Uncovering the Dark Traits of Human Personality

Strive for Better Work Culture and Customer Safety

WHAT ARE DARK TRAITS?

Dark personality traits are stable characteristics of a person, when triggered, lead to display of undesirable, counterproductive and destructive behavior, that have a negative impact on surrounding people (friends, family, co-worker or customers).

85%

People were aware that dark traits exist in us and they cause distressing incidents.

94%

People agreed that dark traits are harmful for our safety and need to be identified at workplaces

60%

People selected assessments as the most efficient tool for identifying and measuring dark traits

WHAT TRIGGERS DARK TRAITS?

Merely the presence of dark traits in a person does not guarantee that they will behave in an undesirable manner. Dark traits have to be triggered for dark behavior to manifest. They get triggered by various factors, such as trait level, situation and environment.

1. LEVEL OF DARK TRAITS

Different people possess different level of dark traits. Higher the degree of dark traits present, greater will be the frequency at which they get triggered (with the slightest provocation).

2. ENVIRONMENT

When people are in an environment where they hold power over others, there's an innate tendency to misuse that power. That tendency leads to triggering of dark traits.

3. SITUATION

Dark personality traits get triggered in situations when people are not on their guard and are not actively monitoring their behavior i.e in Relaxed Environment & Stressed Environment.

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF HAVING DARK TRAITS?

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

40% employees possess high level of dark traits that puts them at risk of disrupting their careers.

EMPLOYEE WELLBEING

80% work related accidents and doctor visits are attributed to stress.

EMPLOYEE SAFETY

> 25% of women experience sexual harassment at workplace.

ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

60-80% of all difficulties in organizations come from strained interpersonal relationships among employees

CHILDREN SAFETY

38% of the students are harassed by teachers or school employee.

FINANCIAL SAFETY

The Enron and Lehman Brothers scandal (2001), reflects how asset safety can be jeopardized.

WOMEN SAFETY

Reports of sexual assaults by taxi drivers has increased by 20% in three years (2014-2017).

INFORMATION CONFIDENTIALITY

Reported data breaches increased by 40% in 2016.

THE SIX DARK PERSONALITY TRAITS

In order to address the issue of workplace harassment and counterproductive behavior, Mettl created a dark personality inventory consisting of the 6 most common dark traits, to measure them. This trait inventory can be used to assess the predominant dark personality traits of a person.

OPPORTUNISM

Tendency to be deceitful and manipulative. Tendency to possess cynical or negative outlook towards intentions of others.

Strengths:

Good at Problem Solving, Proactive, and Meets Deadlines

Weaknesses:

Team work, Routine Work, Valuing Traditions

FAMOUS OPPORTUNIST

Henry Ford

Known for being innovative, hard working, self-reliant and willing to bribe the system.

OPPORTUNISTIC PEOPLE CAN DIVIDED INTO 3 CATEGORIES

OPPORTUNISTIC

AMBITIOUS COMPETITIVE GREEDY
Snatches opportunities Lies to get ahead Wants more for less work
Works hard to get access to good opportunities Likes to stay ahead by working hard Demands proportionately to efforts

SELF-OBSESSION

Tendency to possess an inflated sense of self, accompanied by a fragile self esteem which makes the person vulnerable to criticism.

Strengths:

Perfectionist, Self Driven

Weaknesses:

Proud, Inflexible, Over Sensitive to Criticism

FAMOUS SELF OBSESSED PERSONALITY

Donald Trump

Get aggressive on facing criticism and love to boast about their greatness.

SELF OBSESSED PEOPLE CAN DIVIDED INTO 3 CATEGORIES:

SELF OBSESSION

CONCEITED ATTENTION-SEEKER DRAMATIZER
Refuses to acknowledge his flaws Demands unwavering acceptance for any work done Reacts strongly to lack of appreciation
Accommodates critical feedback Keeps realistic expectations Intrinsically motivated

INSENSITIVITY

Inability to understand others' pain, suffering and perspective.

Strengths:

Resilient, Confident, Good at Dealing with Difficult Situations

Weaknesses:

Inability to Connect and Understand the Need of the Customer

FAMOUS INSENSITIVE PERSONALITY

Adolf Hitler

Was insensitive towards the Jews and saw their extermination as collateral damage for Germany's progress.

INSENSITIVE PEOPLE CAN DIVIDED INTO 3 CATEGORIES:

INSENSITIVITY

LOGICAL INCONSIDERATE CALLOUS
Prefers rational decision making even if it hurts others Unaffected by others' emotions Revels in others' misery
Prejudiced opinions Sympathetic Empathetic

TEMPERAMENTAL

Tendency to become angry at the slightest provocation, feeling and engaging in anger related emotions pervasively and persistently.

Strengths:

Considerate of Others' Feelings

Weaknesses:

Unstable Moods, Easily Provoked

FAMOUS TEMPERAMENTAL PERSONALITY:

Vincent Van Gogh

Easily hurt and demotivated by others' take on his paintings. Very often got into fights with his critics.

TEMPERAMENTAL PEOPLE CAN DIVIDED INTO 3 CATEGORIES:

TEMPERAMENTAL

ASSERTIVE VOLATILE VIOLENT
Imposes opinions on others Frequent anger outbursts Provoked without reasons
Easily influenced by others Stays calm under stress Easily hurt by others

IMPULSIVENESS

Tendency to act on a whim, displaying behavior characterized by little or no forethought, reflection, or consideration of the consequences.

Strength:

Quick Decision Making

Weaknesses:

Rash Decision Making

FAMOUS IMPULSIVE PERSONALITY:

Princess Diana

Eccentric and free-spirited in her actions.

IMPULSIVE PEOPLE CAN DIVIDED INTO 3 CATEGORIES:

IMPULSIVE

SPONTANEOUS CARELESS RASH
Jumps to conclusions Casual attitude towards things Acts without carding about consequences
Thinks through any situation Guarded and cautious towards things Plans, monitors, controls things

THRILL-SEEKING

The tendency to do activities filled with experiences and Thrill-seeking unusual sensations perceived as risky but rewarding.

Strengths:

Open to New Ideas, Broad Minded, Adventurous, Out-Of-The-Box Thinker

Weaknesses:

Uncalculated Risk Taker

FAMOUS THRILL-SEEKER:

Elon Musk

Jumped from one successful venture to another, without getting too elated by any one venture, which allowed him to try different industries and excel in different fields.

THRILL-SEEKING PEOPLE CAN DIVIDED INTO 3 CATEGORIES:

THRILL-SEEKING

EXCITABLE ADVENTUROUS DAREDEVIL
Novelty seeking Likes the unusual Taking high stakes risk
Likes routine Conservative in choices Prefers tried and tested paths

INDUSTRY & JOB-ROLE FRAMEWORKS

Dark traits in industries and job roles can be segregated into three categories, based on the amount of trigger factors that they offer and the level of harm that triggering of dark traits can cause in these workplaces

Our whitepaper on – 'Uncovering the Dark Traits of Human Personality', segregates key industries and job roles into three zones:

RED ZONE:

Impact of dark traits is high, can jeopardize safety of life, or company reputation

YELLOW ZONE:

Impact of dark traits is medium, can disrupt work culture

GREEN ZONE:

Impact of dark traits is low, can cause harm to property and assets



KEY INDUSTRY with Top 3 Undesirable Dark Traits

Dark Traits in Key Industries Endanger Customer, Information and Asset Safety

Thrill-Seeking Insensitive Temperamental
Insensitive
Temperamental
Self-Obsession
Temperamental
Insensitive
Thrill-Seeking
Temperamental
Thrill-Seeking
Impulsiveness
Temperamental
Insensitive
Thrill-Seeking
Temperamental
Insensitive
Impulsiveness
Temperamental
Self-Obsession
Impulsiveness
Temperamental
Insensitive
Impulsiveness
Temperamental
Insensitive
Thrill-Seeking
Temperamental
Insensitive
Opportunism
Temperamental
Insensitive
Impulsive
Self-Obsession
Opportunism
Thrill-Seeking

JOB ROLES with Top 3 Undesirable Dark Traits

Dark Traits in Key Job Roles Endanger Company Image, Culture and Asset Safety

Temperamental
Impulsive
Self Obsession
Impulsiveness
Insensitive
Temperamental
Self-Obsession
Impulsiveness
Temperamental
Thrill-Seeking
Insensitive
Impulsiveness
Thrill-Seeking
Insensitive
Temperamental
Impulsiveness
Self-Obsession
Temperamental
Self-Obsession
Impulsiveness
Temperamental
Opportunism
Temperamental
Impulsiveness
Insensitive
Temperamental
Self-Obsession

WHEN TO USE ASSESSMENTS TO MEASURE DARK PERSONALITY?

1. ASSESS FOR WORK CULTURE

HIRING

  • People with dark traits make up the majority of bad hires in a company
  • Bad hires are the leading cause of attrition in a company
  • Attrition is one of the biggest productivity drain of a company

leadership development

  • People in leadership positions have three times higher propensity tohost dark traits than the average population
  • Dark traits lead to undersirable behavior, which in turn leads to employee disengagemen
  • Empolyee disengagement is the biggest productivity killer in an organization

CASE STUDY

PREVENTING DISTRESSING INCIDENTS : PROACTIVE VS REACTIVE APPROACH

Problem: A cab company is getting a lot of complaints from customers against rude behavior and harassment. The company management decides to get involved and get to the bottom of this issue, so as to resolve it. They find out that some cab drivers are not following standard protocols and are temperamental and insensitive towards the customer in general.

Reactive Solution:

The company had been conducting background verification as a part of their hiring process. However, the current hiring process was unable to keep drivers with propensity to act rude or cause trouble from b being a part of their employee pool. This was because, the hiring process only took into account the task of keeping existing delinquents in check, and did not assess the trouble brewing potential of other non-delinquent drivers.

Impact

These unchecked potential troublemakers would then go ahead to commit their first time offence while on the job.

Proactive Solution:

The cab company carries out Dark Personality Assessment during hiring and is able to correctly identify drivers that have high level of dark traits (high propensity for causing trouble).

Impact

By filtering out the potential troublemakers, the cab company is left with a refined pool of drivers who are calm and cognizant of the customer's requirements. The customer complaints reduce substantially and the company's productivity increases.

WHEN TO USE ASSESSMENTS TO MEASURE DARK PERSONALITY?

2. ASSESS FOR CUSTOMER SAFETY

High Risk Jobs, where an employee is in charge of customer's life or asset safety, are the places where distressing incidents happen most frequently. In these industries, it is critical to carry out Dark Personality Assessment in order to weed out the potentially harmful employees.

CASE STUDIES

A GLOBAL CAB COMPANY & TALENT MANAGEMENT

A Progressive Journey Towards Organizational Development

One of UAE's biggest cab service providers used Dark Personality Assessment to streamline their talent pool and improve their service standards, in order to provide the best possible service to its customers.

Problem

The company was facing majorly three problems:

  • High attrition rate
  • Display of undesirable behavior from its employees (drivers)
  • Customer complaints about sub standard service
Solution

The company made use of Mettl Dark Personality Inventory (MDPI) during hiring of cab drivers, to identify those candidates that possessed high level of dark traits, which increased their propensity for displaying undesirable behavior towards the customers. The assessment also provided insights on how each dark trait would trigger different behavior from the cab driver towards the customer.

Impact

The client was able to streamline its candidate talent pool by removing potentially dangerous drivers from it, which led to selection of quality drivers that were assessed to stay calm in stressful situations. This led to substantial reduction in the display of rash behavior from the drivers, which made it easier for the client to regulate and monitor the drivers. Additionally, their service performance increased by 45% and customer complaints reduced by 60%.

FRAMEWORK FOR CAB DRIVERS

Opportunism (Low -> High)

  • Customer Focus
  • Responsibility
  • Greedy

Resultant behavior

  • Dishonesty Did not arrive at location, paid extra for waiting time.
  • Started ride without picking me.
  • Kept lying about knowing the location, arrived late

Self-Obsession (Low -> High)

  • Respect
  • Disrespect
  • Incorrigibility

  • Non-cooperative,argumentative when directed
  • Doesn't use GPS or know the way,aggressive when directed
  • Unwilling to listen to passengers,arrogant behavior

Insensitivity (Low -> High)

  • Customer Focus
  • Humble Character

  • Treating customers' valuables poorly
  • Not taking customer's request to wait

Temperamental (Low -> High)

  • Agreeability
  • Patience
  • Aggression/Violence
  • Rudeness
  • Stress Resistance

  • Yelling at passengers, fighting with other drivers
  • Aggressive tone, aggressive driving
  • Verbally violent,fearof being attacked

Impulsiveness (Low -> High)

  • Foresight
  • Focus
  • Impatience

  • Rash driving,not braking on time,not stopping at intersections
  • Almost had an accident, abrupt braking at the traffic lights

Thrill Seeking (Low -> High)

  • Caution
  • Discipline/Stability
  • Risk Taking

  • Talking on phone while driving, chewing tobacco
  • Smoking during rides

A reputed school's quest towards ensuring student safety on campus

Safe campus initiative to create enriching learning culture and environment

One of the most reputed schools chains in India wanted to revamp their employee and staff hiring process in line with their zero tolerance policy for misbehavior/ malpractices inside the campus.

Problem

The school administration was trying to resolve three recurring issues that they had been facing for past few years:

  • Complaints from students against unfair or undesirable behavior from staff and teachers
  • Cases of favoritism and profiteering by the teachers
  • Complaints from parents against corporal punishments that had led to injury
Solution

The school decided to use behavioral tests such as dark personality assessments to identify candidates that had the propensity for indulging in malpractices or displaying undesirable behavior.

Impact

The client was able to streamline its candidate talent pool by removing potentially dangerous drivers from it, which led to selection of quality drivers that were assessed to stay calm in stressful situations. This led to substantial reduction in the display of rash behavior from the drivers, which made it easier for the client to regulate and monitor the drivers. Additionally, their service performance increased by 45% and customer complaints reduced by 60%.

FRAMEWORK FOR SCHOOLS

Opportunism (Low -> High)

  • Fairness in behavioral conduct
  • Favoritism

Resultant behavior

  • Will favor students that provide the teacher with monetary/ non- monetary incentives such as gifts, taking after school coaching/ tuitions

Self-Obsession (Low -> High)

  • Forgiving
  • Vengeful

  • Will be harsh on students that do not follow rules or instructions

Insensitivity (Low -> High)

  • Understanding
  • Hurtful

  • Will indulge in demoralizing students by behaving in a hurtful manner
  • Will make hurtful personal remarks
  • Will indulge in public shaming of students

Temperamental (Low -> High)

  • Assertive
  • Rewarding
  • Aggressive/ Harsh punishment giver
  • Discipline loving

  • Will require absolute adherence to rules either by ordering or punishing
  • Will create a closed learning culture where creativity is not allowed
  • Will create an atmosphere of fear that will lead to increased absenteeism

Impulsiveness (Low -> High)

  • Pursuant
  • Impatient

  • Will not be patient towards the low performers or under performers

Thrill Seeking (Low -> High)

  • Traditional
  • Experimental

  • Will not follow teaching protocols or meet set standards

A Mission To Pledge Child Safety At Daycares

A collaborative effort to create a safe and nurturing environment for children at daycares

One of the largest and well known daycare chains in north India was looking for a tool that would help them keep out potential miscreants and help them achieve higher service standards by hiring people who possessed the right traits to manage and nurture child growth and wellbeing.

Problem

The daycare had been facing problems that spanned over three separate areas:

  • Child management: The daycare was unable to identify candidates who did not possess the right personality traits to manage children without acting impatient or straying from set daycare protocols.
  • Child safety: The employees hired were in most cases incapable of taking full charge of the child safety and required very close monitoring in order for them to perform their duties diligently.
  • Attrition: The company was forced to layoff employees that it deemed incompetent, after spending substantial resources to train them, as they continued to make mistakes that threatened the daycare's reputation.
Solution

The daycare decided to use personality assessments that specifically helped them remove employees who were not suited for taking care of children, such as candidates with anger issues , who had a hard time following instructions, and were not sensitive towards the needs of the children or requests of the parents. It also helped them hire skilled candidates who possessed the right disposition for child management and nurturing.

Impact

Their employee stability improved by 30% and their customer feedback rating improved by 25%.

FRAMEWORK FOR DAY CARE

Opportunism (Low -> High)

  • Dedicated
  • Multitasking

Resultant behavior

  • Will try to do multiple tasks at once leading to negligence and mistakes
  • Will indulge in profiteering through malpractices such as cross selling of services

Self-Obsession (Low -> High)

  • Easy going
  • Overprotective

  • Will be overprotective of certain children and practice favoritism
  • Will be vindictive towards some children and may treat them with unfair amount of harshness

Insensitivity (Low -> High)

  • Good at managing kids
  • Bad at managing kids

  • Incapable of understanding the child's need and meeting them
  • Will not be cognizant of critical instructions such as food allergies that may endanger the safety of the child

Temperamental (Low -> High)

  • Understanding
  • Overwhelmed

  • Will lose patience easily and tend to get violent if instructions are not followed
  • May harass or hurt the child

Impulsiveness (Low -> High)

  • Foresight
  • Focus
  • Careless

  • Will have difficulty following instructions and may put the child's safety at risk by foregoing instructions.

Thrill Seeking (Low -> High)

  • Rule follower
  • Novelty seeking

  • Will be reluctant to stick to daycare rules or protocols
  • Will try different ways to manage children that who will create more havoc mayhem

Redefining Financial Service Standards

Setting new standards for customer service and safety

One of India's biggest financial service provider used Dark Personality Assessment to hire employees who shared the company's ethics and value system of prioritizing honesty and integrity above everything else.

Problem

The company was facing majorly three problems:

  • Poor customer service
  • High cases of rogue employees indulging in malpractices
  • Bad work culture
Solution

The company made use of Dark Personality Assessment during hiring and leadership development to identify potential trouble causing candidates that may later turn out to be bad hires or rogue employees.

Impact

The bank was able to significantly improve its customer service and reduce loss that unruly employees caused.The service performance improvement led to reduction in customer conflict management time by 35%. In leadership positions, use of Dark Personality Assessment led to creation of an overall better work culture that further led to reduction in attrition by 15%.

FRAMEWORK FOR BANKS

Opportunism (Low -> High)

  • Ethical conduct
  • Greedy

Resultant behavior

  • Tendency to indulge in malpractices such as embezzlement or information theft

Self-Obsession (Low -> High)

  • Humble
  • Apathetic

  • Indifferent towards the customer's needs
  • Ruffled by criticism

Insensitivity (Low -> High)

  • Responsive
  • Uncaring

  • Unaffected by customer's discomfort
  • Unresponsive to complaints from customers as well as management

Temperamental (Low -> High)

  • Empathetic
  • Understanding
  • Rude

  • May harass customers
  • May use bad language
  • May threaten customers or scare them

Impulsiveness (Low -> High)

  • Precision loving
  • Negligent

  • Poor performer owing to mistakes performed on the job
  • Incapable of following instructions

Thrill Seeking (Low -> High)

  • Disciplined
  • Rule bender

  • May indulge in experimental practices that may cause loss of financial and non-financial assets
  • May cause data breach due to non-adherence to protocols

METHODOLOGY

In order to identify the most undesirable dark trait for different job roles and industries, we conducted a survey in which 1900 working people, from various industries and job roles, participated. Here we have shared some details about the respondents:

Respondents by Gender

57%
Male
43%
Female

Respondents by Job Role

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Mettl is one of the largest and fastest growing online talent measurement solutions provider globally, and has been at the forefront of online assessment technology since its inception in 2010. We enable organizations to build winning teams by taking credible people decision across two keys areas: Talent Acquisition and Development.

80+

COUNTRIES

2000+

CLIENTS

27+

INDUSTRIES

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