Do you know your dark sides? – Dutiful

Coaching the Dutiful scale
The dark sides of personality is measured in the Hogan Development Survey. The dark side of personality Dutiful

The Hogan Dutiful scale is one of the eleven scales in the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), measuring the dark side of personality.

The Dutiful scale measures an individual’s tendency to avoid decision-making and comply with authority. While this trait can have some positive outcomes, such as being seen as a good and compliant organisational citizen, it can also have negative consequences, such as losing staff loyalty and respect.

While the Dutiful scale may identify some shortcomings, it’s also important to recognise your strengths. Individuals who score highly on Dutifulness are often very loyal and compliant, which can be valuable traits in a leader. However, it’s essential to avoid sacrificing staff loyalty and respect by failing to protect them from abusive superiors.

The scale can be linked to an individual’s upbringing, where they may have learned to rely on authority figures and avoid the unknown. However, by recognising these tendencies and working to overcome them, individuals can become more confident and effective leaders.

If you or someone you’re coaching has been identified as having a derailer in the form of Dutifulness, several strategies can be used to overcome this tendency and become a more effective leader:

First – Communicate clearly

It is essential to communicate effectively with your boss and keep them informed about relevant problems and decisions. However, you should also avoid checking with others before making decisions, as this can lead to a lack of confidence in your own abilities.

Second – Empower Subordinates

Start supporting your subordinates in their decisions, especially when they are the ones most affected. By doing this, you can build trust and demonstrate your commitment to the team. You can also avoid agreeing for the sake of agreeing and instead gather information and opinions before making decisions. This can help you to become more confident and assertive in your decision-making process.

Third – Focus on Problem Resolution

When addressing challenges, shift your focus from individuals to the problems at hand. Adopting an objective stance helps in problem-solving and prevents unnecessary conflicts. By separating the issue from the person, you promote a constructive work environment and enhance your ability to address challenges with clarity and impartiality.

Fourth – Assert Your Values

Recognise the importance of standing up for your beliefs and values. Select your battles wisely, emphasising issues that align with your principles. This strategic approach not only showcases your commitment to your values but also reinforces your assertiveness in decision-making. By carefully choosing when to advocate for your beliefs, you create a more impactful and authentic leadership style.


If you or someone you’re coaching has been identified as having a derailer in the form of Dutifulness, there are several strategies that can be used to overcome this tendency and become a more effective leader. By communicating effectively, supporting your subordinates, avoiding agreement for the sake of agreement, focusing on the problem, and standing up for what you believe in, you can become a confident and assertive leader while still retaining your valuable traits of loyalty and compliance.


Whether you’re interested in gaining further insights into your hidden dark sides or require guidance on enhancing your coaching strategies, we’re here to help. Feel free to connect with us here at your convenience.

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