Facet5 and other Personality Tool Comparisons

As an executive coach and learning and development consultant, I often get asked why Facet5 is my preference when working with clients over other seemingly similar tools.
Executive Coaching Sydney

As an executive coach and learning and development consultant, I often get asked why Facet5 is my preference when working with clients over other seemingly similar tools. Well, that is the key, they are not similar in my opinion. First and foremost, Facet5 is strengths based, it is non-judgemental, uses a common accessible language and above all is reliable, valid, and accurate in its descriptions that support self-awareness of self and other’s. Lastly, it is the impact that Facet5 reports and debriefing processes have on the individual and that is ‘positive’, and people, learn, grow and develop through ‘positive’ experiences.

The four key differentiators are;

  1. Facet5 is a Big 5 tool 

The Big Five5 is how most psychologists measure and test personality. This is based on decades of research about how people describe one another and themselves, suggesting there are 5 core traits of personality. 

Why 5? Any more and it becomes too complex to apply. Any less and you’re definitely missing something or bundling two Factors in together. Facet5 is based on statistical factor analysis, while some others are non-scientific behaviour self-assessment tools which have not been shown to have any scientific validity. Without scientific validity and reliability, the reporting is confusing, conflicting, general, inaccurate and not as useful as a reliable, valid and scientific measure of personality as Facet5 is.

  1. Facet5 is trait based

Facet5 doesn’t put people into neat personality “types” which put you in a box at one end or another, because that’s not the reality of how personalities show up. Instead everyone is along a continuum with most people in the middle. So it won’t tell you that you are an extravert or an introvert —  Facet5 places you along a scale from 1-10, with subfactor scores to add greater nuance and understanding. 

Being trait based is also essential for self-awareness, as it lets you easily see and understand your personality in relation to others. This is really key. Just having a label or ‘type’ tells you something about you, but doesn’t show your position along a spectrum, and how close or far you are to others you work with or people in general. A big part of healthy self awareness is not just knowing yourself but how others see you through the eyes of their personality. 

The value of trait based tools is essential to people development above all other tools on the market. From my perspective you get what you pay for in this world and if you are after an accurate, scientifically valid and useful support tool for your people development then opting for the most economic offering in the market is usually going to be representative of it’s currencies value.

  1. Facet5 uses Emotionality as a lens to understand the rest of the Profile

Emotionality is positioned very uniquely in Facet5, and for those with especially high or low scores it’s often the “a-ha moment” –  since it plays a crucial role in how the rest of the profile shows up. Even if someone is midrange, it can help them understand others better. Facet5 is unique in how we position and apply Emotionality, as a lens through which to see the rest of the profile. That’s a key differentiator when comparing us with any other tool.

  1. Facet5 is a measure of personality – not an “assessment”

We strive to be development focused, with strengths, growth and potential as the core purpose of measuring personality, not assessment. This is also why we use natural language, so people have a common ground framework for talking about their personality together. It’s not about experts judging and extrapolating. It’s about equipping individuals with ways to describe themselves, what they bring, what they might struggle with, and what they need to be at their best. 

From the commercial perspective
Some other similar and often cheaper tools land well for people where 1 colour dominates, because it gives them a simple clarity they can quickly identify with. We all like it when we feel belonging to a club or tribe that resonates with us, and types do this really well. But what I love about Facet5 is that it recognises a dominant style at both ends of the scale, not just high. A “Low” Energy (1-2) is just as strong a preference and style as High (9-10). Only talking about personality in terms of dominance loses this really key point. With Facet5 individuals can really embrace and value the strengths of for example, Low Will and Low Energy, because it shows up as being consultative, calm and reflective. It’s not just a “lack of” colour which I feel some other tools focus on, which is too simplistic and doesn’t celebrate the diversity, nuance and positive complexity and individuality of personality. 

Some simplistic tools are not overseen by one company or person, and therefore anyone could create a simplistic, non-scientific based assessment and call it legitimate. Ultimately it really depends on who is behind the tool, as well as the tool itself. Especially where a tool is “Free”, I would caution heavily about their motives and what they do with the data to monetise the commercial offering.


Jessica Symes Toomey

MSc(Coach Psych)


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