Personality can predict leadership effectiveness

Research reveals that personality characteristics can predict leadership effectiveness and by extension organizational outcomes.  Of particular relevance to the study of effective leadership is how the “dark side” or dysfunctional aspects of personality can degrade leader effectiveness and organization performance.  Dysfunctional dispositions are part of everyone’s personality. Flawed interpersonal behaviors reflect the influence of underlying personal beliefs and life experiences.  Assessing dysfunctional dispositions that commonly appear in interpersonal relationships helps to predict the likelihood that such risk’s will impair an executive’s success.  To facilitate such predictions and to aid in improving interpersonal relations in the work environment, R. Hogan and J. Hogan (2001) created an inventory called the Hogan Development Survey (HDS).

It is important for leaders to acknowledge that their personalities give them the potential to do harm as well as good.  Leaving the “shadow side” of our personalities unattended leaves us vulnerable to projecting those undesirable behaviors onto others.

Six tips to help manage the unpleasant aspects of the self:

  1. Taking personal responsibility
  2. Determining if the negative images you have of others are a result of projection
  3. Learning from mistakes
  4. Finding a supportive partner
  5. Accepting criticism
  6. Working to keep yourself out of harm’s way by adjusting your behavior to avoid the shadow forces
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