The Organizing Network
Profiling has a bad name.
I started officially profiling in 1980, in a project with Southwest Airlines.
The Chairman at SWA wanted his airline to be the lowest complaint-ratio airline in the USA. They had been improving their recruiting and training focusing on reducing customer complaints.
But, they had a problem, for which they could not find the solution.
Some of their flight attendants seemed to generate complaints. If these complaint generators were on a flight, someone would complain about something for that flight. The complaints might not even be about that flight attendant, but the data showed that one of their complaint generators was working that flight.
And, some other flight attendants seemed to put a damper on complaints. If these flight attendants were on a flight there were dramatically fewer complaints. Even if a complaint generating flight attendant was on that flight, there were fewer complaints.
The HR Department could not recognize the difference between the complaint generators and complaint dampers.
Profiling to the rescue.
My partner and I had been working for 2 years on expanding a linguistic idea called metaprograms. This was a way of understanding a person's linguistic architecture. How a person talks gives us a guidebook into how they think and act. With our work, based on verbal and nonverbal communications, we could predict behavior.
Of the 12 scales we had developed for our profiling system, one scale was the key to the difference between the complaint generator and the complaint damper flight attendants.
So, we helped SWA develop a screening process for flight attendant applicants. After they installed this screening process, they evolved their corporate culture and achieved that goal of the lowest complaint-ratio airline in the USA. They did this because thy only hired complaint dampers and passengers stopped complaining.
FBI Profilers vs LAB Profilers.
Profilers in the FBI are highly trained in a broad spectrum of psychological constructs. They operate at a deep level in the psyche and are highly trained professionals. One of the problems for their profiling models is that all their work is based in an illness/wellness model.
LAB (Language And Behavior) Profilers are working on a surface model of linguistic structures. There is nothing in the LAB Profile approach that is psychological. It is all functional. In the case of SWA's complaint generators vs complaint dampers, we only recognize where the person's attention is focused.
LAB Profiles are non-judgemental. None of the patterns are identified as good or bad. Because the LAB Profile is focused on business and organizational needs, patterns are recognized with respect to how well they match the needs of the organization.
Matching The Needs of the Organization.
In one consultation with a wholesale camera importer in a small South American company, we were asked to help them with one of their management team who disrupted management team meetings.
The person being focused on (as the disruptive person) was not a principal of the company, but was responsible for their marketing and sales. He was exceptionally successful in marketing and sales and the company was successful, because he was such a strong performer. He was like a tractor.
The partners of the company, along with this marketing manager, made up the management team. In management team meetings the partners want to have blue-sky conversations, but the marketing manager could not tolerate non-productive conversations.
The problems stopped when the partners were taught that this was a clash of basic pattern differences. The value of the marketing manager for the company was his tractor-like focus and his style of work. And, the marketing manager's profile kept him from being able to appreciate thinking of alternatives.
So, now there are no longer those problems in the company. The management team meetings are now focused on production. The partners can meet to talk about possibilities.
Essentially, the LAB Profile is an interview process. You learn specific questions to ask and you learn how to recognize each of the patterns of this profiling system.
You can learn all of the 40 scales across the 17 categories of information that are part of the LAB Profile. A new online training is available to take you through the whole training with only 1 or 2 new categories each week.
Each of these categories and scales is easy to learn and the practice includes listening to LAB Profile interview segments, recognizing the language patterns, and keeping tally on a worksheet. When you finish the interview, the person's profile is shown by the tally marks.
The applications of the LAB Profile are any areas where you need to be able to predict and influence a person's behavior.