MINNEAPOLIS, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent Pulse on Leaders studies using data collected by PDI Ninth House and analyzed by University of Minnesota researchers have identified several leadership behaviors that increase the potential for career derailment — the risk of being demoted, fired or performing below the level of expected achievement.
One of the studies found that leaders who rated their skills significantly higher than ratings provided by their bosses are more than six times more likely to derail than those who display signs of being more "in touch" with their actual work performance.
In another study, researchers found that those leaders identified by their direct managers as most likely to derail exhibited behaviors that caused their managers to perceive them as lacking in both self-awareness and tact, resulting in damaged workplace relationships.
"Some of today's leaders struggle to differentiate themselves from their colleagues, and many are also very concerned about their managers recognizing their performance," said Lou Quast, vice president and executive consultant at PDI Ninth House, and associate chair of the University of Minnesota's department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the College of Education and Human Development. "In some cases, this quest for recognition leads to a lack of willingness to recognize and learn from one's own weaknesses, and a highly competitive atmosphere, which damages working relationships with colleagues and upper management – the same critical relationships that can help them reach their career goals. Tactics such as regular formal feedback and learning to address concerns without damaging relationships are great ways to help change their approach and attain long-term success."
About the Studies
In both studies, University of Minnesota researchers analyzed data collected from PDI Ninth House's PROFILOR® 360-degree evaluation tool.
In the first study, researchers looked at ratings of more than 39,000 global leaders. They compared the leaders' ratings of their own performance with those given by their direct managers. Those considered to be in touch with their self-assessments — meaning their ratings closely matched those of their direct managers — were at little risk of derailment, while strong self-promoters were more than six times (629 percent) as likely to derail as the in-touch group. In contrast to self-promoters, those considered to be strong self-deprecators are not more likely to derail than the "in-touch" group, and may in fact be less likely to derail.
Behaviors that Indicate Potential Derailment
In the second study, researchers analyzed boss evaluations of 14,000 U.S. leaders. The study examined how direct managers ranked their employees on 135 behaviors representing 24 core competencies. Those leaders considered by their direct managers most likely to derail received failing scores on the following behaviors:
- Demonstrates awareness of own strengths and weaknesses
- Creates an environment where people work their best
- Expresses disagreement tactfully and sensitively
- Has the confidence and trust of others
- Develops effective working relationships with higher management
- Develops effective relationships with peers
"The key to a successful career requires being smart and proficient on the job, as well as having the ability to relate to the people around you," Quast said. "And, as both studies show, success depends on a realistic view of one's own strengths and weaknesses. We suggest that managers give these leaders candid, constructive feedback on where issues exist, and how to improve. Managers (or HR professionals) noting shortfalls in any of these specific behaviors should take the initiative to intervene: coach early and often. Left unchecked, the behaviors can lead to career failure. Positive changes can only occur when leaders receive that feedback and act on it. In addition, coaches from PDI Ninth House can help these leaders cultivate the skills they need to succeed."
Look for future data releases from the PDI Pulse on Leaders.
The PDI Pulse on Leaders analyzes different workplace questions on a regular basis and can be used as a source for gaining insight on the inner values of talent management and leadership development.
About PDI Ninth House:
PDI Ninth House is the world's premier global leadership solutions company. For more than four decades, we have provided integrated assessment, development, and coaching solutions around critical leadership and business challenges that most directly impact each leader's success and the success of their organization.
For more information, contact PDI Ninth House at 1.612.337.3644 (in the U.S. 1.800.633.4410) or visit its website at www.pdininthhouse.com.
SOURCE PDI Ninth House