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The secrets of the 'high-potential' personality

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The secrets of the 'high-potential' personality

The secrets of the 'high-potential' personality

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

bbc.com

8

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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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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.

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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:

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  • Can take on a variety of roles at a short notice.
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The dark traits of personality

We all know people who consistently display ethically, morally and socially unreasonable behavior. Personality psychologists refer to these characteristics as "dark traits."

Researchers emphasize that these dark traits are related to each other, so they suggest that a D-factor exists. This is defined as the basic tendency to maximize one's own goal at the expense of others, and believing that one's malicious behaviors are justified.

Scoring high on the Dark factor
  • Those who score high on the D-factor aren't always uncooperative, as they can be very strategic in choosing when to cooperate.
  • Those scoring high on the D-factor will not be motivated to help others in need without it benefiting themselves.

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Lower accountability

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High tolerance to frustration

People with high frustration tolerances are the ones that generally succeed at remote work. And you can take steps to raise your frustration tolerance and become more conscientious by working on your impulsivity.

A non-conscientious person will find another activity (a distraction most likely) the moment something challenging or uncomfortable comes up. They have to be more conscious to stay in the moment: count to five or take five deep breaths, for example.

A lack of boundaries

When work and personal activities are occurring in the same space, there are no cues for you to behave the way you do at work while you are outside your physical office.

Those who work well from home create boundaries in a work-life world without them. Then, once these parameters are established, people who commit fewer ‘boundary violations’ are better off.

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The light side of human nature
The light side of human nature

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The dark triad of personality

The dark triad of personality consists of narcissism (self-importance), Machiavellianism (strategic exploitation and deceit), and psychopathy (callousness and cynicism).

We are all at least a little bit narcissistic, Machiavellian and psychopathic.

The average person displays both triads

The light triad is not simply the opposite of the dark triad. There is a little bit of light and dark in each of us.

A study revealed that the average person is leaning more toward the light triad than the dark in their everyday patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Extreme malevolence is rare in the general population.

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The big 5 personality characteristics
  • Extroversion
  • Agreebleness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Openness to experience
  • Emotional stability 

These traits reflect...

Extroversion

It reflects the degree to which people like to be the center of attention in social situations. 

Extroverts want that spotlight shown on them, while introverts shun the spotlight (though they typically have many friends and like engaging in smaller interactions).

Agreeableness

It reflects how much people want others to like them and have difficulty delivering bad news, giving criticism, and standing up for themselves to others.

People with agreeable personalities really want others to like them, while disagreeable people do not necessarily care whether others like them.

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The Big Five
It represents the 5 personality traits psychologists use today:
  • Openness to experiences
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
Openness to Experience

It describes people who enjoy the arts and new experiences. Possible facets:

  • Fantasy: they have a vivid imagination
  • Aesthetics: they believe in the importance of art
  • Feelings: They experience emotions intensely
  • Actions: They prefer variety to routine
  • Ideas: they like complex problems
  • Values: they tend to vote for liberals.
Conscientiousness

People that score high on this are organized, methodical and tend to keep going and going. Possible facets:

  • Competence: they complete tasks successfully
  • Order: they like order
  • Dutifulness: the follow the rules
  • Achievement-striving: they work hard
  • Self-discipline: they get chores done right away
  • Deliberation: they avoid mistakes.

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Precrastination
Precrastination

In our quest to beat procrastination, is it possible to go too far. Precrastination is a tendency to rush too quickly into the pending tasks, and can be a wasteful mental effort towards wha...

Reasons for Precrastination

The work in front of us seems urgent, even though it may not be important, and we are instinctively wired to complete it. If something is immediately available to us, we instinctively go for it.

Short-term tasks that seemingly would take five minutes to complete are done first. We also have an eagerness to please and conscientiousness (our desire to do our duties thoroughly) that make us precrastinators.

Don't Do Everything

Chronic Precrastinators must understand that it is ok to ‘not’ do trivial things right away and to use that mental energy and willpower to work on something substantial and important.

In today’s world, it should be okay to slow down, to be deliberate and mindful.

Open-minded people are more creative

A recent study has shown that open-minded individuals tend to be more creative and willing to have new experiences. 

The result led to the idea that this kind of people have the t...

Open-minded people are more focused

A recent study has come to the conclusion that open-minded persons possess the ability to focus on different things at the very same moment. 

Even if there are distractions around them, these individuals still manage to concentrate and see everything that is going on in the room and, so, they are less prone to the so-called 'inattentional blindness'.

Our personality and perception of the world

Research has proven that individuals' personality plays an essential role in the way they perceive the world. 

Therefore, it is very probable that our perception of the world changes at the same time with our personality.

Our personalities can change
Our personalities can change

Many of us think our personality is fixed and unchangeable.

But according to a recent study, while our early personalities may provide a baseline, they are pliable as we age

Why personality changes matter

Thinking of personality as fixed could leave us feeling like we can never grow or dismiss people with certain qualities, believing that change isn't possible. However, we don't simply change our personalities in random ways. The relationship among all of our personality traits seems to be more consistent.

If someone was really conscientious but slightly disagreeable, they might keep that personality profile as they age, even if their other traits changed a bit.

Our personalities are a mix

Personality seems to change cumulative over our lifespan and likely happens in response to our life experiences. Therefore our personalities are a mix of stable and unstable.

  • Parents and teachers should keep that in mind when they try to influence a child's personality.
  • Even the elderly, whom we might expect to be more set in their ways, can change.
  • Partners would be better served by learning to value what remains constant in someone's personality while embracing personality shifts as they happen.