A Successful Team needs Cohesive Personalities

A useful way to think about teams with the right mix of skills and personalities is to consider the two roles every person plays in a working group: a functional role, based on their formal position and technical skill, and a psychological role, based on the kind of person they are. Too often, organizations focus merely on the functional role and hope that good team performance somehow follows. This is why even the most expensive professional sports teams often fail to perform according to the individual talents of each player: There is no psychological synergy. A more effective approach focuses as much on people’s personalities as on their skills.

Dave Winsborough and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic writing in Harvard Business Review  

Child rearing is an art

Child rearing is an art, and what makes art art is that it is doing several things at once. The trick is accepting limits while insisting on standards. Character may not be malleable, but behavior is. The same parents can raise a dreamy, reflective girl and a driven, competitive one—the job is not to nurse her nature but to help elicit the essential opposite: to help the dreamy one to be a little more driven, the competitive one to be a little more reflective.

Adam Gopnik writing in The New Yorker



Your coworkers are better at rating some parts of your personality

Sixteen rigorous studies of thousands of people at work have shown that people’s coworkers are better than they are at recognizing how their personality will affect their job performance. As a social scientist, if I want to get a read on your personality, I could ask you to fill out a survey on how stable, dependable, friendly, outgoing, and curious you are. But I would be much better off asking your coworkers to rate you on those same traits: They’re often more than twice as accurate. They can see things that you can’t or won’t—and these studies reveal that whatever you know about yourself that your coworkers don’t is basically irrelevant to your job performance.

Adam Grant writing in the Atlantic

I'm not who I used to Be

Feel like you’re not the person you used to be? You’re probably right. The longest-running personality study ever conducted reveals that people change so dramatically as the years go by that they often bear little resemblance to their younger selves.

In 1950, researchers asked teachers to assess specific personality traits of 1,208 14-year-old students, including their self-confidence, originality, perseverance, conscientiousness, stability of moods, and desire to excel. In 2012, 174 of the original students agreed to participate in a second evaluation. Now in their 70s, they completed cognitive tests and answered detailed questionnaires, rating themselves on the same characteristics. They also had a close friend or relative evaluate their personality.

After comparing the results, the researchers found no correlation between the participants’ current personality and who they were as teenagers, HuffingtonPost.com reports. “Personality changes only gradually throughout life, but by older age it may be quite different from personality in childhood,” the authors say, noting that genetic and environmental factors likely influence how personalities evolve over time.

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