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International Norms

If you are using our profiles outside the U.S., it’s important to understand cultural differences and how they can impact perceptions of Style and Versatility. Norms, or normative comparisons as they are technically called, provide a mechanism for people to compare themselves with one another. For example, telling somebody that they have an Amiable Style is helpful, but it is much more effective if you can tell them that they are more Ask Assertive than 75% of the population and more Emote Responsive than 50% of the population.  This information is provided on our Multi-Rater Profiles, and gives individuals powerful information about exactly how their behavior is perceived in relation to others, even others who share their same Style.

All of TRACOM’s online profiles use norms for accuracy.  In addition to our standard North American norm, TRACOM has developed a variety of international norms to reflect the culture and behavioral standards of individual countries and geographic regions. In doing so, people receive profiles that are most meaningful for them.  TRACOM also offers SOCIAL STYLE Passport, an online tool that lets learners with multi-rater profiles, select from any of 80+ country or regional norms and generate a new, on-demand profile for that country or region.

Our international cultural norms for SOCIAL STYLE Profiles are currently available in UniversalManagerial and Sales versions.

Learn more about our Adaptive Mindset for Resiliency norms here.

Learn more about our Behavioral EQ norms here.

To learn more about how International Norms work and are utilized watch our new International Norms Video below.

1. Why are international norms important?

TRACOM’s research shows that Style is a global concept; it exists across nationalities. However, every culture is unique, and this is sometimes reflected in the way Style and Versatility are displayed. For this reason it is important for people to use norms that reflect their specific cultures.

For example, in China displays of Assertiveness are generally more direct than in western societies. If we compared China and the U.S. on this dimension, the Chinese average would be higher (more Tell Assertive) than the U.S. average. Therefore, we develop norms for China that adjust for their unique culture. This provides a more meaningful measure of Style and Versatility for people in China because they are being measured relative to others within their culture.

Some companies that develop behavioral style and personality measures do not provide cultural norms, claiming that behavior is so similar across cultures that norms aren’t necessary. However, TRACOM’s research has shown that this is not the case, and cultural norms address critical differences in how behavior is displayed and interpreted.

2. How are TRACOM’s norms organized and how do I choose a norm?

Where possible we have developed specific country norms. We continue to add new norms as the necessary data becomes available. However, for individuals in countries where we don’t have a norm, we have developed regional norms. For example, while we have a norm specifically for Spain, we do not currently have a norm for Portugal. Therefore, a Portuguese individual should use our norm for Southern Europe, which will reflect his or her culture to a closer degree than any other norm.

Choose appropriate SOCIAL STYLE norms for your specific needs.

Learners and raters can choose whatever language they would like to complete the questionnaire in. This helps them to understand and interpret the questionnaire in a way that leads to accurate responses. Meanwhile, using our MAX session management system an administrator can determine which norms to use and what languages the reports should be produced in by selecting appropriate combination from the drop down list of available Profile reports.

3. Can I mix and match norms and languages?

TRACOM’s language options are independent from the norm options. This allows each individual or organization to flexibly choose the best option. For example, a native Spaniard who works as a manager in Madrid might want to both complete the questionnaire and receive her SOCIAL STYLE Profile in Spanish and be compared using our Spain norm. But consider the same manager who works in a U.S. operation.  Her Style Questionnaire and Profile could use Spanish language but use the North American norm. This provides information about her Style and Versatility compared to her colleagues.

4.  What is SOCIAL STYLE Passport?

SOCIAL STYLE Passport offers learners a customized view of how their behavior may be perceived in different countries.   A person with a multi-rater profile can select any of the 66 country and 19 regional norms and generate a new profile.  As web-based, on-demand tool, learners have complete flexibility to see any or all normed profiles.  SOCIAL STYLE Passport is a valuable for people who might periodically work with people in other countries or travel internationally.  Passport is available at no charge to organizations and learners using TRACOM’s online profile system.  Read the SOCIAL STYLE Passport Information Sheet.

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