Concept of Personality

Traditionally, personality referred to how people influence others through their external appearances and actions. But, today personality is regarded as an interaction of physiological, mental and psychological characteristics.

Personality is a key factor in understanding and predicting individual behavior in organizations. It is concerned with the growth and development of a person’s whole psychological system.

It looks at the whole person. It shapes behavior. It leads to relatively enduring behavioral responses. It differs from person to person. It is dynamic. It is shaped by both nature and nurture. Nature is biological factors. Nurture is environmental, situational and socio-cultural factors.

According to S.P. Robbins and S. Sanghi, “Personality is the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others.”

According to Moorhead and Griffin, “Personality is the relatively stable set of psychological attributes that distinguish one person from another.”

Types of Personality

There are several personality types of people in an organization that can dictate the behavior of individuals. Following are few major types of personality:

  1. Extrovert personality: The extrovert is a friendly person who is quick to establish relationships with others. Extroverts are gregarious and display a high level of social engagement. They enjoy being with people and like to be in the company of large groups. Extroverts are active and tend to get involved in many activities.
  2. Agreeable personality: The agreeable person can cooperate well with other people by putting aside personal needs while getting along with peers. These people trust others and rely on their integrity, character and abilities. Often the agreeable personality feels the need to help other people, and can derive fulfillment by offering support.
  3. Conscientious personality: Conscientious people exude confidence and feel capable of accomplishing goals. They may be overachievers who want to be viewed as successful.
  4. Cautious personality: Cautious people will look at problems from every angle before acting or making a decision, while those who are not cautions often act or speak before they think things through.
  5. Self-conscious personality: Self-conscious people are highly sensitive to what others think and say about them. They dislike criticism and are sensitive to rejection, while those who are not all that self-conscious are not bothered by being judged by other people.
  6. Adventurous personality: People with and adventurous personality seek out new experiences and dislike routine. They may be unafraid to challenge authority and conventions, while those who are less adventurousness may have traditional values and prefer security over adventurousness. Those with an adventurous personality enjoy having power and may be more amenable to taking risks.

The ‘Big Five’ Personality Traits

  1. Extroversion: This trait of personality deals with relationships. People can be extroverts and introverts. Extroverts tend to be talkative, sociable and assertive. They are outgoing. They want to interact with people. Introverts tend to be reserved, quit and timid. They are sensitive to fillings. They prefer to work independently.
  1. Agreeableness: This trait of personality deals with propensity to defer to others. People can be:      Agreeable persons tend to be good-natured, cooperative and trusting. They are courteous, caring and empathic. Disagreeable persons are cold, non-cooperative and antagonistic.       
  1. Conscientiousness: This trait of personality is a measure of reliability. People can be:      Conscientious persons tend to be responsible, dependable, persistent and organized. They are careful and self-disciplined. Non-conscientious persons tend to be irresponsible, unreliable, disorganized and distracted.
  1. Emotional stability: This trait of personality deals with ability to withstand stress. People can be:  Emotionally stable persons tend to be calm, self-confident, secure and relaxed. Emotionally unstable persons tend to be nervous, depressed and insecure.
  1. Openness to experience: This trait of personality deals with interests and fascination with novelty. People can be open or closed. Open persons tend to be imaginative, curious and sensitive. They are flexible and intelligent. They accept change. Close persons tend to be conventional (linking together) and find comfort in familiar. They are less open to new ideas. They resist change.