What is personality?

One can observe the phenomenon of multiply skilled employees not being able to function properly within the working context.

Behind all these incidents lies an incompatibility of the employee's personality with the personalities of his/her colleagues and with the overall organizational culture.

Those problems both of adjustment and performance can be avoided as long as the personality of new employees has been diagnosed on time and the potential of their fitting in with the existing dynamics of the company has been pre-evaluated.

The evaluation of the employees' personality should become an essential part of both the recruitment and assessment procedures of all modern companies.

What is personality?

If we wanted to give a precise definition of the term personality we would include the following: human personality is the sum of the physical, mental, social and emotional traits, behaviours and habits, which differentiate each of us from other people. Each person's personality is unique and stable and depends on heredity and environmental influences.

From time to time, several theories concerning personality's definitions and components, as well as the factors that influence it, have been formulated, such as the ones of Freud, Cattell, Eysenck, Hartmann, Bandura, Roger, etc. Each of those theories is strongly influenced by its founders' ideological and methodological background.

However, although many of those theories manage to a great extent to infiltrate the deeper essence of the term "personality", in the past few years they tend to become long gone by a new theory, which seems to be of general acceptance within the cycle of modern psychologists.

That theory is known as "Five-Factor Model" (or "Big Five") and , according to it, human personality can be fully described and understood by five essential factors. These factors are the following:

  • Neuroticism:

    it refers to a person's emotional balance and his/her ability to adjust.
  • Extraversion:

    it evaluates the quality and intensity of the person's social relationships.
  • Openness to experiences:

    it refers to the degree to which a person is open to explore unknown situations, have new experiences, etc.
  • Agreeableness:

    it refers to the quality of the person's relationship with its own self and with other people.
  • Conscientiousness:

    it focuses on the extent to which a person's behaviour is goal oriented and is guided by internal values, rules and moral.
The evaluation of those factors is of crucial importance, as it can provide us with valuable information about a candidate's future adjustment and performance in the workplace.



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