An individual’s personality is not about performance, skills or knowledge. It is a set of preferences with regards to how you behave, based on your feelings and sensitivities, as well as your character and style and how you react to situations.
Your personality can influence:
- The tasks, roles and organisations you prefer
- Your ‘chemistry’ with other people
- The way you behave in groups
- Your style as a leader or follower
- Your areas of vulnerability and risk
The big five factors of personality
N – Neuroticism (How emotionally reactive to stress: worried, anxious unconfident vs. even-tempered and clam)
E – Extroversion (How assertive and outgoing: sociable, assertive, positive vs. reserved, thinks carefully)
O – Openness (How open to new experiences: imaginative, unconventional vs. practical, traditional)
A – Agreeableness (How co-operative and trusting of others: trusting, altruistic, cooperative vs. sceptical, hard-headed)
C – Conscientiousness (How self-controlled and focussed: achievement striving, reliable vs easy-going, distractible)
Once you know and understand your personality traits, what can you do about it?
You should know your strengths and try make the best use of them, but be aware of over-using these strengths. Know your potential downsides and compensate. Be aware of how others may perceive and react to you. Deal with mismatches with others and between others.
All of this and much, much more was covered in the session ‘Knowing yourself and leading others’ on FIPP’s Executive Programme for Innovation and Change (EPIC). EPIC is a senior management course, designed by FIPP with Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and is taking place from 6-10 July 2015, in order to help media businesses transform and innovate.
The day also included an experiential session called ‘Leadership without words’, where participants learnt about leadership skills and traits, while working with a choir.
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