

Intelligence, personality, competencies and overall performance. Do we need to measure the first two if we have competency ratings?

Section 21. Performance in Key result areas

The missing link between competency and overall performance. The assessment domain most familiar to line managers


Section 22. Management behaviours

The interactive behavioural habits of average and high performing managers

Section 23. Behavioural styles

Telling or asking?


Section 24. Developing managerial talent

An overview

Section 25. Coaching around competencies

A performance coaching process based on a practice-demonstration-reflection learning design model

Section 26. Coaching for interpersonal competencies: Briefing

With a worked example

Section 27. Coaching for interpersonal competencies: Reviewing

With a worked example

Section 28. Developing line manager coaching skills

An outline approach and difficulties addressed

Section 29. Using contrasting ask/tell styles to develop interpersonal competency

Telling and asking styles

Section 30. Quick coaching

With a worked example

Section 31. High intensity training in influencing and persuasion

Based on the practice-demonstration-reflection learning design model

Section 32. The ‘win-win’ perspective

A strategic approach to influencing and persuasion


Section 33. Is management right for you?

Useful to know when seeking to recognise, select and develop managerial talent in others

Section 34. How to recognise potential, select and help develop effective managers

A final summary and conclusion





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Hugh McCredie, Chartered FCIPD, CPsychol, FBPsS, is a HR practitioner/researcher, specialising in management assessment and development. He collected data to improve selection and development methods and for the submission of successful MSc (Research) and PhD theses.

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