Warning signs: The Bachelorette could learn from behavior assessments

by | Jun 27, 2011 | Assessments, Blog, Employee Relations, Human Resources

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or info@integrityhr.com

Any reality TV junkie knows about the drama going down on this season of The Bachelorette. In case you don’t devote two hours every Monday to hoping Ashley finds true love, we’ll fill you in.

Before the show even started, Bachelorette Ashley Hebert got a message forewarning her that one of her suitors — Bentley Williams  — was coming on the show for the wrong reasons. Ashley decided to dismiss the advice and welcomed Bentley into her ABC sponsored mansion with open arms.

While Ashley fell hard for the divorced father from Salt Lake City, UT, he told the camera crew (and subsequently the millions of viewers at home) that he was just in the game to hurt Ashley and he hoped his hair looked good doing it.

To her face, Bentley told her she was beautiful. Behind her back, he called her an ugly duckling. How rude. As we, along with viewers all over, screamed at Ashley through the TV, it made us wonder how she didn’t see through his fake façade.

If we look at this show through the HR lens, we understand that being the Bachelorette is Ashley’s full-time job. Her work objective: to find the perfect husband. Ashley’s suitors, including the infamous Bentley, are wishful candidates hoping to fulfill the position by winning her over with their talents. But Ashley broke a basic hiring rule: She didn’t listen and ignored the warning signs.

With another candidate — William Holman — it took a while before Ashley picked up on the warning signs. In their first meeting, William told Ashley he was a 30-year-old who didn’t plan on growing up anytime soon. Hey Ashley, listen up, big red flag: He’s not husband material! But she kept him on for a few more episodes because he was easy on the eyes before realizing she wasn’t going to change his boyish ways and gave him the boot.

Ashley is slowly learning you can’t change someone’s personality. In a previous blog, we talked about finding the person with the right personality for the job which is exactly what Ashley is trying to do when looking for her perfect mate. We even touched on how to avoid bad hires like Bentley and William. But now, we want to explore just how important it is to know yourself and your employees.  Instead of trying to change your employee’s personalities, you need understand their behaviors and adapt your own behaviors.

Before you attempt to understand your employees’ personalities, you first need to get to know yourself. Knowing your personality helps you see how your behavior affects others and how you can adapt your behavior to build more positive relationships. Let’s take The Bachelorette’s behavior profile for example. Ashley clearly trusts people too easily. If Ashley realized this about herself, she would have been more cautious with this Bentley character (after all, she was warned he was up to no good but her overwhelming desire to see the good in people prevented her from heeding this warning).

Also if Ashley were aware of her behavior profile and her tendency to be too optimistic, she would have gotten rid of William at the first rose ceremony. Just like William, most employees will give you warning signs about their behaviors. You just need to listen.

  • Warning: If an employee tells you they need time to think through solutions and a quiet work atmosphere, it might not be the best idea to sit them next to a sales representative who talks on the phone all day.
  • Warning: If you are very touchy-feely like the Bachelorette Ashley, you need to take into consideration that your employees might need their space and think twice about hovering in their cubicle.
  • Warning: If your co-worker likes conversations to get straight to the point, don’t leave a 10-minute voicemail and be surprised when he or she deletes it after about 30 seconds.

To succeed, whether in our job or in finding our soul mate on a reality show, we need to listen and adapt. Knowing how to read people’s personalities and working styles enables you to communicate more successfully. With the information lines open, the office atmosphere will improve and everyone will benefit.  It’s simple: When people feel comfortable, they perform their tasks better.

The Bachelorette teaches us that we need to be aware of our behavior profile so we don’t end up like Ashley and fall for a Bentley or William. Hey, maybe not all reality TV is worthless after all.

Just maybe.

Want to learn more about your behavior profile? We offer a number of assessments to help improve the communication within your company.

If you need one of our professionals to explain behavior profiles or show you how to use them in your office, do not hesitate to contact us.

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