If someone told you that a secret characteristic will guarantee your job performance and professional success, you would probably want to cultivate it, right? New research has let the cat out of the bag. The psychologists examined the Big Five scientific model of personality traits that include extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, and neuroticism. The Big Five model is used to find a match between personality, job title, and overall success in life. Measuring the five dimensions of your personality identifies the jobs that best suit you. The model can help companies recruit and retain the most suitable personalities for certain jobs. If you’re a quiet, shy employee who prefers to work alone, for example, a high-pressure sales job might not be your helm.
In a new study, scientists identified one personality trait out of the five that is most essential when it comes to job performance and career advancement: agreeableness. If you’re nice, easy to get along with, cooperative and approachable, and work like a team member. You tend to be more optimistic, less skeptical and hostile. Based on their findings, the researchers synthesized eight general themes that best describe how kindness works to benefit both employees and companies.
- self-transcendence Have self-directed growth aspirations and motivation to show interest and concern for others.
- Contentment. Accept life as it is and the ability to successfully adapt to new contexts and institutions.
- relational investment. Motivation to cultivate and maintain positive relationships with others.
- Teamwork. Empathetic ability to coordinate goals with others and ability to cooperate effectively, regardless of role, to achieve collective goals.
- Labor investment. Willingness to put effort into tasks, do quality work, and be responsive to the work environment.
- Less emphasis on results. A generally less emphasis on setting goals and producing individual results and a tendency to rate the performance of others more leniently.
- Orientation to the social norm. Increased sensitivity and respect for behavioral compliance with social norms and rules and avoidance of rule violations and misdeeds.
- Social integration. Capacity for successful integration into social roles and institutions and a reduced likelihood of delinquency, antisocial behavior, and turnover
One of the study’s authors, Michael Wilmot, an assistant professor of management at the University of Arkansas, said. “We know this is important, perhaps now more than ever, because likeability is the personality trait that is primarily related to helping people and building positive relationships, something organizational leaders don’t lose.”
In fact, studies have shown that work engagement and productivity increase when employees feel seen and cared for by the bosses of the company. In the workplace, you never know the hidden emotional baggage that employees, co-workers, or employers carry on a daily basis. But when employers keep their judgment at a distance and are curious about an unpleasant or unacceptable employee situation, it can help them respond in a more pleasant way and contribute to a supportive and collaborative work culture.
Stalemate occurs when higher-ups in the company or a colleague are stuck in their own viewpoints, unable or unwilling to see a workplace issue from an employee’s point of view. They communicate their feelings as facts and turn a deaf ear to another person’s thoughts and feelings because they have already decided that they are right. They force that point of view by ordering, pointing fingers or criticizing and judging. Gridlock between two parties in the workplace leads to defensiveness, criticism, withdrawal, and in some cases contempt, four signs of a total breakdown in communication that creates negative morale and mistrust of management, and lower job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity.
Practicing kindness doesn’t mean you’re a “yes employee.” It means you have skin tough enough to be able to consider a co-worker’s point of view without arguing or becoming defensive. You are willing to temporarily suspend your point of view, try to see another’s perspective, and try to find a collaborative solution. You are not an appeaser, and you do not become a doormat or endorse poor job performance. Kindness breaks you out of a rut from his own perspective and allows you to see a situation from a colleague’s point of view, even if he doesn’t agree. It enables you to respond to workplace issues with less judgment and animosity and more maturity, objectivity, fairness, and fairness. The key to creating a strong and healthy workplace is good communication. Friendliness between management and employees and between co-workers is mutual, free-flowing, and has the following five qualities:
1. Both parties are willing to communicate openly about workplace issues and concerns.
2. Neither party is interested in conflict, judgment, and criticism or negative interpretations of the other party’s actions.
3. Both parties seek a harmonious connection through empathy and respect for the other’s point of view.
4. Overwhelming episodes of appreciation are frequent, and both parties are open to compassion and empathy and have an uncontrollable urge to extend it.
5. Both parties use a win-win strategy, rather than a win-lose approach, which automatically eliminates tension and conflict so that both parties benefit.
As job seekers in “The Great Resignation” seek more humane work cultures, companies can use this new information to hire and retain employees who demonstrate friendliness and are best suited for certain jobs.