Personality traits are NOT an excuse for poor behaviour!

Here in the HR Revolution office we have just undergone the DISC profile training, which is a modern interpretation of Dr. William Marston’s behavioral dimensions; a personal strengths profiling exercise that uncovers four quadrants of behaviour. Once you understand your natural behavioral patterns, it is said that you will find it easier to recognize the right opportunities to achieve the results you desire. These for quadrants are:

D – Dominance  I – Influence  S – Steadiness  C – Compliance

What I personally think the great thing about DISC is, it highlights other people’s personality traits, so you can understand better why they work the way they do, for example why one person might like to have all the facts and figures, while others are just, let’s just get on and worry about the details later…. It turns out we have both in our office which is actually a really good thing as we all fulfill different roles.

Anyway, DISC is a lot more in depth than I can offer in this blog and not the reason for me writing today, but it got me thinking… why is it that people tend to use their personality traits as an excuse for unacceptable behaviour?

How many times have you said “ignore him, you know what he’s like” or “don’t let her get to you, it’s just the way she is” or “why does everything have to revert back to them” and whilst this is true, does it make it ok?? I don’t think so.

I personally like to think that no one person is just one personality type and we are intelligent enough to know how to behave and adapt our styles towards other people.

Here is just one adjective describing a personality trait from each of the above groups: D: direct, I: emotionless, S: easily distracted and C: retreating, and I don’t think any of them are particularly positive (obviously there are lots of happy ones too!). But just because they are ‘part’ of our personality does that mean that’s how we should act? For example just because you are ‘direct’ naturally, does that mean you can use absolutely no tact whatsoever when communicating with colleagues? OR just because you tend to be ‘retreating’ does that mean you should get out of doing the things you are not comfortable with? Of course the answer is absolutely no.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, if we know what we are predominately like rather than using that behaviour as an excuse, why don’t we all try to bring through some of our other personality traits, or just take time to think about how we are being perceived by the recipient… be less blunt, show empathy or be bolder, whatever you feel would work best in that given situation.

Personality traits should be used to benefit you and others, not as an excuse to make people cry or be lazy!  Trust me, I know how difficult it is to adapt your natural behaviour to suit the needs of the situation, as my profile is DS the two most polar opposites!

If you are interested in learning more about DISC or any other personality testing within your business, please get in touch with HR Revolution +44 203 538 5311 or email:, it may be what you need to get your team working more cohesively together.

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​The bad behaviours of others could in fact be your fault…

Some people only thrive when they are sandwiched in between other people. They feel confident when they are in a group of others who possess or encourage the same antisocial ​or bad behaviours.
Two weeks ago, I was on a train heading into London and this young guy surrounded by a group of his friends was harassing passengers outside of his group. He was standing on the seats and blurting out rude and inappropriate statements. His friends were encouraging him and although they were a little loud too they were really just a fan group and audience to the ring leader. I wondered to myself, what this guy would be like if his audience was removed…
And then I wondered no more, as a week later on the same journey, low and behold the same guy sitting in front of me minus his pack of laughing hyenas. He didn’t make a sound let alone show any behavioural resemblance of the person I witnessed the week prior. He even smiled at the elderly lady he sat next to.
So it got me thinking… Who is to blame? The person with bad behaviour or the pack of people who encourage it? I concluded with both. When there was no one to egg this guy on, he seemed like a perfectly well balanced, behaved member of society.
Sure people should take accountability for their actions, but people should also take accountability for what actions they encourage.
Although I truly believe that people should accept others for who they I don’t believe we as a​ society should accept bad behaviours, yet we do. We accept poor levels of customer service, negative relationships that are bad for us, poor performance from employees or out sourced services,​ and bad behaviour in general.
People in all areas of your life will treat you how you allow them to treat you. If we collectively decided that as the human race, we would not allow people to treat us in anyway that is unacceptable then people would not be conditioned to think that bad behaviours are acceptable.​
HRREV Blogger, HR Revolution | HR Outsourcing UK