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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Forget the ‘prefect job’ look for the perfect leader.

Looking to land your perfect job in the perfect company? Let me give you some advice…. Forget it! Look for the perfect leader… it will be the best thing you ever do.

Sure, a great company will allow you to practice what you know and allow you to develop your skills… but only to a certain extent.

When you are applying for what might seem like an exciting, high profile brand or company it’s pretty obvious to these companies why you are applying and it’s generally the same as your competitions agenda – “To work for an amazing global brand with exciting future prospects”!  *Yawn*

So although you might think your reason for applying to the job is a good one, it’s really just making you blend in. Not only that but you’re focusing on all the wrong things! Here’s why…

Generally, when candidates are asked if they have any questions at the end of the interview they ask things along the lines of “What sort of long term opportunities are there?”, “What sort of company benefits are there?”, “What is the company’s growth plan?”  Again, boring!!! Yes these are legitimate questions, but even the best answers don’t guarantee you’re going to land the career you’ve always dreamt of.  

The company logo or the businesses growth plan isn’t going to do you as much justice as you think. So when you meet with the person who is potentially going to be your direct manager, take interest in them and what they have to offer you… after all, once your hiredyour career is in their hands.

When I am interviewing for my team I’m always hanging out for someone to ask me this ONE question at the end of the interview and here it is… – “As my manager, what can you do for me, my career and personal growth?”  I welcome this question with open arms as it shows that the person in front of me is smart and ambitious! They realise that if I hire them, their career is in my hands. A good manager will know their value so they will be able to answer this question with ease. They will also appreciate that you are genuinely interested in what they have to offer and that you want MORE than just to work for a ‘hero brand’.

So remember,  just because there is opportunity to progress doesn’t mean you will… even if you work your tail off and do ridiculous amounts of overtime, it’s still not guaranteed. One of the most common reasons people leave their jobs these days is because of their manager/s, and when you dig deeper into this it’s because their managers are holding them back rather than helping them move forward.

A perfect example of this is an article we came across that was written by a guy who went to work for a HUGE, global (not to mention cool) brand, who only ended up being bitterly disappointed. Now we don’t like to name names around here but the company rhymes with ‘Grapple’.  This guy wasn’t disappointed by the below industry salary, or that he had to work long hours (both of which were a reality). He was disappointed that his manager not only bullied him but wasn’t interested in his career path and held him back from reaching his full potential.

We are not saying that all high profile companies are full of terrible leaders, but what we are saying is that all companies, regardless of their size can get it wrong and that your happiness and success will depend on how your manager leads and develops you. If you ask any successful person what they owe their success to I guarantee they will name people not companies.

Choose better,

–The HR Revolution Blogger