Personality Profile for Politicians Definitely Sounds Like a Good Idea
A personality profile can tell a lot about a person in the long run. And, in fact, all Fortune 100 companies screen out candidates for any executive position. This is because they know that a bad CEO, or manager, even though he might not look it at first, can do tremendous damage to a company. They can end up losing the company millions.
The same rules apply to any government. This is because we can think of a government as the management branch of a big company – which is the country itself. And if the “CEO” or any other “top manager” has a personality profile that is sub-par, then the whole country could suffer losses well in the billions of dollars, or even worse.
This is Peter Wilson, the Chairman of the Australian Human Resources Institute, thinks should be done for all political candidates in Australia. He believes that all of them should have a personality profile which can be assessed, exactly as the most profitable companies in the world do. Some parties in the country seem to welcome the idea, but there is still a long way before a personality profile for each politician will become a reality.
“The parties are employers. They hire these people and it would be valuable for the parties to know more about their candidates,” Mr Wilson said. “That collateral damage is a very positive reason why caucuses and parties would benefit from understanding the psychology and personality of who they have as candidates,” he goes on to say.
During one such personality profile test, psychologists determine the participant’s communication skills, critical thinking, people skills, their motivation and leadership capabilities, as well as their resilience and ability to cope and deal with conflicts and all sorts of other stressful situations.
“The risk you run at the moment, without psychological assessment, is that someone who gives a great speech to the pre-selection committee, and has done a few months wining and dining the right people may give a misleading presentation,” says Associate professor Denise Jepsen, an organisational psychologist at Macquarie University.
The before mentioned criteria through which any management-level employee has to go through at any top tier company are some things that come about through years of experience in that field or those kinds of situations.
In Australia, for instance, about half of all the candidates in recent elections did not have any other job outside of politics. This begs the question if these people are competent enough to be a Minister of Education, for instance. They may know the workings of politics around that position, but they may lack several other criteria that will make that person a prime choice for that position. The opposite also applies. Similarly, having a university degree and holding a political party position, doesn’t necessarily mean that the candidate is a successful leader.
The UK, it seems, has actually made some progress in this direction. Back in 2005, the Conservative Party made use of organisational psychologists in order to set up the Parliamentary Assessment Board. This assessment centre which screens candidates is still in operation today.
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