Traits on the loose: viral video of a quick-thinking worker shows why understanding employee personalities is vital

Rachel Stewart Johnson

Psychologist | Driven by communications about human behavior in News

You’ll see the Big Five personality dimensions on display every day in the workplace. This video of an airport incident this week provides a great example of how both higher and lower levels of certain traits can be effective at times.

Openness: Openness refers to our willingness to accept changes, dream up new ideas, and think outside the box. This worker recognized that his machinery could double as a means to stop the runaway vehicle. He quickly innovated a novel solution to a never-before-seen problem.

Conscientiousness: Although we might think that we want workers with only the highest levels of Conscientiousness, lower levels have their place. Sometimes you have to literally break things to achieve a goal. There will be times when you will want your workforce to bend the rules. Having the judgment to be flexible and prioritize effectively can be a valued characteristic.

Emotional Stability: Sure, there are times when you want workers to be the “calm in the storm.” But there are other times when calm leads to property destruction and safety liabilities. This worker displays more moderate Emotional Stability that enables him to recognize that his active intervention is necessary, and he runs to take action.

If you’d like to learn how similar you are to this worker or how to make sure your team has the best combination of personality traits to cover both the calm and the storm, check out Traitify’s free trial!



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