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The Power of Personality: Key Benefits in the 2020 Workplace

Rachel Stewart Johnson, Ph.D.

Head of L&D | Psychologist | Driven by communications about human behavior in Work

When we think about the value of personality insights, we can point to several different aspects of workplace life and culture where this information will be helpful. This is true for both ourselves and others, including coworkers and customers, and can be applied to specific targeted parts of personal growth on the job.


Personality Insights on the Job infographic. Know myself. Understand Coworkers. Respond to customers. Emphasize my strengths. Avoid personal landmines. Implement coping strategies.

Know myself and emphasize how I can thrive

Let’s start with a straightforward application. Simply put, personality data can help you reflect on yourself in productive ways. This can address the way you tend to approach challenges, for example, or how you interact with others. People who have a good grasp of what “makes them tick” often see advantages in other parts of their lives as well. For example, research suggests that more self-awareness tends to be accompanied by higher levels of confidence and creativity.

Relatedly, the “power of positive thinking” has a long history in psychology. We can see the benefits of a positive mindset when taking on challenges. Students with optimistic, growth-oriented approaches to schoolwork have a higher achievement level on average, research shows.

On the other side of this coin, we all have our personal road bumps -- the unproductive habits or problematic tendencies that can slow our progress at work, lead to mistakes or poor decisions, or provoke conflict. By stepping back and understanding the role our personalities play in our everyday pitfalls, we can be ready for them. For example, an individual who is lower in emotional stability might be adept at recognizing urgent issues, but may also seek the quickest way out of that problem. This brings us to coping strategies. Knowing those personality pitfalls, you can develop ways to work around them. For example, that individual eager for some quick relief from an issue can find ways to gain comfort from incremental, tension-diffusing measures along the way to a longer-term solution.

Looking out for others: thinking about customers and coworkers

Being tuned into the personalities of others has wide-ranging benefits as well. Again, let’s start with what researchers have learned about this. We have evidence that higher “personal intelligence” -- meaning the ability to read and understand the personalities and behaviors of others -- is associated with higher levels of satisfaction in the workplace. People who devote some of their energy to understanding the people around them also tend to be happier at work. This could apply to those whose workdays involve frequent contact with figures outside the company, whether it’s spending all day helping customers in a service industry or spending hours a day in calls and presentations for prospects and clients. Reading your customers at a one-to-one level using personality know-how is a high-value skill to cultivate.

In all, personality is a multi-use tool that can come in handy at several points in the workday. During the tumultuous year 2020, those skills may be more important than ever to help you in your career development and to give a lasting boost to your organization.


To learn more about the power of personality and how it can help your team, reach out to Traitify.


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