The HR Evaluation through Graphological Analysis and Psychometrically through Metaprograms

This dissertation paper (awarded marked with “10” at the exam for 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.

The premise for any consultant to support the client in designing a career plan is a solid diagnosis. Psychometrics offers the most reliable tools for evaluating a candidate’s preferences and preferences. Relying recommendations for a career on 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 evaluation.

The personality can be described as a sum of traits that manifest themselves in actions, cognition, motivation, attitudes, and language for an individual. The traits have been explored in the field of classic psychology as what the author defines meta types: clusters of personality, comprised of combinations between fine distinctions, 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 is done in 1982, by NLP founder 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 of the 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 in 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 research and analysis material up-to-date, offering, therefore, a unique insight into the field.

Although meta types, such as Jung’s categories or the NLP-based concept of TimeLine, are very useful in predicting performance in the workplace and candidate’s success in doing certain tasks or working within a certain 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 upon for improving. 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 and this work does not claim graphology can provide behavior predictions, but 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 then a student and was looking to create a career in a field appropriate for her preferences and personality. The consultant has met with her five times over six months, assisting her to get hired in a tough industry, doing a job appropriate for her personality and work skills. The client has been very satisfied 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 design 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. This dissertation is a fair portrait of today’s structures and refinements and offers an insight into the field, less known in Romania.

Marcus Victor Grant

Text Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, 2011-present

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