keystone trait in an employee Productivity

Most Important Keystone Trait in an Employee

keystone trait in an employee


I provided the NLP interview questions I use to find the right candidates. Despite understanding where they stand with each category there is still some difficulty into what to pay attention to. However we all know that there is something consistent in the top performers. What is that?

Upon reading this article: Best Interview questions, it enlighten me to a concept of Keystone Traits. Keystone traits is a term I borrow from Keystone Habits (The Power of Habits), Keystone Habits are habits that you build that changes other areas of your life. Thus a keystone trait is a trait to look for that will affect other traits.

That trait is personal accountability. There are 3 types employee attitudes:

  1. Low Personal Accountability: Rowboat Attitude (The unmotivated Employee)
    If the ‘Rowboat Attitude’ were to talk, he/she would say, “I will move along when I want to, but I won’t be steady and strong, and I won’t be reliable.”“In fact you might have to even get in there and row with me to help me get any where.”
  2. Ability with Low Personal Accountability: Sailboat Attitude (Personal Performance is Inconsistent)
    If the ‘Sailboat Attitude’ were to talk, he/she would share,“I’m competent. I can do the job, but I’m not motivated. I just don’t care about this job.”“But, when the wind is situated just right, I’ll get going and get some stuff done. But if there’s no wind, I’m not moving much.”
  3. Strong Personal Accountability: Steamboat Attitude (Person is capable, steady and moves continuously)
    If the Steamboat Attitude were to share, he/she would say, “I’m motivated and competent. I can even carry a heavier load if you need me to. I am strong and am able to bring others along.”“In calm seas or stormy seas my performance is consistent and reliable. I will work to become a Master of my Job, Master of Myself and Master of My Surroundings.”

Someone with Strong Personal Accountability will be good in other areas as well such as reliability, communication, teamwork and so on.

Six behavioural questions to determine the candidates Personal Accountability

Past behaviour is an indicator of future behaviour so it is better to ask about past experiences instead of what if’s. Someone with Strong Personal Accountability will have rich and extensive examples to these. They will also sound very passionate and proud.

    1. Tell me about a time when it was necessary to admit to others that you had made a mistake. How did you handle it?
    2. Give an example of a situation where others had made an error or mistake and you had to take the blame for their actions. How did you feel about doing that?
    3. What is the worst business decision you ever made? What made it the worst? Would knowing what you do now have helped you to avoid making that decision?
    4. Give me an example of a lesson you have learned from making a mistake. What did you do differently going forward?
    5. Give me an example of someone you know whose personal actions led to disastrous results. How answerable is that person for what happened? What advice would you give to that person?
    6. What person from history do you most admire for taking the blame for a failure? What did taking the blame do for that person?

It is very important for a person to realize their mistakes, only then will they be able to grow and improve and work well with others. Because there is so many things to learn and so many skills to


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