Eleven Performance Derailers

When the pressure's on, the line between strength and weakness is not always clear — drive may become ruthless ambition, attention to detail may become micromanaging, and so on.

Many types of situations can result in a strength being overused or misused: conditions of stress or change, multi-tasking, task saturation or accomplishment, low fit level for the active job position or organizational culture or excessive comfort within the individual’s work environment. When overused, these traits make up the “dark side” of personality.

Dark-side personality describes a group of characteristics that can be strengths under normal circumstances, but, when individuals are not self-monitoring, can become reputation-ruining interpersonal flaws. Even though they tend to show up in times of increased stress or pressure rather than day-to-day, they can be extremely damaging to an individual’s reputation. Our partners at Hogan Assessment Systems have used the science of organizational psychology to identify 11 personality traits that may deter work performance and leadership if not managed accordingly.

Here is a list of these traits, alongside descriptions and indicators that may help you reflect upon the strengths and implications of overusing strengths on behalf of colleagues, supervisors or even yourself.

1. Excitable

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
intense, passionate and energetic.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
volatile, moody and unpredictable.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Vacilitate between optimism and pessimism.
  • Explode over minor mistakes.

2. Skeptical

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
perceptive, shrewd and insightful.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
cynical, distrustful and fault-finding.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Be sceptical about other's real motives.
  • Obsess over what can go wrong and may not take action because of mistrust and cynicism.

3. Cautious

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
careful, compliant and thorough.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
risk-averse, tentative and fears failure.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Require a second and third opinion before making a decision.
  • Avoid offering strong opinion or engage in debate.

4. Reserved

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
thick-skinned, tough and objective.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
withdrawn, harsh and uncommunicative.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Withdraw when there is conflict or controversy.
  • Be perceived as an individual with a lack of passion or too stoic.

5. Leisurely

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
independent, cooperative and agreeable.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
stubborn, irritable and passive-aggressive.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Say one thing but do another.
  • Get annoyed with those who try to derail your agenda.

6. Bold

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
confident, aggressive and assertive.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
arrogant, overconfident and feedback-resistant.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Be unwilling to give up a fight or debate.
  • Avoid taking responsibility when things go wrong.

7. Mischievous

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
charming, daring and interesting.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
risk-taking, impulsive and untrustworthy.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Take risks without considering the consequences.
  • Use charm to finesse mistakes.

8. Colorful

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
outgoing, dynamic and socially-skilled.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
dramatic, attention-seeking and distractible.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Showboat.
  • Cause others to feel like their opinions are not wanted or needed.

9. Imaginative

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
innovative, experimental and creative.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
eccentric, flighty, impractical and lacks follow through.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Launch initiatives, but don't follow-up on them.
  • Lose people when trying to explain ideas.

10. Diligent

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
detailed, hardworking and conscientious.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
micromanaging, perfectionistic and difficulty delegating.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Focus on the details and overlook the bigger picture or the obvious.
  • Have difficulty delegating, and shortchange people.

11. Dutiful

Individuals who are likely to frequently express this trait are described as:
supportive, eager to please and loyal.

However, when overused, this individual’s perceived strengths may turn into:
deferential, ingratiating and afraid to act independently.

For example, individuals who may possess this trait are likely to:

  • Be so flexible that it is hard to know where they stand on issues.
  • Avoid tough people issues.

 

Read more on this topic:

  • Derailers During Covid-19: Learn the impact and the react created by of each derailer in relation to this particular crisis.
  • Managing Derailers: Learn tips to help reduce the impact that can negatively affect the performance of individuals in the workplace.

Our experts in organizational psychology can help assess individuals. If you have any questions, you may contact us at
info@d-teck.com or via our website www.d-teck.com.

 

Caveat
This article serves as an informative resource only. This article, by itself, does not hold any value in terms of formally assessing individuals.