The Dark Side of Personality

When the pressure’s on, the line between strength and weakness isn’t always clear — drive becomes ruthless ambition, and attention to detail becomes micromanaging. The dark side of personality derails careers and companies, but it doesn’t have to.

Impression management is an important skill; research shows that individuals who scored high on a measure of self-monitoring were more likely to get promoted and have a successful career than their less tactful counterparts. But the more time we spend under pressure, the less able we are to manage our behavior, and, eventually, our dark sides emerge.

Dark-side personality describes a group of characteristics that can be strengths under normal circumstances, but, when individuals aren’t self-monitoring, can become reputation-ruining interpersonal flaws. Even though they only tend to show up in times of increased stress or pressure, they can be extremely damaging to your reputation.

These dark side tendencies erode trust, loyalty, and enthusiasm, and are of particular concern in relation to leadership roles. The HDS measures eleven such flawed interpersonal styles that become exaggerated under pressure and are difficult to detect in interviews.

Hogan Development Survey

The only validated personality assessment that identifies the dark side of personality.

1. Leadership Development
Research indicates that for most people their immediate manager is a major source of stress. Most managers can improve their interpersonal effectiveness and HDS-based development programs help to reduce employee stress, improve staff morale, increase job satisfaction and retention, and optimize the constructive influence of managers.

2. Coaching
For those in positions of responsibility, dysfunctional interpersonal skills are among the most frequent causes of failure. The HDS is highly effective in highlighting the areas appropriate to a coaching agenda. While for some individuals, group or team situations may be a suitable context for personal development, in many cases individual executive HDS-based coaching is more appropriate.

3. Advanced Team Building
The HDS takes team building to another level by addressing dysfunctional behaviors that threaten working relationships. Within teams that work in a confined physical or psychological spaces, dark-side characteristics will upset team dynamics, add to stress, and adversely affect performance. An appreciation of the stress reactions of other team members will help to reduce the impact of disruptive dark-side tendencies.

4. Management Selection
High (or low) HDS scores pinpoint potential problem areas. HDS scores provide an indication of the possible risks associated with any appointment. HDS profiles help to focus on areas that can be explored at the interview and support more insightful interpretation of assessment center observations.

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