We all perceive risk differently. When you hear the words ‘bungee jumping’, what’s your immediate reaction? Do your fingertips and the soles of your feet start tingling with fear, or do you shout “hold my beer” and rush to the nearest 2000 metre drop?
I know to which category I belong.
The sensible one.
This is my thinking: I’m already on the ground. Why should I pay good money to throw myself into oblivion, be utterly terrified, and probably cry in public just to get back down to the same piece of earth?
Don’t get me wrong; I do admire the brave and fearless people who precariously scale sheer rockfaces, fling themselves out of planes armed only with a handkerchief, and saunter across the South Pole without a phone.
However, to me this just seems pointless. What’s the use of going up in an aeroplane unless it’s to actually go somewhere?
What if you are a natural risk-taker?
The natural risk-takers among us don’t think like that. If only for a moment, they have to challenge death in order to feel gloriously alive. The risk is the entire point. Extreme risk-takers need to spice up otherwise seemingly uneventful lives with a new daring challenge or some exposure to danger.
They might spend most of their time in a safe, middle class job. How else could they afford the fee of climbing the North Face? Inevitably, the essence of their very being will drive them to seek other thrills of living life close to the edge, to throw caution and themselves to the wind.
I suspect that in a world where safety has almost become the new religion and “stay safe” is a farewell greeting, certain character types are likely to seek out ways to satisfy their need to take risks. Once a risk-taker, always a risk-taker.
On the other hand, many of the same people would rather face extreme physical danger than talk to a stranger in a foreign language. For them, the idea of gnawing off their own arm would be preferable to standing up and giving a speech in front of a small group of people. Speaking in public? While being looked at – by people? No, thank you! That’s just too risky.
Some of my clients think nothing of running solo through the Gobi Desert, but become nervous wrecks before an important meeting or presentation. I often ask them why, and what they think is the worst thing that could happen.
“I will cease to exist”, they answer simply – and they are only half joking. The fear they feel when they think about this scenario is the same fear that I feel approaching the edge of a rooftop forty floors up.
The fear is real. It is the perception of risk that counts and sets us apart.
What core behaviours does your business need?
In business, a willingness and ability to take risks – in a calculated way – is an important leadership trait. At the same time, an accountant taking undue risks with balancing the books or a pharmaceutical scientist gambling with some of the ingredients could prove fatal.
If your business needs risk-takers, you have to be sure that the person you are employing will naturally be comfortable with that part of the job description. On the other hand, you might want to avoid unwittingly recruiting someone who could gamble with your business assets, or indeed a person for whom the most innocent interaction with customers feels harder than climbing Mount Everest.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a crystal ball to help you find the right person for the job, to avoid costly hiring mistakes, and save time?
The PI Behavioral AssessmentTM comes close. It is scientifically-validated and has been tried and trusted by businesses for over seventy years.
The PI Behavioral Assessment
The assessment will tell you with surprising accuracy who will be naturally comfortable with taking calculated – or uncalculated – risks, who will be a diligent employee, and whose core behavioural drives and motivations might make them more suitable to becoming a trapeze artist in the circus.
Would you like to find out more? Why not request a no-obligation demo including a free half-hour feedback with one of our expert PI Consultants to experience the profound insights that the PI Behavioral Assessment can bring into your natural behavioural drives and needs?