The HR Evaluation through Graphological Analysis and Psychometrically through Metaprograms

This dissertation paper (awarded marked with “10” on the exam for a master’s degree in career counseling at the Bucharest Polytechnic University, the highest mark in the Romanian university system) has the purpose of laying principles and structure for understanding how two approaches to the psychology of the personality constitute diagnosis approaches in the work of the career consultant: the metaprograms theory, developed from Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and measured psychometrically with several tools, and the handwriting analysis.

A solid diagnosis is a premise for any consultant to support the client in designing a career plan. Psychometrics offers the most reliable tools for evaluating a candidate’s preferences and preferences. Relying on recommendations for a career in psychometric evaluations is a strong indicator of professionalism. As a matter of fact, the author does not conceive career counseling without a form of psychometric assessment.

The personality can be described as a sum of traits that manifest in an individual’s actions, cognition, motivation, attitudes, and language. The features have been explored in classic psychology as what the author defines meta types: clusters of personality, combinations between fine distinctions, and indivisible blocks of personality, which are called metaprograms.

The author of the concept of metaprogram is John C. Lilly (1968). The first refinement of metaprograms was done in 1982 by NLP founders Richard Bandler and Leslie LeBeau. The theory has evolved during the last three decades into a solid-tested, psychometrically proven method for evaluating personality with tools that have reached almost 40 countries. Two metaprograms systems for testing personality have also reached Romania: LAB Profile (2006) and Identity Compass (2007).

Studying and promoting the concept even since 2005, the author has become specialized in this field and has created 2007 a web-based international community, the Metaprograms Experts Group, which reunites almost 30 of the top world experts in this field.

This paper is based on up-to-date research and analysis material, offering a unique insight into the field.

Although meta types, such as Jung’s categories or the NLP-based concept of TimeLine, are beneficial in predicting performance in the workplace and a candidate’s success in doing specific tasks or working within a particular field, a more precise, strategic approach can be obtained through the profiling using metaprograms as categories of personality.

The ultimate goal of the metaprogram diagnosis, and the most “spectacular” one, is knowing what to change: to offer the client insight into what to work on for improvement. Using the metaphor that “it is easier to change a hinge rather than a door”, the author makes a refining effort and tries to demonstrate how each of the distinctions presented in chapter seven of this paper is a metaprogram, creating a guide that each reader would understand:

  • the origins of the metaprogram within the field of psychology;
  • the different perspectives authors and profiling tools have on the same concept;
  • verbal and non-verbal observation guide;
  • comparison and differentiating from other metaprograms.

Based on the specialty literature covered in this field and four evaluation tools, this dissertation presents a critical, multi-perspective, and argued discussion about 17 metaprograms (out of a list of 60-70 such distinctions) and four other personality structures.

The 16 metaprograms and their distinctions, as discussed in chapter seven:

Motivation Direction:

  • Towards
  • Away From

Motivation Reason

  • Options
  • Procedures

McClelland Types

  • Power
  • Affiliation
  • Success

Energy Level

  • Proactive
  • Active
  • Reactive
  • Inactive

Time Orientation

  • Past
  • Present
  • Future

Decision factors

  • Sameness
  • Sameness with Exception (Evolution)
  • Sameness and Difference equally
  • Difference with Exception
  • Difference


  • Matching
  • Mismatching

Chunk size

  • Global
  • Specific

Perceptual Source

  • Abstract
  • Strategic
  • Concrete

Information Kind

  • Quality
  • Quantity

Frame of Reference

  • Internal
  • External

Stress Response

  • Feeling
  • Choice
  • Thinking

Sensory Channel

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic
  • Auditory Digital

Convincer Channel

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic
  • Auditory Digital

Convincer Strategy

  • Automatic
  • Number of Examples
  • Period of Time
  • Consistent

Work Organization

  • Task
  • Relationship

The Style of Experience / Quality of Life metaprogram elicitation discussed in chapter six:

  • Be
  • Do
  • Have

 The four structures of personality discussed in chapter six are:


  • In Time
  • Meta Time
  • Across Time
  • Between Time

Values: only elicitation, not hierarchy or Spiral Dynamics levels


  • Surface criteria
  • Core criteria

Threshold values level 1

Threshold values level 2

Prime concerns

  • Prime Concerns 1st rank
  • Prime Concerns 2nd rank

The graphological analysis is not a psychometric instrument. This work does not claim graphology can provide behavior predictions. Still, it claims it can interpret fine traits of personality and offers a structure of meta types and types, as refined from Negru (1999), Baggett (n.d.), Bidoli (2004), Ionescu (1994), Athanasiu (1996) and Constantin (2006).

The applicative side of the dissertation is a case study on a client in career counseling, which the author has advised, based on LAB Profile Extended (2007b), Identity Compass, and graphological analysis in 2007. The client was a student looking to create a career in a field appropriate to her preferences and personality. The consultant has met with her five times over six months, assisting her in getting hired in a harsh industry and doing a job appropriate for her personality and work skills. The client has been delighted with the evaluation, and the case is presented, with her permission, as a success for the consulting activity that the author has done.

The main applications of the concepts presented in this dissertation are designed to serve corporate clients and to generate tens of millions of euros in income for the profiling companies which develop tools. Therefore, they are subject to change and evolution. Therefore, this dissertation is a fair portrait of today’s structures and refinements and offers insight into the less-recognized field in Romania.

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2011-present, all rights reserved.

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.



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