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Personality Measures Can Improve Individual & Team Performance

There are many abilities and characteristics which contribute to working performance. One of the most apparent abilities that will enhance work performance is intelligence. Memory, organizational, and problem-solving skills are also crucial to job performance, and these skills do not even touch on the personality and interpersonal skills which affect our performance through our ability to collaborate with others. 

Our observations at work make it clear that personality characteristics and interpersonal skills make people either generally easier or harder to work with. Because so many of our work products and outcomes depend upon reading, responding to, and cooperating with other personality characteristics are an important determinant of work performance. Most of us have experienced these effects directly, and the importance of personality on work performance is backed up by decades of psychological research. This research makes it clear that matching the right personality characteristics with what the job requires greatly affect personal and team performance. 

We know this intuitively, and it is why interviews are used in the hiring process. It seems logical that interpersonal interactions will allow us to assess a candidate’s interpersonal skills. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with this assumption. The first is that we hold personal biases from our experience and background which prevent us from accurately evaluating the personality characteristics of others; this is especially true in a formal and highly scripted interaction like a job interview. The second major problem with assessing others through the interview process is that personality characteristics are complex and relatively short formal interaction does not allow us to assess them accurately.

So, if personality characteristics help predict work performance and they are challenging to measure with traditional interviews and assessment processes, what is the best way to measure them? The answer is personality measurement instruments. When these are carefully developed using a scientific process, they help us overcome our natural, unconscious biases, and they extract valuable information about candidates that we cannot access through other methods like interviews or presentations. 

In addition to measures of personality characteristics, instruments are available to measure specific skills essential for different types of work, including sales, customer service, and management. These measures provide clear guidance for those who will perform better in these areas and can be used in both selection and development processes. 

All these measures take some time to administer, and the payoff is significantly more information about the people you are hiring and developing. The chance for making errors in hiring are high, and the cost of making mistakes is also high. Wouldn’t you feel better making that decision with the results of a scientifically developed measure of personality or skills as part of the process? 

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