The big 5 personality characteristics

  • Extroversion
  • Agreebleness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Openness to experience
  • Emotional stability 

These traits reflect the most prominent ways that people differ from each other. To become better at understanding the people around you, start with these five dimensions.

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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.

Conscientiousness
Conscientious people are driven to complete the tasks they start and to follow rules.

It is easy to undervalue the people low in conscientiousness, because they need a lot of supervision. However, those low in conscientiousness may try creative solutions to problems, because they do not feel the need to follow rules.

Openness to experience

Openness reflects people’s willingness to consider new ideas

People who are open will try new ideas on for size, while those closed to experience will typically reject new ideas just because they are new.

Emotional stability

Emotionally stable individuals are stoic. They are unfazed by circumstances. Emotionally unstable individuals experience significant highs and lows in their lives. This instability can cause difficulties in the workplace when people get angry or upset at others.

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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.

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.

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