Look Under The Hood Hiring

Assess For Objectivity

The personality trait of objectivity (OJ) is described as one’s natural way of forming beliefs and perceptions about relationships, people, and circumstances.  And that natural way is based on facts or feelings?  As an employer or team leader, you would be wise to assess for it because top functioning teams have a blend of both and they understand both.  People who are high on objectivity see the world, and formulate their beliefs based on the facts.   People who are low on objectivity rely on intuition.  They see the world, and formulate their beliefs based on their feelings and that polar opposite approach has great value when understood, but offers instant disconnect when not understood.

Formulating beliefs based on facts is quite valuable in that these people tend to not get derailed by drama.  After all there may be no facts to suggest they should.  These people are efficient, stay focused on the goal, and only see a need to address issues when the facts tell them to.  In fact, this personality is often turned off by the “feel” word.  The downside of this personality is that not everything is “factualizable”.  They tend to miss the nuances that low objectivity people pick up on like the level of trust or morale on a team.  We have seen very qualified people quit high OJ bosses because they do not feel appreciated, even though factually they are very well taken care of.

Formulating beliefs based on feelings is valuable because feelings can be very inspirational and can develop very strong connections.  This person can be relied on to pick up on the pulse of a meeting or sense how well a presentation landed in the absence of facts.  The downside to low OJ is this person can add a feeling interpretation to many words and actions that derail them.  It is not uncommon for very low OJ personalities to close their door and cry every now and then.  They can shut down by unnecessarily adding a feeling to something somebody else said or didn’t say.  They can make up interpretations that go several layers deep both good and bad.

Objectivity is very easy to fake in an interview.  People both high and low can convey a belief system they feel is necessary to get the job.  Teams function with greater performance when people relate on both an intuitive and factual level.  But it requires understanding of one’s differences.  If objectivity does reveal itself in an interview, it is difficult to detect the extremes so to hire the right person for the job and the culture, always use a good normative assessment to asses for objectivity.