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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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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

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.

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IDEAS

One personality model survived the 20th century. It's called the Big 5 Personality Traits (5-Factor Model). It was developed in 1961 and since have been developed into its modern form.

The Big 5 model takes a holistic approach by compiling every word that could be considered a personality trait and creating simple questions about them. Based on how people answered initial surveys, researchers used statistical methods to group traits that seemed to go together.

A trait is a stable characteristic or "blueprint" that causes specific behavioural patterns.

  • The three dimensions of personality: extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism.
  • Later researchers suggested five dimensions of personality (known as the Big 5 theory): openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.