4.1 Why It Matters: Individual Personalities and Behaviors

Why learn to recognize the importance of valuing individuals’ differences

Brad works for a marketing firm in Kansas City, Missouri. He has worked for the company for over 15 years and is very talented at his job. He has recently been promoted and now runs the marketing team for a number of the company’s largest clients. Brad is a very direct individual, and is extremely comfortable giving feedback, even unsolicited. During every team meeting, Brad is quick to shut down ideas and is known for giving harsh, personal feedback during his teams’ presentations. Although he is one of the most tenured, no one goes to him for help or advice because they fear he will use it as an opportunity to point out every professional and personal flaw.

Photograph of a man yelling into a phone

Since Brad was promoted to leading the marketing team, employee morale and productivity have dropped significantly. Is this a matter of clashing personalities? Or is Brad too abrasive and brutal in his communication style and feedback techniques?

Personality traits play a role in every relationship. Individual personalities help to form an organization’s culture and image. Therefore, every successful organization relies heavily on the personality traits of its employees. While everyone has a different personality, there are certain traits and characteristics that are common amongst individuals. Understanding these similarities and differences can help you to better understand your coworkers, your team, and even your supervisors and bosses.

It is also important to make a connection between personalities and behavior. Certain personality traits can be used to predict behavior. This is why smart hiring practices are so important. It is equally, if not more, important to hire based on behavioral-based interview questions and personality questionnaires as opposed to hiring solely on previous experience. Being aware of how personality traits influence behavior can be extremely beneficial to your success in the workplace. This module will deep dive into the idiosyncrasies of personality traits and how certain ones can negatively or positively impact an organization.


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  • Why It Matters: Individual Personalities and Behaviors. Authored by: Freedom Learning Group. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution
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