Personality traits aren’t good or bad - they just 'are'

Bill McAneny's picture
Published on Thu, 10/24/2013 - 15:05 by Bill McAneny

Russian nested dollsSometimes when we assess people and provide feedback on the results of some personality assessments we get asked: ‘is that good or bad?’ And of course the answer is ‘neither,’ (or perhaps ‘both!’) Sure we can all modify our behaviour but our basic personality traits are what come most naturally to us and that is where we’ll be happiest and be at our best. We had a colleague who, when we explained our unhappiness that she was late, said: “I am an ENFP, you have to expect me to be late.” Well…no! We can expect spontaneity, we can expect a fresh and enthusiastic perspective, we can even expect a lively approach with a difficulty in sitting still; but she did not have to be late, it is not preordained. This does, however, demonstrate that there are both upsides and downsides to personality traits and we all have to learn to project our upsides and manage our downsides.

So it’s OK to be ourselves, indeed it’s when we’re at our best. We know that trying to be like someone else does not work. Being proud of who we are, and helping other people ‘get us,’ and all of our foibles and idiosyncrasies that make us who we are is so helpful, to us and to them. Be loud and proud, be quiet and humble, be ultra creative, be systematic and detailed. But whatever you are, be yourself.

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