There’s a reason why recruiters look for more than simply what you majored in and how much work experience you have. In fact, characteristics such as ambition, adaptability, leadership, and enthusiasm are some of the top traits that companies look for in new hires. According to a recent study, success depends more on personality traits, such as perseverance and conscientiousness, than intelligence alone.
There’s No “Perfect” Workplace Personality
Each one of us has a unique combination of the “Big Five” personality dimensions — extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. Sometimes, it can feel that one personality type might be superior to another or one might garner more favor from an organization. Don’t panic if you share this sentiment. In many instances, it’s how your personality complements the workplace and “fits” with the overarching mission of the organization. It may come as no surprise, then, that many of us act out of character at work in order to conform to the workplace environment. The most important thing to remember is that there’s no “perfect” personality that thrives in the workplace.
How Important Is Personality, Anyway?
The importance of personality and how it complements an organization, varies by role and industry. For managers and business leaders, having the ability to motivate and encourage your colleagues while also understanding their shortcomings, is critical to an organization’s success. For employers, having the ability to communicate effectively with staff and remain flexible toward change is imperative to driving an organization forward. In both instances, a manager’s ability to build and sustain relationships with colleagues is integral to the organization’s success. More often than not, personality dictates how you’re able to build and sustain such relationships, and is thus an important element to any organization.
The key toward understanding how important personality is to your organization is to step back and analyze how you interact with your work. Do you frequently find yourself working with others to accomplish a task? Do you work in a cubicle with little to no interaction with colleagues? Consider the effect your personality has in your line of work, and then examine how your personality either advances or impedes you from accomplishing your goals. If you find that personality does indeed play an important role in your organization, consider how your skill sets have helped you build and sustain relationships with your colleagues. It may seem daunting at first, but taking the time to understand how your personality affects those around you is the most important step toward understanding the importance of personality in your organization.