Privateness: The degree of disclosure in the workplace
The privateness trait measures to what extent a person is likely to speak openly and unguarded or prefers to be more discreet and non-disclosing on information. The privateness trait has a range which includes two opposite poles namely Forthright and Diplomatic. Let’s examine both poles to better understand how we assess this specific trait.
Forthright: Individuals who are upfront, self-revealing and transparent about their thoughts, needs and intentions. In the workplace, they tend to express their opinions, are not shy about stating their opinions, and say what they mean. They tend to have a natural warmth for people and a genuine emotional expressiveness.
Common Descriptors: genuine, open, honest, unpretentious, involved, emotionally involved
Diplomatic: Individuals who strategically employ their social and diplomatic skills to achieve their goals, whether these goals are altruistic or self-serving. They are attentive to good manners and they know which is an appropriate behavior for each occasion. They know how to give a good impression to others by avoiding giving offense.
Common Descriptors: private, discreet, non-disclosing, polished, worldly, astute, diplomatic, emotionally detached
Privateness Interview Guide
The interview questions listed below can draw revealing answers about the degree of how likely is for a candidate to feel comfortable disclosing information or his/her opinion and get you on your way to finding whether employees are forthright or diplomatic in the workplace.
Note: There is no right or wrong answer, the answer you are seeking is based on what best fits the role and your company culture.
Top 2 questions and expected answers for each end of the scale
1. Describe a situation where you were in disagreement with a colleague regarding the direction to take in a specific project. How did you go about expressing your opinion? How was the disagreement communicated?
Forthright: Individuals who score closer towards the forthright end of the scale are most likely to answer that they openly and directy expressed their thoughts for the direction of the project. They are not necessarily thinking about a more strategic and tactical way to approach the disagreement and they are likely to suggest that they thoroughly explained their way of reasoning revealing all the details and argumentation on why they have this view.
Diplomatic: Individuals who score closer towards the diplomatic end of the scale are most likely to answer that they felt that expressing their genuine opinion would not be of benefit to the successful completion of the project. Given that they are interested in making a good impression they would not be upfront and would try to find an alternative way to influence the direction of the project and serve their interests.
2. Tell me about a time when you received feedback on your performance, and you disagreed with the feedback. How did you handle the situation?
Forthright: Individuals who score closer towards the forthright end of the scale are most likely to answer that they openly expressed their disagreement with the feedback they received and they initiated a thorough conversation on the reasons why the evaluation was not what they expected. Also, they are likely to openly express their personal feelings on the matter and how this affected them.
Diplomatic: Individuals who score closer towards the diplomatic end of the scale are most likely to answer that they would not express their disagreement openly and directly as this might cause them to engage in a counterproductive confrontation. They are likely to propose that they would never share their personal feelings as they avoid making any moves that would negatively affect their image. They would probably decide to keep their thoughts private and find an alternative way to resolve this.
3. Tell me about a work incident when you were upfront with your manager regarding a project deadline, despite a potential risk or downside, regarding your forthrightness.
4. Tell me about a time when you spoke up within a situation that was unfavorable to you.
5. Have you ever felt like you were not qualified for a job assigned to you?
6. We can sometimes recognize a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give an example of how you acted to prevent a larger problem from occurring.