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The secrets of the 'high-potential' personality

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20180508-the-secrets-of-the-high-potential-personality

bbc.com

The secrets of the 'high-potential' personality
We're bidding farewell to 2018 with some of BBC Capital's greatest hits from over the last year. With these compelling stories, indispensable tips and expert insight, you'll be ready to make 2019 the best it can be. Are you curious, conscientious and competitive?

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Testing for workplace personality

Workplace personality tests are used to sort people according to various thinking styles, such as into/extroversion and thinking/feeling.

Many psychologists feel that the theory behind the different categories fails to predict performance or to find high-performing candidates. Some critics even claim that it is a pseudoscience.

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Traits and workplace success

Recently, six traits were identified that are consistently linked to workplace success: Conscientiousness, adjustment, ambiguity acceptance, curiosity, courage, and competitiveness.

Each trait may have drawbacks at extremes. The relative importance of each trait will be determined by the job you are doing. Knowing the traits can also aid in personal development so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses and the ways you may account for them.

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Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness

Conscientious people are committed to plans and ensure they carry them out accurately. They consider the wisdom of their decisions for the long-term.

They are essential for strategic planning but can be too rigid.

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Adjustment

Adjustment

People with high adjustment can cope well with anxieties under pressure. Stress doesn't negatively influence their behavior and decision-making.

People with low scores on this scale can suffer from poor performance at work, but reframing a stressful situation as a potential for growth can help.

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Ambiguity acceptance

Ambiguity acceptance

People with a high tolerance for ambiguity can take in many viewpoints before coming to a decision. They find it easier to react to changes and to cope with complex problems.

People with a low ambiguity tolerance may be dictatorial, but this can be useful when a more ordered approach is needed.

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Curiosity

Curiosity

People with this trait are more creative and flexible and learn more easily. 

But, in excess, curiosity may lead to moving from project to project without completing any of them.

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Risk approach (or courage)

Risk approach (or courage)

People with this trait prefer to avoid potentially unpleasant confrontations.

Dealing with difficult situations in the face of opposition is critical for management positions.

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Competitiveness

Competitiveness

Competitiveness can be a powerful motivation that leads you to go the extra mile.

At worst, it can lead to unhealthy jealousy of others. 

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The Dark Side Of Self Control

The Dark Side Of Self Control

Agreeable, organized individuals seem to have a suppressed, dark side in their personality.

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Self Control And Moral Character

People with high levels of self-control are generally seen to be healthy, well-rounded individuals who are ideally less likely to act violently or aggressively.

New research shows that this behaviour pattern may be to gain acceptance and tread the social norms as a means to one’s end, being selfish and self-centred in private.

High Self-Control

People with high self-control have a surprising behavioural trait of being shrewd and cruel according to various studies:

  1. They are more likely to cover up an anti-social act to avoid getting caught, like for dangerous driving.
  2. They ended up being keener to kill hundreds of bugs in a grinder, without any feeling of remorse.
  3. They electrocuted their opponents in a TV game to a much higher degree than others, not knowing that the electrocution is being feigned by the contestant.

But more research needs to be done before we slot someone’s moral values and behavioural traits into predictable patterns.

The era of problem-solving generalists

The era of problem-solving generalists

From an era of specialized workers having expertise in one particular activity, the professional world has slowly moved towards problem-solving generalists. Workers are asked to don differe...

The pursuit of mastery

Mastery, once a sought-after attribute, is falling out of favour, according to the 2016 World Economic Forum report, and is slowly clearing the field for employees who can:

  • Have a diverse set of skills.
  • Can display the mental agility to switch between tasks.
  • Are able to pivot towards a new problem or activity.
  • Can take on a variety of roles at a short notice.

Expertise decline consequences

With the value of true expertise in serious decline, and the economy evolving towards a different set of requirements from employees, the impact on college education, career paths, worker safety, employability and even the nature of work is going to be profound.

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Personality Psychology: Important Terminology

Personality Psychology: Important Terminology
  • Classical conditioning: A behavioural technique where a natural stimulus is paired with a previously neutral stimulus. The previously neutral stimulus eventually cause the r...

Defining Personality

While we often talk about personality, psychologists disagree on what exactly constitutes personality.

Personality is then broadly defined as the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that originate within the person and make a person unique. It is what makes you, you.

Key Characteristics of Personality

  • Personality is organized and consistent.
  • Personality is generally stable, but the environment can influence it. A shy personality in social situations might take charge and be more outspoken in an emergency.
  • Personality causes behaviours to happen. You react to your environment based on your personality.