What is Conscientiousness and How Does it Affect Behaviour?
Employers listen up
This is the key trait to look for in a candidate. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a waiter or candlestick maker, be sure to hire those who score highly on conscientiousness.
Why you ask?
Conscientious people are organised, disciplined, duty-driven, and self-controlled. They are the kind of people who see the cookies in the cupboard and leave them there. The sort of person who’d be starving hungry and yet still take the time to prepare a salad! They are masters of impulse control and are able to resist immediate gratification in service of their higher goals.
People who score highly on conscientiousness are generally very good at their jobs. They get promoted faster, enjoy higher incomes, resolutely complete training courses, and perform with proficiency and care. No matter what the profession, no matter how you assess them – conscientious people will usually come out on top.
While unconscientious people are easily distracted and prone to succumbing to the immediate rewards within their environment, a person with high conscientiousness has the ability to abide by internally set goals. If they have work in the morning, they will refuse that next drink. If they need a higher salary, they will take on more responsibility and more than step up to the plate.
Occasionally the highly conscientious type will fall foul to perfectionism and struggle to let their hair down. A highly conscientious person is so good at saying no that they often have difficulty relaxing and enjoying themselves with friends. When a conscientious person has a clear goal, they are able to make whatever sacrifices they deem necessary to achieve it. Often, undirected leisure activities come to feel like time-wasting, and as a result, the overly conscientious type can lose friends.
Highly conscientious people run the risk of being too rigid when it comes to pursuing their goals and plans. They lack flexibility and can find themselves lost in environments that are ever-changing and unpredictable.
Fortunately such is not the case for the modern world of work – where more often than not, we must exercise our talents in one domain to achieve a narrow set of goals which we ourselves decide.
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