How Personality Affects Behavior in the Workplace

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Personality factors alter workplace environments in major ways. From friendships to who gets picked to be the boss’s favorite, personality can shape how jobs are experienced. But personality also affects workplace behavior in unexpected ways.

Bullying and Victim Personality Profiles

  • Those who are bullied at work may have a personality profile that makes them more susceptible to abuse, according to 2007 research published in the “Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.” Those who are bullied tend to have characteristic personality traits, such as higher sensitivity and less emotional stability. While researchers note that there was not one particular personality style that made individuals the subject of bullying overall, the fact that those who had more trouble regulating their emotions tended to be bullied more suggests that personality and emotion should be part of ongoing research in the bullying arena.

Deviant Behaviors

  • Those who perceive their jobs more favorably have lower levels of deviant behaviors at work, such as stealing, suggests research published in the “Journal of Applied Psychology” in 2004. But it is the personality of those who see their jobs in a better light that leads to their favorable perceptions of the environment. Personality traits such as conscientiousness, emotional stability and agreeableness are all associated with more positive outlooks and less deviance, while those with lower ratings for conscientiousness and emotional stability tend to act out more and engage in more deviant behaviors.

Extraversion and Workplace Fun

  • Your personality dictates how much fun you experience at work. Those whose personalities are higher in extraversion and agreeableness report more experiences of fun in the workplace, notes research published in the “Journal of Health and Human Services Administration” in 2007. Extraverts who reported having more fun at work also reported less emotional exhaustion, less stress and more job satisfaction.

Risk Taking and Safety

  • While extraverts may have more fun, they may also be more destructive, according to 2012 research published in the “Journal of Applied Psychology.” This study looked at personality traits and workplace safety and found that those with extroverted personalities and those high in neuroticism were both more likely to take risks at work. Unsurprisingly, those possessing these personality traits have more accidents on the job. Those who ranked higher in agreeableness and conscientiousness had fewer accidents and engaged in safer workplace behavior.

References

  • Photo Credit David Woolley/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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