Healthcare Informatics and Technology Investors
Healthcare Informatics and Technology Investors


About Team Role Theory

History & Research

Reliability & Validity

Dr. Meredith Belbin

Behavior vs. Personality



Managing Yourself: Can You Deal with Failure?

B. Dattner and R. Hogan; Harvard Business Review; April 2011

In his excellent 1950 film, Rashomon, the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa describes the account of a rape and homicide 4 times, coming from the perspectives of 4 characters. The message is crystal clear: Diverse individuals can observe the exact same activities in dramatically different ways.

In the workplace this occurrence is especially apparent when it comes to underperformance and failure. An end result that an employee regards as acceptable may be seen by his boss as completely unacceptable. When a task is an unequivocal washout, co-workers differ about the reasons why. These types of responses, and their effect on work place relationships, frequently turn out to be more difficult than the original circumstance. As a result, how individuals react to unfavorable comments is of great significance to managers and businesses and is a significant determinant of professional achievement.

Consider the case of a pharmaceutical firm trying to get the Food and Drug Administration authorization for a new use of an established drug. (A few particulars have been changed to safeguard client privacy.) Wendy, a gifted researcher, was placed in charge of the large-scale information analysis required to submit an application. She thought about several strategies and suggested the one she believed best balanced the need for accuracy and comprehensiveness with the imperative to finish the work swiftly and on budget. Her boss, George-the company’s main statistician-agreed with the strategy, and together they presented it to the vice president of healthcare affairs, Don. While Don would have preferred a much more comprehensive technique, he recognized that it would be more expensive, and he signed off on the idea.

Following months of efforts the analysis failed to demonstrate the efficacy of the drug for the new usage, and the request to the Food and Drug Administration had to be scrapped. Responses varied. Don blamed the statistics division, and specifically George, for recommending the method it had used. George did not think that he and his team were at fault, and he ended up being furious with Don for enabling financial challenges to influence their choice in the first place. The pair of men struggled to work jointly. Wendy, meanwhile, felt she had personally fallen short and began having difficulties focusing on her other projects.

How could three individuals possess such different views of the exact same scenario?

A Matter of Type

Personality psychology offers a research-based behaviour scientific research platform for identifying and analyzing how people respond to failing and allocate fault. Using data on several hundred thousand managers from every industry sector, we have identified eleven character types likely to have dysfunctional responses to failure. For example, there is the Distrustful sort, who is very smart about people and workplace politics but excessively sensitive to critique and always on the hunt for betrayal; the Daring sort, who thinks in grandiose terminology, is frequently in error but never in doubt, and refuses to acknowledge his errors, which then snowball; and the Diligent type, who is hardworking and detail oriented, with very high standards for herself and other people, but additionally a micromanaging control freak who infantilizes and alienates subordinates. These varieties represent roughly 70% of the U.S. population.

Recognize Your Category

The 11 personalities below have dysfunctional reactions to blame. These types make up roughly 70% of the U.S. populace.

Blames Other People


Excitable: “Volatile Guardian”

Overreacts to modest errors

Establishes mistakes prematurely

Cautious: “Sensitive Retirer”

Is expecting disappointment to happen

Is too defensive to learn as a result of comments

Skeptical: “Wary Watcher”

Is convinced he will be unfairly blamed

Sees solely criticism in helpful suggestions

Easygoing: “Rationalizing Blamer”

Looks for and offers up justifications

Often blames whoever allocated the task

Denies Responsibility


Bold: “Big Person on Campus”

Becomes upset or distressed when blamed

Ingratiates herself with her superiors in the anticipation of steering clear of fault

Mischievous: “High-Wire Walker”

Denies his role in failing; might deny that failure has even occurred

Distorts information to avoid fault

Reserved: “Indifferent Daydreamer”

Disregards possibly helpful suggestions

Seems not to care about failure or blame

Vibrant: “Thespian”

Is expecting forgiveness for any and all problems

Would rather be held accountable than ignored

Creative: “Aggressive Daydreamer”

Provides complicated reasons when it comes to failures

Seems anxious about being blamed in the future but indifferent in the present

Blames Oneself

Intropunitive Diligent: “Micromanager”

Criticizes himself for even minor errors

Can be so concerned about failing that he may suffer “analysis paralysis”

Dutiful: “Martyr”

Accepts a lot more blame than she should get in order to sustain career relationships

Blames herself so harshly that others generally refrain from criticizing her