[March 2, 2023] You want disagreeable people around you, especially if you are responsible for anything. The reason is those who are most disagreeable will tell you what they think and are blunt about it.
One of the best predictors in life is the trait of conscientiousness. Those folks value hard work, rules, order, reliability, integrity, and structure, so they are dutiful. Psychologists looked into what best predicts success in the U.S. Army, and unsurprisingly it’s the trait of conscientiousness and overwhelmingly so.
The Army is a very structured, rule-ordered, top-down, follow-procedures institution. That is what we might expect. But they also have trouble because they are simultaneously looking for people who can think independently on their feet. If you are on the battlefield, especially if you are isolated from your unit, there will be times you have to make independent and difficult decisions on your own and do so rapidly.
If you are selected purely based on your conscientiousness, rapid independent thinking will not be your strength.
The best set of traits is a disagreeable person who is conscientious because they will tell you what they think and will do what they say. These folks can make tough decisions that can be somewhat harsh to move things along for the long term.
If you are soft, you sacrifice the long term for the short term. If you’re tough and have your head screwed on straight, it means you make tough decisions in the present that will ruffle feathers and make people uncomfortable, but they make the medium to long term better.
You definitely want these disagreeable people around you. You can trust them to do what is right.
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