Personality traits that affect crisis performance

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Research shows certain traits can affect performance in a crisis, aiding selection for response teams

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30 September 2019 | 0

Business leaders are not necessarily the best choice to lead crisis response teams, according to research from Cubiks, the talent assessment and management company.

Having assessed the personalities of 82 crisis management team members, and measured performance in crisis simulations, Cubiks said it identified key characteristics that impact performance.

In a report on the research, Cubiks said the results suggested those willing to take the lead, while retaining a calm disposition, with a preference for variety and working together, are most likely to perform well in a crisis.

The results from this study, said Cubiks, indicate that personality assessment can make a useful contribution to identifying and selecting the individuals most suited to crisis management roles. It can also help to provide individuals with a more detailed level of feedback in order to understand their own reactions and behaviours under challenging circumstances, and to inform future training programmes.

Going against the old assumption of existing hierarchies automatically assuming the reins in crisis response, the research indicates that those who display the characteristics of extroversion, natural leadership, group orientation and critically, emotional stability, are the ones who will perform best in response to a crisis.

Other traits that were also found in the successful individuals were an ease in decision making, and the ability to work in an environment with a rapidly changing pace. Among the unexpected findings were that these individuals were also variety seeking, and able to cope with ambiguity and change, thus making them more effective during a crisis. Cubiks found that individuals who have a high need to follow rules and be supervised, may find managing a crisis more challenging. Those who are too analytical may also find emergency situations challenging. Overall too much conscientiousness could get in the way, the research found.

In the context of enterprise IT, crisis and incident response is only partly down to technology, and even the best systems need human intervention. The Cubiks research reaffirms that any solution relies on  people, process and technology.

Technology, and arguably process, can be easily tested, but people need not just training but exposure to hone their skills and test their reactions.

TechFire, in association with Sungard Availability Services, will explore these issues in an interactive session where you can test yourself to see how you would react when faced with a crisis scenario.

The interactive scenario will be led by Dr Sandra Bell, head of Resilience Consulting (Europe), Sungard AS, on Thursday 3 October, at the Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin, from 08:00.

Bringing decades of experience to topic, Dr Bell will create a scenario for attendees, informed by thousands of cases, to test skills and decision making allowing you to ask the right questions of your own incident response capability.

With a user interview with Frank Moran, IT service continuity manager, Bank of Ireland, detailing his experience in the industry, attendees will get a full picture of not just the systems and technology, but also the people element of crisis response.

The event is free, but registration is required.

www.techfire.ie

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