SOURCE: Hogan Assessment Systems

Hogan Assessment Systems

March 25, 2013 08:30 ET

New Research From Hogan Assessments Explores Impact of High Skepticism on Job Performance

Company Highlights How Too Much Skepticism Causes Individuals to Derail, Affects Ability to Build Relationships

TULSA, OK--(Marketwire - Mar 25, 2013) - Most people have experienced some form of office politics, leading them to be more aware of their colleagues' actions and motives. Although a healthy dose of skepticism can be good, too much can have a negative impact on an individual's career, preventing them from making the personal connections that can help them advance in their companies.

In its latest research, Hogan Assessment Systems explores the role skepticism, measured by the Hogan Development Survey, plays in workplace performance. According to the research, individuals who score high on the HDS Skeptical scale are, at their best, perceived as bright, proficient in detecting patterns in others' behaviors and able to defend their views about others' intentions with great skill and conviction.

When individuals are under intense stress or pressure, however, these tendencies can become overused and damage their ability to form and maintain relationships with others. In such situations, they can become cynical and suspicious and more alert to signs of betrayal in their friends, family members, co-workers and employers. Due to their tendency to doubt the sincerity and motives of those who try to offer developmental feedback, managing highly skeptical employees can be particularly challenging.

The new research offers practical strategies for managing individuals with high skepticism, including:

  • Candor and transparency are particularly important to ensure the individual develops the trust required for effective intervention.
  • Highly skeptical employees benefit from feedback that encourages greater balance in their perceptions of others and a willingness to consider multiple motives for others' behavior.
  • They should be encouraged to question their assumptions that others deliberately attempt to demean, frustrate or exploit them, and to risk confiding in others to prove wrong their belief that colleagues will use this information against them.
  • These individuals can benefit from being taught how to address those situations in which they were misunderstood or criticized inappropriately with skills other than hostility and combativeness.

"Although a certain degree of skepticism is good, too much can hamper an individual's ability to build relationships and get ahead," said Dr. Jeff Foster, director of the Hogan Research Division. "However, with the strategic self-awareness to understand how their behavior impacts their performance, skeptical individuals can counteract their impulse to mistrust people and use their high level of perception in a more positive and productive manner."

Hogan's new research is available for download at:

About Hogan Assessment Systems
With more than 30 years of experience, Hogan is the global leader in providing comprehensive, research-based personality assessment and consulting. Grounded in decades of science, Hogan helps businesses dramatically reduce turnover and increase productivity by hiring the right people, developing key talent and evaluating leadership potential.