Importance of individual differences in understanding behaviour

23 Mar 2015

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If you go into any job no matter where you are in the world you will come across a multitude of different personalities and behaviours. An individual's personality doesn't just affect the individual, but everyone around them.

Organizations consist of people who work together. Differences between individuals based on personality traits, may be an incentive for the development of creativity and a source of conflicts and other problems existing in the organization. Managers need to be able to measure personalities in order to make useful hiring decisions and they can do this by giving personality test and evaluating the results.

This essay will cover information about the individual differences and behaviour at work. Also will give examples of method of measure of personalities and theories.

Main Body

The word "personality" derives from the Latin persona, meaning "mask" ( J.Maltby, L.Day and A.Macaskill, 2007).

Psychological definition of personality, define personality in terms of characteristics, or the qualities typical of that individual (J.Maltby, L.Day and A.Macaskill, 2007).

Psychologists are interested in what people are like, why they behave as they do and how they became that way.ПрослушаÑ‚ÑŒ

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There two main attributes of the individual differences: ability and personality (C.Cooper, 2002). Ability is one of the traits that distinguish one person from another. There are found in the speed, depth and strength of mastery of methods and techniques of some activities and are internal mental regulators (C.Cooper, 2002). Personality - stable system of philosophical, psychological and behavioural symptoms, personal feelings, thinks, behaves, that characterize the person (C.Cooper, 2002).

According to information above, people differ from each other is obvious. Each person is different from any other their individual psychological peculiarity. The identity of each person is endowed with a combination of traits and characteristics that form the personality - a combination of psychological characteristics of people that make up its identity, its difference from other people. Individuality manifested in the character traits, temperament, habits, the prevailing interest, as cognitive processes, abilities, individual style of activity.

Studying individual differences is especially important ability for leaders and managers, enabling them to understand and relate well to others as well as understand themselves. It helps effectively promote functions and well-being among employees, because how employees will participate at work will depend on the production, reputation, quality of company or organization where person is working.

There are so many different tests which can help to predict or describe personality. For example, there are two popular methods ( J.Maltby, L.Day and A.Macaskill, 2007), which managers can use to help them to determine which type of individual they want to bring to the organization or how to effectively manage the people. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and The Big Five Personality Model, they used to measure personalities.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is the most widely used in the world. MBTI is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Individuals are given a 100 question personality test that asks them how they would react in certain situations. Based on the results from the test they are rated as an introvert or an extrovert, intuitive or sensing, feeling or thinking, and perceiving or judging person. Management would rate a quiet or shy person as an introvert and a person that is outgoing, assertive and sociable as an extrovert personality. And intuitive person often look's at the "big picture" and a sensing person has attention to detail and often likes routine and order. A feeling type of person relies on emotion and values and a thinking person uses simple reason to handle situations. A perceiving individual would be able to handle flexibility and be spontaneous, and a judging individual likes control and often prefers things to be structured.

The Big Five method is a research method in which it has five basic dimensions that measure human personality. Personality is an important determinant of how a person thinks, feels, and behaves; it is helpful to distinguish between different types of personality.

This method uses five factors which are extraversion a person that is positive emotional and feel good and world around one, neuroticism a person that is negative emotional and view the world around negatively, agreeableness which is a person that is tendency to get along well with others, conscientiousness is a person who is responsible and organized, careful persevering, a person that has openness to experience is creative, original, has broad interest and sensitive. Depending on what the individual scores it will determine which type of personality that they have (S. Wood, M. West, 2010).

If the psychological test was carefully chosen it can help organisation or practically manager to do their work easily.

General personality measures may well produce some important information about candidates; however, without clear ideas about what to look for, based on a detailed job analysis and other sources (The Psychology of Personel Selection). Each person is unique and has different types of personality that may be suited to different kinds of organizational situations. Characterize human it is not enough to know his temperament and style of the nervous system. Even with a very good knowledge of someone's cognitive ability and personality it would impossible, because most of factors depend on situations (The Psychology of Personel Selection). For this reason, it is not enough to spend a few tests to know as individual difference. Good manager should understand and learn how to deal with people and find right way to manage them (книжка по OB) .

Dispositional factors play a considerable role in our everyday life and there seems no reason to expect that they will not have some effects on work performance

Teamwork has become an important part of the working culture and many businesses now look at teamwork skills when evaluating a person for employment. Therefore, it is important that students learn to function in a team environment so that they will have teamwork skill when they enter the workforce.

As I don't have any work experience I want to discuss the individual differences according to my team working experience. Starting from, that I actually don't like working in group, because you depend on your group mates, you cannot work at yourself, all time you have to common concept. On other side, there are some positive sides of working together, you can find new friends and some time just make conversation with new people.

In my experience I have a lot of team projects, some of them I was enjoyed, some of them were absolutely terrible, because group working is not easy as it looks in reality, you working not with friends or people with whom you prefer to work, but with people who was selected by someone, in my example it was undergraduate office. In group team all people have different inelegance, different character, some of them hardworking, some lazy.

According to my group work experience, it easy to say that in this world everything is not as easy as it look like, because sometime you have to do work which you don't like but unfortunately you have to do it. First of all, in my group work were four people including me, all of us were different nationality.

In our group were conflicts, difference of opinions, discrepancies, we make decisions, sometimes not quite correct, but we did them together, so its fault belong not to one person, its belong to whole group, because decisions in group make together, because the group is one and decisions should taken collectively.

It was difficult to arrange time of our meeting because everyone has different time table

But when we were learn about each as some information, it was easier to work

In our project most of us participate, but we had one girl, she actually didn't attend most of our meetings, we e-mail to her, called, but she didn't replay on. So we had discussion in our group and decided that we going to gave her that 10% of final work. In fact it was really useful decision, because at the final presentation she was so active, tried to participate in all decision. But our group decided that her it going to be useful lesson for future.

As well as, in our group was one person, who was responsible for finance, he was really intsiastics he all time

In the conclusion,



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