By Jordan Perras
One of the best ways to become a better leader is to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your tendencies in various situations. You can understand your strengths and weaknesses and learn how to improve them. In the last part of this series, you’ll learn about some major types of personality traits and how they impact your behavior and your leadership abilities.
The “Big 5” Personality Traits
These are the five major ways that personalities differ. Each one is a scale and is not concrete – by this I mean that you may display different degrees of each trait based on the situation. For example, when you are at home with your family, you may have high emotional stability whereas you may have low emotional stability during the first few weeks of a new job.
Openness – You are creative, curious, cultured.
Low Openness – You are practical with narrow interests.
Conscientiousness – You are hardworking, organized and dependable.
Low Conscientiousness – You may be disorganized and unreliable.
Extraversion – You are gregarious, assertive, and sociable.
Low Extraversion – You are reserved, timid or quiet.
Agreeableness – You are cooperative, warm and agreeable.
Low Agreeableness – You are disagreeable or antagonistic.
Emotional Stability – You are calm, self-confident and cool.
Low Emotional Stability – You may be insecure or anxious.
Read through the list again and think about whether you display “high” or “low” degrees of the five traits. Do your results surprise you? Why or why not?
Core Self Evaluation
The Core Self Evaluation is a way to understand your own conception of yourself and your behavior, especially at work.
Locus of Control – Your belief about internal versus external control.
- If you have an internal locus of control, you believe that you control what happens to you. For example, success is a result of hard work.
- If you have an external locus of control, you believe that people and circumstances control what happens to you. For example, success is a result of luck.
Self-Esteem – Your general feeling of self-worth.
- When you have high self-esteem, you believe that you have strengths and weaknesses, but the strengths are more important.
- When you have low self-esteem, you are easily affected by what other people think about you and you tend to view yourself negatively.
Self-Efficacy – This is your overall view of yourself as being able to complete tasks effectively in a wide variety of situations.
- When you have high self-efficacy, you trust yourself to attempt difficult tasks and persist in overcoming obstacles.
- When you have low self-efficacy, you often feel anxious when faced with adversity and doubt your ability to complete new tasks.
Self-Monitoring – This is the extent to which you change your behavior based on the situation and the people you are with.
- High self-monitors adjust their behavior according to the situation and are more effective at work because they respond to changes in the environment.
- Low self-monitors show behavioral consistency in all situations and are less likely to respond to supervisory feedback.
Were your traits obvious to you as you read through the list? Were you happy with your results? Surprised? Think about how each of your traits impact your professional success.
Jordan Perras will graduate in 2018 from Northeastern University and she is majoring in Math and Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Economics. She has a wide variety of interests that include history, art and literature and plans to pursue an MBA after college. She is especially interested in the role of social entrepreneurship in sustainable business.