Showing posts with label personality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personality. Show all posts

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Emotional Intelligence's Influence on Military and Company Management

Emotional intelligence is as important in the business world as it is in the military battlefield. When times get tough, it is emotional intelligence that keeps the team moving forward to accomplish goals. Executives and officers who show empathy and self-reflection have higher levels of emotional intelligence that can garner support when times are tough. Whether you are at war on the battlefield or the boardroom emotional intelligence can make all the difference.

Emotional intelligence is that which stops us from making quick and irrational judgments without engaging our more rational processes. A surge of feeling can lead to outbursts of anger, berating employees, or a poor decision that impacts the rest of the department/company. Those with emotional intelligence can gain influence through their ability to deal effectively with others.

Emotional intelligence can be dividing into four core competencies that include (Goleman, Byatzis & McKee, 2013):
-Knowing one’s emotions
-Managing emotions
-Recognizing emotions in others
-handling relationships

One must first understand themselves to understand others. Once this understand sets it the ability to understand and influence others becomes apparent. In the military, command and control structures create authority but not the highest levels of performance. Excelling beyond the call of the duty requires leaders with high emotional intelligence that can push people to the upper reaches of effort.

In the military emotional intelligence can influence subordinates in a positive way (Abrahams, 2007). Such leaders can move beyond structure to create inspiring relationships that draw subordinates to help solve problems. The leader can command a level of respect through his/her even keel personality and appropriate reaction to events.

Emotional intelligence is important in both the business and military world where strict organizational structure limits the amount of personal connections that can occur. Information is transferred through these personal connections and those with higher emotional intelligence can maintain their relationships and develop higher levels of performance among their employees by understanding their needs and motivations.

Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee. (2013). Primal leadership, with a new preface by authors: unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Paper back. 

Abrahams, D. (2007). Emotional intelligence and army leadership: give it to me straight! Military Review, 87 (2).

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Are Rude and Aggressive Managers Destroying Your Business?

We have become accustomed to the hard nosed manager that guides employees on the really important aspects of business. The problem is, such managers, even though well intentioned, lower satisfaction in the workplace and are counterintuitive to development. A study of 200 full-time adults found that positive relationships superseded mentoring even though both contributed to organizational commitment and job satisfaction (Madlock & Kennedy-Lightsey, 2010).

The image of the strong and tough manager that gives it to their employees straight is something that should be left in the manufacturing plants of yesteryear. The same can be said of the sarcastic and aggressive personality we often associate with upward mobile career oriented people. Their ability to develop greater commitment and satisfaction among employees is likely as them having a sunny disposition.

Researchers found that mentoring behaviors and positive verbal communication created higher levels of communication satisfaction, organizational commitment and job satisfaction. The opposite occurred when the managers were seen as verbally aggressive. Rude and aggressive managers may just be destroying your organization.

In a nutshell people didn’t like working with aggressive managers and often shun interacting with and listening to their needs. Companies that fill their ranks with gruff management personalities may find their turnover rates, absenteeism, industrial unrest, and commitment at rock bottom (Hargie, Tourish, & Wilson, N., 2002). The end result can be expected, as employees opt for better environments.

The next time your organization seeks to select a new manager consider the personality as an important predictor of results. Doing so may just help your organization foster the motivation and commitment needed to master the complex environments it navigates in. Seek those personalities that can hold people accountable, mentor them to the next level, and still maintain positive communication.

Hargie, O., Tourish, D., & Wilson, N. (2002). Communication audits and the effects of
increased information: A follow-up study. Journal of Business Communication, 39,

Madlock, P. & Kennedy-Lightsey, C. (2010). The effects of supervisors’ verbal aggressive and mentoring on their subordinates. Journal of Business Communication, 47 (1)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

How Does Jung's Archetype Influence Your Management Style?

Carl Jung’s Archetype is considered an interesting theory about the nature of the human mind and the personality structures contained within it. The creation of self and all of its details has a substantial impact on our personality and how we relate to other people. The very way in which our archetypes create our personality will naturally impact how we deal with problems and events in the workplace. Our management style is based upon how we see ourselves and the archetypal approach we use in life.

According to Jung we have the Self which is the unification of our conscious/unconscious, the shadow which is our hidden instinct driven self, the Anima or Animus that represent the true self, and the persona is the image we share to the world. As a total person the self is the way in which we integrate ourselves while the persona is more focused on what we want to show others.

Some argue that these archetypes are universal and an inherited part of ourselves. Based upon our biological and environmental traits our personalities begin to develop particular characteristics that revolve around running themes in our lives. Some of these personality types could be the father, mother, child, hero, wise old man, maiden or trickster.

The type of persona and personality a person accustoms themselves with will obviously impact their way of thinking and their management style. According to an article in the Journal of International Management Studies a leader’s archetypes and experience combine to create the manager (Oren, 2011). This style will influence how projects are directed and the relationship the manager has with his/her subordinates.

For example, the caregiver is likely to be more humanistic in their approach when compared to the hero who may seek more opportunities to take charge. The way in which people organize their thoughts and understanding of the world around them becomes the leading method for managing other people. The archetype determines in part most, if not all, of the decisions managers make.

Determining your own style will help you be more effective in understanding the situations and work that you flourish in and develop a better plan on managing people. For example, if I take the archetype of the explorer I might become aware that I will be pushing my team to not only solve problems but explore unique ways of getting this completed. I will not be happy with stagnation in growth and production. My management style might include helping people be creative, unique, and focused on the goal to achieve objectives.

Oren, R. (2011). Preliminary findings into project management leadership archetypes. Journal of International Management Studies, 11 (3).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Positive Outlook and Proactivity Leads to Positive Business Outcomes

There is nothing wrong with a little optimism in your life; especially if that positive outlook ends with good things. Optimism can lead to promotion through positive interactions with others and a willingness to handle workplace challenges using a level of grace. When you are positive you are less likely to wait for problems to raise their head making you more proactive in handling issues. The very way in which we view the world may determine what type of fruit we can pick from it. 

When one is reasonably optimistic about life they have something called a positive orientation. Positive orientation is a basic disposition to view life and experiences from a positive disposition that leads to higher self-esteem (Alessandri, et. al. 2012). A positive orientation leads to higher in-role job performance and self-evaluations. 

Those who view life positively outperform pessimists within the workplace. They not only attract people to their cause but were also able to whether the daily grind better than others. A positive outlook adds up to higher levels of performance over time through many smaller actions. 

Having a positive outlook also creates greater connectivity and influence in one’s environment. Networking ability, interpersonal influence, and social astuteness mediated relationships between proactive personality and in-role performance (Shi, et. al. 2011). People who have confidence in engaging others and their personality are more likely to accomplish their career goals. 

Having a positive outlook is more than simple positive psychological outlook and can have real benefits for your career and life. Positive people are easy to like and more able to influence others around them. They have more confidence with problems that arise and are more likely to tackle problems that haven’t arisen yet. Proactive and positive outlook on life adds up to a great career. 

Alessandri, G. et. al. (2012). The utility of positive orientation in predicting job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 61 (4). 

Shi, J. et. al. (2011). Testing differential mediation effects of sub-dimensions of political skills in linking proactive personality to employee performance. Journal of Business & Psychology, 26 (3).

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Measuring Personality and Intelligence in Gifted College Students

The identification of gifted individuals is important in order to maximize their contributions to society and create a healthy understanding of others. The current identification methods may be inadequate as the far majority of gifted members are undiscovered and their talents unrealized for the greater good.  A paper by Carol Carman (2011) discusses the academic evaluation methods and the need to include behavioral aspects in the overall evaluation process. 

The far majority of gifted individuals have not been identified. This problem becomes more acute in minority populations and those who live in poverty who do not have access to elite education. When their special talents are not enhanced it can lead to intellectual loss for a nation. Furthermore, such individuals are left to suffer the consequences of greater awareness in a population focused on the here and now.  

Myers-Briggs evaluates giftedness as heightened intuition, introversion, thinking and perceiving dimensions when compared to the general population.  Their feelings, perceptions, and insights lead to greater understanding that are put to better use in science, arts, and other areas. Some of the world’s greatest scientific breakthroughs have come from gifted individuals and their constant search for truth. 

Gifted adults have greater responsiveness and intensified sensitivities to sensory stimuli. The greater and wider the intensities to stimuli the higher the potential for development. These sensitivities push the organism to overcome challenges, develop greater awareness, and adapt to challenges. Psychomotor, intellectual and emotional over excitabilities in combination clearly differentiated between gifted and non-gifted individuals. 

The authors used 249 students in undergraduate and graduate students to determine potential measurements of gifted students. The far majority of students have not been previously identified with these abilities.  Measurements include intelligence-based evaluations such as SILS and achievement latent variable but also personality-based evaluations such as OEQII latent variable and Sensory Profile latent variable. 

The study helps highlight that even college students are often regularly evaluated and identified for high potential. This is even more of an acute problem among minority populations. Current tests focus on standard intelligence tests but these may not always be accurate as they are culturally dependent, based on standard learning, and are dependent on motivation. Personality based evaluations help round out the differences and provide an additional criteria for accurate assessment. 

Carman, C. (2011). Adding personality to gifted identification: relationships among traditional and personality-based constructs. Journal of Advanced Academics, 22 (3).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Carl Jung, The Self, and Archetypes

Stages of Life by Carl Jung delve into the nature of human existence. We are led by our archetypes that are designed to develop our personality and behavior.  They are created to equip us with skills in our efforts for survival based within our ancient hunter-gatherer societies. These include parenting, exploring, distinguishing friend from foe, language, values, rule adherence, reproduction, economic contribution, ceremony and responsibility. The archetype is a psychological nucleus that coordinates the workings of our lives. 

The self is an archetype made up of the ego, personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. The self is the unification of the conscious and the unconscious and the integration of personality factors.  It is a concept of wholeness. The process of differentiation through trials and tribulations occurs over the first half of someone’s lifetime while later stages are often marked by greater wholeness. 

When Jung speaks of the self, he thinks of it in terms of the organizing genius behind personality. It seeks to create a balance between different dichotomies and generate full expression. As the self develops, it becomes more complex in its approaches as well as more capable of environmental mastery.

The ego, personal unconscious and collective unconscious are different levels of our uniqueness.  The ego can be seen as our individual way of thinking, the personal unconscious as our common experiences through an individual lens, and the collective unconscious as the common experiences of humanity. Each of these makes up the entire person and their approaches to life. 

There are different general approaches to life that include a whole host of types ranging from the hero to the caregiver and all the way over to the sage. Each of these types influences how we search for identity within our lives. The sage seeks truth while the hero seeks to protect. The ruler wants power while the orphan seeks connection to others.  Some theorists have listed 12 different types. 

Jung himself appears to only have designated four major archetypes called the self, the shadow, the anima or animus, and the persona. He did not limit the amount that actually exists. The self is the unification of the unconscious and conscious, the shadow is the secret self we can project on others, the anima/animus is the opposite sex understanding of selves, and the persona (the mask) that we allow others to see.  Each of these combined are used at various times in our lives to create a unique blend for each individual.

It is important to remember that models are only possible explanations of what actually occurs in life. As time moves on people come to confirm or dis-confirm these explanations.  Personally, I think of archetypes as societal examples that our personalities latch onto in order to define ourselves. As we begin to adopt a personality (i.e. archetype) we begin to mimic its persona in just the same way as we mimic our parents in childhood. We are not beholden to the archetype but the creator of the archetype through the examples we incorporate.

Other Reading: