[March 3, 2020] We all know that for good leadership to work well, we need to speak and write clearly. Like my grandmother, bigmama, that means sometimes being blunt. Today, I’m doing introducing the psychological big five personality traits 1,2 because I will use those more here at www.theleadermaker.com.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to draw parallels between these traits and types of leadership and the effectiveness of leaders. To use terms like these traits means giving general definitions and expounded upon them over time. My leadership toolbox has in it many things, including terms of reference. I hope this reduces confusion and frustration for my readers. Please comment on what you think.
- Extraversion: People with a high score on extraversion gain energy when exposed to the external world. They tend to be action-oriented, enthusiastic, visible to people, and are capable of asserting themselves. The opposite is Introversion.
- Neuroticism: The tendency to experience anger, depression, anxiety, and other forms of negative emotions are score high on neuroticism. It is also called emotional instability. It is similar to being neurotic in the Freudian sense. But, keep in mind that it doesn’t provide an identical meaning. The opposite are people that are emotionally stable and rarely feel sad.
- Agreeableness: People with a high score on this trait are trustworthy, helpful, kind, considerate, generous, and do not hesitate to compromise their interests with others. The opposite are people who are disagreeable and not willing to compromise.
- Conscientiousness: People with a higher score on conscientiousness tend to be self-disciplined, dutiful, and prefer planned behavior to a spontaneous one. The opposite are procrastinators and those who tend to make a mess of things.
- Openness to Experience: Openness suggests characteristics that include having a broad range of interests and willing to try out even the most unusual ideas. They are intellectually curious, sensitive to beauty, and tend to hold unconventional beliefs. The opposite are those who prefer to occupy themselves with an everyday schedule.
Studies have found the big five personality factors to be universal, testing the model across cultures and is relatively stable when contrasted with upbringing and education. It should then come as no surprise that there is a biological deterministic factor with the model. The model has its critics, and their arguments are persuasive. However, I find the use of the big five as a tool to clarify motivations, needs, and desires. Thus, I will be using them.
- Also called the Big Five Model of Personality or the Five-Factor Model. A remarkably strong consensus of what traits are basic has emerged over the last 20 years. Five superordinate factors have emerged. Numerous amounts of research have established basic personality traits. And the big five factors are supported by most of them.
Much of what I’ve written here is taken from an article by Praveen Shrestha in Psychestudy at https://www.psychestudy.com/general/personality/big-five