Another Shade of the Dark Side: Derailing Due to Underuse of Behaviors
The dark side of personality concerns behaviors and attributes that derail people – getting them into trouble and making them less effective as leaders. Typically, these derailers appear when people are under stress (e.g., they have a tight deadline, they are dealing with ambiguity, etc.) or when they are not self-monitoring (e.g., they are around people with whom they can let down their guard and not manage their image).
Many times, these behaviors are an overuse of a key strength from the bright side of their personality. For example, a leader who is conscientious, detail-oriented and sets high standards on a day-to-day basis might become perfectionistic, nitpicky and micromanaging when under stress – driving his or her direct reports crazy and garnering the reputation for being impossible to please.
While overuse of strengths is certainly problematic, underuse of a behavior or trait can be equally derailing, but in a different way. Underuse is another shade of the dark side, and it can have significant impacts on a leader’s effectiveness, reputation and, ultimately, career. Underuse of behaviors is usually not as visible or memorable as overuse, but it can be equally damaging.
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Written by: Trish Kellett, Director of Coaching Network, Hogan Assessment Systems