Getting on The Next Rung of the Ladder

Each month we feature a business who is supporting by offering opportunities and pre-career chats to our careers seekers. This month we are pleased to feature Sharon De Mascia, Occupational Psychologist and Director of Cognoscenti Business Psychologists Ltd. Sharon is the author of our guest blog below.

Are your personality strengths getting in the way of you getting on? Are you good at what you do but feel that you could do better? Would you like to get on in your career but just can’t seem to get to that next level?  Do you sometimes wish that you could have more impact at work or be better at managing those important relationships? There is a fine line between strengths and weaknesses when we look at personality. Our individual personalities provide us with strengths e.g. the extent to which we are friendly and outgoing, the extent to which we are conscientious, the extent to which we are keen to learn and develop These strengths help us to be successful at what we do and to get on well with others in our teams and organisations.

Sometimes though, our strengths can become risks and cause problems for us both in our home lives and in our working lives e.g. when we are bored or under pressure. When this happens, our usual behaviours change and our dark side takes over. Dark side behaviours can include e.g. Being aggressive towards people, not trusting people, being overly competitive, manipulating people, being too eager to please etc. These ‘Dark Side’ behaviours can damage good relationships and prevent you from achieving the success that you are looking for. The more extreme ‘Dark Side’ behaviours could even derail your career.


There is a suite of psychometric tools designed by Robert Hogan, which are based on 30+ years of research and socioanalytic theory. They enable people to see their personality characteristics as they will appear to colleagues and other people that you come into contact with, in the workplace. The Hogan tools also identify your ‘Dark Side’, i.e. how your strengths will manifest themselves when you are under pressure/bored etc.

The three Hogan tools are: The ‘Hogan Personality Inventory’ (HPI), The ‘Hogan Development Survey’ (HDS) and the ‘Motivation, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI). The ‘HPI’ informs you about your bright side, i.e. your personality characteristics when you are at your best. Perhaps more interestingly, the ‘HDS’ identifies your personality strengths that can become risks or potential derailers for you. The final tool the ‘MVPI’ describes your personality from the inside i.e. what your main goals and drivers are and the interests that determine what you strive to achieve. This tool also helps you to understand the types of: positions, jobs and environments where you are most likely to thrive and be at your most productive.

The Hogan tools enable you to recognise: what your personality strengths are, how to maximise them and how to make sure that your Dark Side doesn’t get in the way of you getting on in your chosen career.


Once you have identified your strengths and potential derailers, coaching can help you to produce a powerful personal development plan to facilitate your personal growth. With coaching support, you can then go on to achieve your career aspirations whether they are about getting to that next rung on the ladder or about becoming the next Bill Gates/Sheryl Sandburg


Cognoscenti is a business psychology consultancy that helps organisations get the best out of their people. They specialise in Wellbeing, Leadership, Organisational Development, Personality Profiling and Executive Coaching.

If you wish to have a pre-career chat with Sharon please register on



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