The Advisory Career

Managers, How Do You Score on the "Big Five" Personality Traits?

Understanding yourself to better enhance, and motivate your team

Excerpted from Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss by James Manktelow and Julian Birkinshaw

The first step to being a great manager is to master self-awareness. That’s why Julian Birkinshaw, coauthor along with James Manktelow of Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss says The Big Five PersonalityTraits model is so valuable.

Based on findings from several independent researchers in the 1950s and ultimately named “The Big Five” by Lewis Goldberg of the Oregon Research Institute, the model helps you understand how fully you possess the five key dimensions of personality.*

Once you understand your unique personality traits, you can use this knowledge to improve your work performance and even tell if you’re in the right job in the first place. They are:

  • Openness
    Your desire for new knowledge and experience, your appreciation of art and beauty, and your creativity. If you have low openness, you should commit to trying out new experiences and ways of thinking.
  • Conscientiousness
    How much care you take with things and how hard you work. Managers must possess high conscientiousness or take firm action to develop it further—otherwise, no one will trust them to get things done.
  • Extraversion
    How sociable you are. Are you warm, enthusiastic, and gregarious in social situations, or do you find yourself drained by social contact with people? Many modern workplaces favor a fast, team-oriented, extraverted approach. Introverts should adapt to this or find situations and roles that better suit the way they prefer to work.
  • Agreeableness
    Your friendliness and kindness to others. Agreeable people are often easier to work with.
  • Neuroticism
    How volatile you are and how well you are in control of your emotions. People with high neuroticism are unsettling to work with, particularly in high-stress work environments.

To learn more about The Big Five model and discover strategies for addressing disadvantageous scores, please visit The Big Five Personality Traits Model and Test: Matching Personalities with Roles (http://mnd.tools/1-1). To take an online Big Five Personality Test, please visit: http://mnd.tools/1-2.

* Goldberg, L.R., “The Development of Markers for the Big-Five Factor Structure,” Psychological Assessment, Vol. 4, No. 1, 26-42, 1992, published by the American Psychological Association, Inc.

How volatile you are and how well you are in control of your emotions. People with high neuroticism are unsettling to work with, particularly in high-stress work environments

About the Authors:
James Manktelow and Julian Birkinshaw are coauthors of Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, April 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-37447-3, $28.00).

James Manktelow is founder and CEO of MindTools.com. He has written, edited, and contributed to more than 1,000 articles, more than sixty workbooks, and seven books and e-books on management and leadership, including Manage Your Time and Manage Stress.

Julian Birkinshaw is professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, deputy dean for programs, and academic director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School. He is the author of fourteen books, including Fast/Forward, Becoming a Better Boss, and Reinventing Management.

About the Book:
Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, April 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-37447-3, $28.00) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797. For more information, please visit the book’s page on www.wiley.com.