At work, we encounter many individuals from all different walks of life—which brings many different personality types together. Some individuals you may find easy to work with, sharing similar personality traits, while others may be a completely different personality type than yourself. While at work, it’s important to understand different personality types, which can help you to do your best when it comes to teamwork, negotiations, project management or any other work-related issue that may come up.
Art Markman, a professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations, breaks down the “Big Five” personality characteristics:
- Extroversion: Refers to the degree to which people like to be the center of attention in social situations. Extroverts love the spotlight, while introverts tend to avoid it (though they typically have many friends and like engaging in smaller interactions).
- Agreeableness: Reflects how much people want others to like them—agreeable people find it difficult to deliver bad news, giving criticism and standing up for themselves. Disagreeable people tend not to care if others like them.
- Conscientiousness: People with high conscientiousness tend to be driven to complete the tasks set before them, while following the rules. People with lower conscientiousness tend to need more supervision, but also may be more likely to try creative solutions to solving problems, as they feel less compelled to follow the rules.
- Openness to experience: this reflects people’s willingness to consider new ideas—some people like to try new ideas, while other tend to reject ideas due to the fact that it’s new.
- Emotional stability: Reflects the amount of energy flowing through the motivational system that reflects in the emotional reactions that people have to successes and failures. Emotionally stable individuals are unfazed by circumstances—while emotionally instability comes with individuals who experience significant highs and lows in their lives.
It’s important to remember that most people fall in the middle of the spectrum of each trait, rather than the extremes. Watch the behavior of others to better understanding the people around you—starting with these five personality characteristics. Once you can start to identify some of these traits, you can begin to predict how they will react differently to situations than you may have. It also helps in project management when assigning tasks—now you can assign tasks based on where people would excel most!
Markman notes that “The more you learn, the more effectively you can work with others.”
Thanks for reading and until next time… stay WISE!