Dr. James Van Scotter and Dr. Jill Bradley-Geist led our students and coaches through an insightful seminar on personality and how it can factor into one’s career decisions and even success. Before attending the workshop, all participants were asked to complete a 44-question “Big Five” personality test, which assesses individuals on the following characteristics:
- Openness to New Experiences – Defined as “intellectually curious, artistically inclined, creative, and open-minded.”
- Conscientiousness – Defined as “dependable, reliable, achievement-striven, goal-oriented, disciplined, and persevering.”
- Extroversion – Defined as “gaining energy from being with people; outgoing, talkative, assertive, bold, sensitive to reward (externally motivated).”
- Agreeableness – Defined as “courteous, cooperative, forgiving, altruistic, and empathetic.”
- Neuroticism – Defined as “more easily upset, stressed, and worried.”
The two professors discussed with the group how these five traits can influence workplace behavior. Additionally, they noted that intelligence is actually the most influential indicator of job place success, above personality. Following is how conscientious an individual is (as defined above). These are the two most critical factors impacting general performance across all industries.
Included in the discussion was the idea that personality can change over time or according to situation. For instance, it is possible for someone to develop extroverted tendencies while being a true introvert through practice and a gradual rewiring of one’s brain. Additionally, it was noted that neuroticism isn’t necessarily negative and is actually a preferred trait among some detailed-oriented positions such as architects and doctors.
Each participant received a personalized personality assessment, which included scores (on a continuum) for each of the five characteristics. These scores were put in the context of the “average” person within their age group.
Thank you to Dr. Van Scotter and Dr. Bradley-Geist for leading us through this workshop – learning more about ourselves and others is always a worthwhile endeavor!