Knowing and Using Your Workplace Strengths Part Four: Agreeableness

Knowing and Using Your Workplace Strengths Part Four: Agreeableness

Rachel Stewart Johnson

Psychologist | Driven by communications about human behavior in Work

Focusing on your job during the COVID-19 pandemic can boost your mental health. Maintaining structure and a sense of purpose are known to promote wellness.

To close out the week, Traitify continues our five-part series on workplace strengths during our age of social distancing. Today we move on to another of the “Big Five” personality dimensions: Agreeableness.

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What does high Agreeableness look like in everyday life?

The people around you with high Agreeableness derive personal satisfaction from addressing the needs of other people. They maintain an interest in knowing how others are doing. They are often adept at taking another’s perspective, appreciating the consequences of their own words and behaviors. In workplaces, this makes them good communicators. They take the time to assist or educate. They don’t make decisions without thinking through the impact on real people’s lives. When they do well, their default is to share credit for that good performance. Outside of work, they are good at keeping in touch with friends, offer to help, and are often patient and flexible in their approach to the people they meet.

If you have a higher level of Agreeableness, you’ve been worrying about your family during this pandemic, but also are motivated to try to protect your wide circle of friends and the community as a whole. You have an emotional response to it all, concerned about public health but also spending time thinking about others who may feel lonely or anxious amid social isolation.

High Agreeableness: Tools to Use

When you complete the Traitify Big Five personality assessment as a job candidate, you receive several action-oriented insights for your personality profile. Similarly, these “Tools to Use” help you turn your high Agreeableness into an asset in the age of COVID-19:

  • Promote harmony. You’re happiest when people get along well, and you avoid conflict. When stress levels rise and tempers flare, you can promote a sense of community among your coworkers and “referee” disputes that arise.
  • Use that sixth sense. You’ve developed an ability to sense when something’s up with others. Put that insight to use to help hold your team together, whether someone needs mental health resources or just a pep talk.
  • Step aside. You’re not a “me first” kind of person. As others may be having a harder time with the many changes happening now, volunteer to be the one who is inconvenienced to give others the boost they might need.
  • Kindness counts. You are naturally inclined to make others happy with small gestures. Send encouraging notes to others. Take on someone’s task with a smile. Agree to pick up a shift for someone in a bind.
  • Sense the ripple effect. This is an age of tough decisions. You anticipate how those decisions will affect people, particularly over the long term. Communicate those insights.

What does low Agreeableness look like in everyday life?

When you’re low in Agreeableness, what does that mean? These folks are action-oriented and pragmatic. They’re good at advocating for themselves and don’t get mired down by what they might call “emotional baggage.” In workplaces, these individuals take a clear-eyed look at what must be done and are often realists who understand you can’t make everybody happy all the time. They focus on what they’re doing, whether that’s a particular area of the storeroom that must be cleaned or a software upgrade that requires implementation. As a result, they don’t spend time worrying about what’s happening elsewhere. Outside of work, they are often competitive and motivated to succeed. They’re proud of what they have and what they’ve done. They put themselves and their families first, and make no apologies for their priorities.

If you have a lower level of Agreeableness, you’ve had plenty of moments of being irritated by others during the pandemic response. You have little interest in dwelling on others’ issues; their shortcomings aren’t your problem. You believe the way to get through this is for everyone to be self-sufficient and responsible for themselves.

Low Agreeableness: Tools to Use

Lower Agreeableness can bring value to the workplace during this time:

  • No whining zone. You see little point in talking on and on about what’s happening around the world. Your practical approach can direct others: let’s do more and talk less.
  • Be logical. You believe that work is the place to filter out the emotional responses and take a logical, step-by-step approach. Help your coworkers by mapping out to-do’s.
  • Achievement is the best reward. Focused on productivity, you gain satisfaction from maintaining top performance on the job. That work ethic will raise the bar for others.
  • No hornet’s nests for you. Coworkers might respond to stress by bickering, picking fights, or complaining about each other. You have an ability to keep away from that back-and-forth and do your job.
  • Stay tough-minded. You’ve been through plenty of ups and downs in life, and believe this is just the way life is. That gives you grit that will help you cope as times goes on.

In an age of widespread sacrifice, behavioral science can provide us with the tools to unlock our strengths and get through. Understanding ourselves is an important first step.

Don't know your personality?  Find out for free

To learn more about focusing on strengths from other dimensions of your personality, follow the links below:

 

To utilize the power of personality at your company, connect with Traitify’s team for more information.

 

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