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The secrets of the 'high-potential' personality

bbc.com

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...

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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 jo...

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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

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 ...

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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 nee...

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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)

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 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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How do we define success? There are many different tactics for how to be successful in life, but the strategy that works best for you may depend on your view of success itself. There may not be a perfect combination of ingredients that can guarantee success, but there are some basic steps you can follow that can improve your chances of being successful in life, love, work, or whatever is important to you.

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