PRISM – A Model of Human Behaviour

Is it time to better understand your people?

The casual approach to analysing behaviour in the workplace is a thing of the past. Now computer – generated reports based on neuroscience with 8 – dimensional maps of the brain are an everyday tool for Focus HR and our clients.

PRISM is an online behavioural profiling tool with many uses from leadership and coaching to team development and recruitment but the exciting news is that it actually approaches human behaviour from the perspective of neuroscience, rather than psychological theory. PRISM provides a powerful, graphic explanation for why people approach situations and individuals in different ways.

PRISM is based on the well-established fact that all human behaviour is created in the brain. It was traditionally believed that once the brain’s physical connections were completed during childhood, the brain became hardwired and remained like that for life. Now, thanks to the latest brain imaging technology, scientists know that all our experiences, thoughts, actions and emotions constantly change the makeup of our brain and also our behaviour. The discovery has profound implications for both personal and organisational development.

Employers know that sometimes understanding employees and the reason why they tackle problems in different ways or respond in a certain way to change can be particularly frustrating. Using PRISM to understand employee behaviour and the relationship between employees can help with this understanding and with certain tasks such as performance management, team building, recruitment and mediation.

The PRISM process is based on responses provided by an individual on a series of questions, which takes around 30 minutes to complete via an online link. The outcome is shown in a full report and colourful map which highlights areas of strength and weakness, preferred behaviours and those which could be utilised more effectively. The process itself is usually quite enlightening for people and explains behaviour preferences and thought patterns in a way which makes it clear to understand. It is also fascinating to see the areas of your brain’s activity mapped out in front of you!

The PRISM method of presenting behaviour by creating ‘maps’ that are visual representations of a person’s behaviour is designed to measure a person’s expressed preferences for each of eight dimensions. The expressed preferences are plotted as levels of intensity on eight axes and the plots are joined up to form a ‘map’ which is overlaid on the PRISM schema. The ‘maps’ are designed to show the intensity of the respondent’s self-expressed preferences for the relevant behaviours and not the specific physical location of those behaviours within the brain.

This system is great for Human Resources departments and Business Managers who can map the progress of staff where it is important to have a variety of skills – initiators and creative thinkers, supportive and dependable team players, accurate and methodical practitioners and competitive and decisive hunter gatherers. It helps to monitor whether people are in the right role and also where there are development opportunities. For example, when using PRISM for team building we can assess whether we have the right behaviours in the team by ‘mapping’ the team together and creating a visual picture. The same applies when recruiting for a particular role where we can benchmark the requirements of the role and then assess candidates for best fit.

PRISM should not be used on its own for recruitment, but as a tool complementing effective interviewing to enable managers to make well-rounded recruitment decisions. But, it can really add value and highlight points that other methods will miss.

Apart from the one-to-one feedback provided by Focus the whole process takes place online so it has the minimum of impact on the individual’s time. The assessment report is then yours to keep for you and your employee to refer back to see how far they have come.

For more information on PRISM please contact one of the team who would be happy to provide you with a template report and answer any questions you may have.

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