Building and maintaining an effective team can be a challenge, but managerial failure has little to do with IQ or personal attractiveness. Instead, it’s directly linked to 11 personality scales or ‘derailers’ that can result in poor relationships with employees
Developing an awareness of the personality traits that lead to managerial failure can help you to build stronger working relationships, while personality assessments, such as those developed by Hogan Assessments, can help leaders to identify these personality traits and learn to manage them. Here are six of the most common personality traits that could be problems in your business.
Excitable people have lots of energy and enthusiasm for new projects, but they quickly become disinterested when things don’t go according to plan. Excitable leaders are highly emotive and tend to express their frustrations with people and projects in public outbursts. This creates an unsettling workplace atmosphere, where employees walk on eggshells for fear of upsetting or disappointing their manager.
Sceptical leaders are distrustful of others, believing they will stab them in the back as soon as they let their guard down. As a result, this person is ultimately unable to gain anyone else’s trust. This inevitably results in a completely dysfunctional work environment where decisions are made via secret meetings and without open discourse.
Leisurely individuals are polite and socially skilled when leading a team, which is why they are often liked and respected within their organisation. However, after working closely with these people for some time, employees will see through the smokescreen and notice many fatal flaws. When faced with real challenges, these leaders are not very productive, and will react by finding ways to avoid and deflect responsibility.
Bold leaders tend to be inspiring, courageous and confident. While employees may learn a lot from these individuals about how to rise to the top of organisations, they can also be challenging to work for. They refuse to acknowledge or take accountability for their mistakes and failures and so the blame always falls on employees. They also take credit for major wins, and are bad at recognising and rewarding hard work from their team.
Mischievous people love excitement and thrive in high-octane situations. Leaders scoring highly here are willing to take risks and will spring into action during times of stress. In a leadership role, this is certainly necessary, but challenges arise for workers when managers score too highly. These leaders sometimes lack consideration for their workers, who put in the groundwork that set their leader up for success and who are most impacted when taking on ambitious projects.
Colourful leaders enjoy being the centre of attention, and thrive during stressful situations, but in different ways. While mischievous leaders live for the adrenaline rush of high-risk projects, colourful leaders tend to enjoy the fame and attention that these projects bring them. Employees often find these leaders chaotic and erratic to work with and will have to deal with poor organisation and indecisiveness.
Dr Ryne Sherman is chief science officer of Hogan Assessments, which is one of the leading providers of workplace personality assessment and leadership development consulting. He has written more than 50 scientific papers and previously served as professor of psychology at Texas Tech University and Florida Atlantic University.