Big Five Personality Traits in Leadership Behavior

Introduction

Organizational behavior entails the extensive discussions on management, practices of motivation, theories and basics of organizational design that affect human behavior within an organization. Knowledge of organizational behavior enables firms to operate more efficiently, accomplish their goals and adapt to change (Zedeck, 2011). This essay investigates the role of individual differences in management practices and organizational behavior outcomes.

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The study focuses on the big five model of personality by using the score on the big five measures together with relevant organizational behavior concepts to determine the relative strengths and weaknesses in each dimension of their own personality profile. I also evaluate how management or leadership style is affected by own personality and how personal management or leadership style can be improved in the future based on the general knowledge of personality.

The Big Five Model of Personality

The big five model is an extensively known concept that describes personality differences along five proportions namely openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (Gurven et al. 2013). These proportions are derived from the statistical analysis of responses to personality matters (Judge et al. 2013). The test comprises a list of 50 items that one must select how true they apply to them on a five-point scale where 1 denotes disagree, 3 denotes neutrality and 5 denotes agreement. Personality refers to the unseen features of every individual. It is the display of characteristic variations, distinctive identifications toward life’s situations. Personality affects an individual’s perceptions and assessment of the surroundings, their acknowledgment for the origin of occurrences, their emotional reactions, and the capability to hinder hostile and counterproductive desires. Personality is vital to determining behavior on an individual in the workstation (Benoliel & Somech 2014).

Analysis of own Management or Leadership Style in Relation to the Big Five Model

My Big Five Model results based on the five main traits are as follows:

I exhibit openness to experience or intellect, which indicates that I am highly imaginative, creative and have the curiosity to explore new things. I am also more willing to share information in the workplace.

Conscientiousness, which is the ability to show willpower and target for success beyond expectations, refers to a person’s degree of planning, diligence, and inspiration in the quest for an accomplishment. My conscientiousness scores indicate that I am well-organized and reliable. According to Christopher and Alex (2015), people ranking high in conscientiousness tend to have a planned and methodical behavior. A highly conscientious person is negatively affected by unemployment because conscientiousness is positively tied to a person’s economic situation, for example, the accumulation of wealth. Unemployment cuts off the access to the values of goal achievement.

Extraversion: I like spending quiet time alone. My extraversion scores are low indicating that I prefer to keep to myself and that I have introvert tendencies. Workers with low extraversion tend to experience anger more frequently. Introverts do not love social events and prefer keeping to themselves rather than associating with other people. They are unsuccessful salespeople and do not perform very well in customer service relations. They find it challenging to control discussions and seminars as well as steering change. They are more likely to work in fields such as science and engineering. They are also rank highly in the invention because they are likely to participate in creating and constructing projects.

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Agreeableness, which is the tendency to express compassion and cooperation rather than suspicion and antagonism towards others, is the capacity to constrain offensive tendencies. My agreeableness scores were are high indicating that I am likely to conform to social agreements, be submissive, forgiving, shy softhearted, and lenient.

My neuroticism scores were low indicating that I am relaxed, calm, hardy and secure. Individuals on the low end of neuroticism tend to be emotionally stable, patient, and tranquil. Such individuals record high performances at work. They can cope with emotions appropriately, interact well with others and manage frustrations (Christopher & Ale 2015).

Relative Strengths and Weaknesses in My Personality Profile

Overall, I am open, conscientious, agreeable, less neurotic and introverted. My strengths lie in most of these features. My openness and agreeableness cause me to open up to new ideas, which make me a good leader who is willing to accept change and try out new ideas and a flexible worker. Since I am an introvert, I am likely to be more innovative and lead to the development of new ideas at the workplace. Low neuroticism enables me to handle pressure well.

Despite the common notion that introverts do not like being in the limelight and, therefore, do not seek leadership positions, it has been reported that introverts make good leaders. Their unique trait makes them ideal in certain leadership roles. For example, introverts tend to be better listeners than extroverts hence pay attention to what their team members have to say (Murphy 2016). Spending time alone also prevents distraction and creates the best atmosphere for self-reflection, speculation, reading, envisioning and researching, which contribute to excellent leadership. Additionally, vital qualities such as thoughtfulness and thorough preparation, which good leaders should have are inherent in introverts (Kahnweiler 2013).

One of my weaknesses is lies in being an introvert. Introverts do not portray exemplary leadership skills because they tend to keep to themselves rather than interact with their subjects. Therefore, there is a possibility of being overlooked or misjudged as a leader due to my quietness. This trait may also make me seem aloof and unapproachable by other employees. My agreeableness is also an undoing bit because it may cause me to compromise certain ideals or overlook errors to maintain a good working relationship with my peers. Finally, because I am hardy, calm and relaxed, it may be hard to understand and deal with people who get nervous under pressure.

How Management or Leadership Style is Affected by My Personality

In many ways, because of my strengths, I command cooperation and collaboration. I value teamwork and can motivate others to work to realize their full potential. I possess the ability to create a positive correlation with subordinates, to strengthen them and the organization. Leaders who value cooperation guide the employees to focus beyond their self-interest to that of the entire group. They stimulate workers intellectually and persuade them to believe in the vision of the organization; they serve as role models (Ali et al. 2011).

Successful leaders prefer to share power rather than keep it to themselves. They devise administration methods that involve all employees in leadership at various levels. Good managers value the individual contribution to the company not just in physical labor, but also in intelligent contributions. Leaders should be aware that they cannot manipulate people but can only work together with them to cause the desired change. Leadership involves collaboration between leaders and employees. Organizations are changing rapidly in the present world as they face globalization-business, deregulation and virtual teams. Change is, therefore, inevitable. Organizations need leaders that guide them through the rapid changes that are occurring in the world today.

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Change is crucial not just for prosperity, but for survival in the ever-changing world. For managers to execute change, they should be confident, proceed boldly toward steering the change and overcoming resistance to change. Employees contribute to the work atmosphere through their distinctive disposition, principles, feelings, and attitudes (Paulo et al. 2014). One’s set of fleeting traits shapes how they act and function in an organization. Agreeability helps me embrace the various differences as a leader.

Personality styles also have a significant influence on concepts such as business performance, teamwork, work ethics, entrepreneurship, fulfillment, anxiety, depression, and organizational commitment (Wilt & Revelle 2015). Conflict management techniques include accommodating, competing, avoiding, compromising and collaborating (Schlaerth, Ensari, & Christian 2013). Personality characteristics are crucial to determining ways of conflict resolution.

The Big Five personality model has a direct influence on the method selected to manage conflicts. Individuals who are highly agreeable use avoidance and accommodating styles when they neither prefer selfishness nor the interest of others (Raver, Ehrhart, & Lim 2013). They accommodate when compelled to sacrifice their self-interests so that others can benefit. Finally, compromising technique is the combination of assertive and cooperative methods. It deliberates the determination to resolve conflicts (Ishfaq, et al., 2010).

How I can improve My Management or Leadership Style in the Future

Having known my strengths, it is crucial to make sure that I employ them to better the organization. The main roles of any manager in an organization include planning, organizing, leading and controlling of resources.

Planning entails projecting ahead and getting ready for the future. Planning precedes all the other managerial responsibilities and needs formulating objectives and policies as well as developing methods to accomplish the objectives. Effective planning informs on what tasks must be completed, how to accomplish them and who will accomplish them. Systematic planning enables the company to face future uncertainties with confidence. It also enables company operations to go on in a predicted way.

Organizing entails creating a framework that enhances the accomplishment of goals. Directing or controlling involves leading the undertakings of people. The leader guides the activities of the subordinates by an explanation of what is to be done and how to do it. The manager needs to have effective communication skills to be a successful organizer.

Outstanding managers have a clear knowledge of their strengths and shortcomings, which is a product of exceptional self-evaluation skills. They understand their approach to managing conflicts, leading and communicating. However, they are also willing to sacrifice their self-interest for the welfare of the entire organization. Such self-awareness helps regulate stereotyping and harmful thinking. Consequently, managers embrace diversity and include decisions from diverse perspectives.

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I also need to improve my capacity to lead and inspire people by being more outspoken. Managers need to inspire their subordinates positively. The influence could arise from a sensible argument that is presented in a way that appeals to the emotions of the employees.

Managers need to step out of their comfort zones in their leadership roles. Even in situations that portray their weaknesses, they need to find solutions and steer the company regardless of personal challenges. As an introvert, I need to be more flexible and improve my social interactions to adapt to leadership positions.

Controlling, as a managerial function, seeks to know if the realized performance conforms to the planned one. If any deviations from the initial plans occur, corrective measures are undertaken.

Motivation is a fundamental factor in the success of an organization. Motivation theories such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Frederick Herzberg’s study of hygiene and motivational factors are useful in guiding the motivational role of a leader (Popper 2013). All these theories have a common conclusion, which is that employees have needs and that they perform their best when compensated or rewarded (Wright, Moynihan, & Pandey, 2012).

Leaders need to understand the depth of their subordinates’ needs. This understanding requires frequent and open communication. Employees need to be compensated for their contribution to the organization. Compensation helps them feel that their efforts are appreciated, which brings a sense of contentment. As a leader or manager, it is vital to have an in-depth understanding of various reward structures. Employees need to be rewarded when they accomplish their goals to avoid perceived inequalities.

Motivation theories provide insight on the importance of reviewing needs, rewards, and compensations, which increase employees’ satisfaction and positively directs organizational behavior. Some of the actions could be increasing job security, establishing employee employment programs flexible work schedules and adequate compensation packages.

Conclusion

Good leadership and management are factors of training and inherent traits such as personality. Therefore, understanding one’s personality is important for a leader or a person in a managerial role because it enables them to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, it becomes possible to capitalize on one’s strengths and improve on the weaknesses for effective leadership.

References

Ali, H. A., Ismael, A. J., Muhamed, S. & Davoud, N 2011 “The impact of personality and leadership styles on leading change capability of Malaysian managers,” Australian Journal of Business Management and Research, vol. 1 no. 2, pp. 70-98. Web.

Benoliel, P. & Somech, A 2014, “The health and performance effects of participative leadership: Exploring the moderating role of the Big Five personality dimensions,” European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, vol.23 no.2, pp. 277-294. Web.

Christopher, J. B. & Alex, M. W 2015, “Personality change following unemployment,” Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 100 no. 4, pp. 991-1011. Web.

Gurven, M., Rueden, C. V. & Massenkoff, M 2013, “How universal is the Big Five testing the five-factor model of personality variation among forager-farmers in the Bolivian Amazon?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 104 no.2, pp. 354-370. Web.

Ishfaq, A., Muhammad, M. N., Muhammad, Z. S., & Ahmad, U 2010, “Personality does affect conflict handling style: study of future managers,” International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, vol. 1 no.3, pp. 2010-2023. Web.

Judge, T.A., Rodell, J.B., Klinger, R.L., Simon, L. S. & Crawford, E.R 2013, “Hierarchical representations of the five-factor model of personality in predicting job performance: integrating three organizing frameworks with two theoretical perspectives,” Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 98 no. 6, p.875. Web.

Kahnweiler, J. B 2013, Quiet influence: the introvert’s guide to making a difference, Berrett- Koehler Publications, San Francisco CA. Web.

Murphy, S. J 2016, “Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking,” People & Strategy, vol. 36 no.1, pp. 59-61. Web.

Paulo, R. L., Isabel, D. D. & Teresa, R 2014, “Effective workgroups: the role of diversity and culture,” Journal of Work and Organizational Physiology, vol. 30 no. 3, pp. 123-132. Web.

Popper, M 2013 “Leaders perceived as distant and close. Some implications for psychological theory on leadership,” The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 24 no. 1, pp.1-8. Web.

Raver, J. L., Ehrhart, M. G. & Lim, B.C 2013, “Difficult team members: implications for trust, conflict, effectiveness, and leadership,” Academy of Management Proceedings, vol. 2013, no. 1, p. 14801. Web.

Schlaerth, A., Ensari, N. & Christian, J., 2013, “A meta-analytical review of the relationship between emotional intelligence and leaders’ constructive conflict management,” Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, vol.16 no. 1, pp.126-136. Web.

Wilt, J., & Revelle, W 2015, “Affect, behavior, cognition and desire in the Big Five: an analysis of item content and structure,” European Journal of Personality, vol. 29 no. 4, pp. 478-497. Web.

Wright, B.E., Moynihan, D.P. & Pandey, S. K 2012, “Pulling the levers: transformational leadership, public service motivation, and mission valence,” Public Administration Review, vol.72 no.2, pp. 206-215. Web.

Zedeck, S 2011, APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, American Psychological Association, USA. Web.

Appendix

What aspects of personality does this tell me about?

There has been much research on how people describe others, and five major dimensions of human personality have been found. They are often referred to as the OCEAN model of personality, because of the acronym from the names of the five dimensions.

Appendix

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