INSIGHTS

The latest insights into Athlete Career Development, Transitioning and Employer Engagement from the Expert Athlete Career Transition team.

Everyone is Different: Personality in the Workplace

Everyone is different.


Whether you’ve scoffed at it or agreed with it, this statement is one that you have heard countless times throughout your life. There are many factors that work together to form this concept, and a huge one is personality. Most governing bodies of science agree that the Five Factor Model (FFM) is what defines a personality; that’s extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience. To fully achieve your potential in the workplace, it’s important to understand your own characteristics and the characteristics of others so that you can find employees or co-workers who are compatible; this will have a knock-on effect on productivity. Here is a brief overview of each of the five areas of personality:



Extraversion – do you thrive when surrounded by people? Extraverts gain energy from social situations; they come across as assertive and talkative and constantly engage with the world around them. On the other hand, introverts expend energy in social situations. They often come across as quieter and more independent because they do not need to interact with the world in the way that extroverts do. These two opposites are both useful in their own way. If you can figure out which one you fall under, it will be easy to decide what kind of work dynamic you need to suit your style.


Neuroticism – this trait is about how you react to stress and negativity. When something goes awry, how much does it affect you? If you find yourself falling into negative thought patterns easier than others, or generally describe yourself as a pessimist, chances are you fall highly on the neuroticism scale. On the other side of the scale, if you remain calm in stressful situations and don’t react very negatively to your surroundings, you probably aren’t a high scorer here. If you realise that you’re a more reactive and negative person, you can learn to control this part of your personality, as you can take steps to create a working environment that won’t be detrimental to you.


Conscientiousness – do you enjoy planning and organising? Conscientiousness is all about self-discipline, controlling impulses, and planning. Careful planning and consideration is essential in any business, so conscientiousness is good in that aspect. But at the same time spontaneity can help you move fluidly with whatever surprise is round the next corner, as is often an occurrence in the business world.


Agreeableness – if you’re in a leadership role, this trait is important to examine so that you know how to manage in a way that complements your personality. Agreeable people are trusting and trustworthy, generous and willing to compromise. The opposite is more self-interested and more independent – they are less likely to help others than agreeable people. The latter type would be more suited to autocratic managing roles, whereas agreeable people work better in team situations.


Openness to experience – those who are open to experience find themselves enjoying art, adventure, and imagination. They are open to new experiences and are usually more liberal in their views. Alternatively, those who are more closed off to this trait tend to struggle with change and are more traditional in their beliefs and pursuits. An easy way to decipher which of these you are is by asking yourself: do you prefer familiarity or uncertainty? If it’s the latter, you are more open to experience. This will help you with forays into new areas of work. If you’re the former, you will excel with systems and plans you already have in place.


Wherever you rank on the scales of these traits, you can work them to your favour with a little awareness and determination. There is no bad trait, only different. The beauty of difference is that you can find like-minded people to work with, or slightly different people to complement you, or entirely different people for different perspectives – whichever option you feel will create the best environment for you. It’s easy to work with others when you understand yourself, and it’s easy to achieve your goals when you delegate and organise according to people’s (and your own) personality needs.


Find out more about getting the best out of your personality by contacting us via email (management@actpathway.com) or phone (020 71824302).

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