Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: High Exhibition

Exhibition: The desire to be the center of attention. 

Are you someone who likes to be center stage? Does attention from other people give you energy? If so, you may be a high scorer in exhibition. Let’s take a look at the behavioral traits of someone with a high score in exhibition and what you can do to best encourage their growth. 

High Exhibition

Meet Kyle. Kyle likes to be the center of attention and is always doing something to stand out, whether it be wearing a loud outfit or telling animated stories in the office-he always wants to be seen. He loves when people recognize him or give him compliments in public and he is always striving to receive this kind of recognition. Whether it be getting a coffee in the break room or giving a presentation, Kyle is always the life of the party and isn’t afraid to be center stage.

Kyle is a good example of someone who likely has a high exhibition score. He:

  • Enjoys and thrives in the limelight
  • Is motivated by public recognition, control and being center stage
  • Gets energy from being center stage
  • Enjoys the attention and affection of others
  • Is animated, charismatic, entertaining and stimulating
  • Can sometimes be forceful and insistent on winning attention

Tips for Managing High Scorers

Although high scorers in exhibition can be charismatic, powerful leaders in the workplace, sometimes their tendency to outshine other less performative employees can be problematic. If you have a workplace “where politics is the predominant culture” and employees are “always trying to figure out where they are in the hierarchy,” says UPenn clinical professor of psychiatry, Jody Foster, you should be on the lookout for high scorers in exhibition. Because high scorers in Exhibition tend to be forceful, controlling and insistent on winning attention, they can sometimes be perceived as manipulative and coercive to their low exhibition counterparts, creating an imbalance of power between employees.

Here are some tips for managing someone with a high exhibition score: 

  • Encourage them to appreciate and respect the rights of others and explain the specific reasons why involvement with others is important and how it will improve results.
  • Encourage them to listen more than they speak, soliciting the opinions of others and garnering their support.
  • Since high scorers in exhibition are motivated by attention, provide public recognition for accomplishments – but not too much!
  • High scorers in exhibition can sometimes be sensitive to criticism. If you want to keep them on and want them to be productive, you have to frame things in terms of how it might serve them.
  • Respond quickly to requests and invitations and avoid ignoring a high scorer in exhibition.
  • Power motivates the high scorer in exhibition. Be aware of this tendency, especially if it’s combined with a High Dominance or Aggression score and direct them positively by encouraging them to lead volunteer groups or other beneficial community activities. 
  • Avoid putting a high scorer in exhibition in positions or situations where they can take credit for other people’s work or take advantage of shy employees.

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