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Identifying yourself and recognizing who you are can be the biggest obstacle an individual can face. This essay will determine my strengths, weaknesses and developmental plans with appropriate research findings. According to the HEXACO personality inventory, my biggest strength relies on extraversion. In the survey, I was ranked a 4.31 out of 5. Extraversion is when an individual turns attention outward and focuses on the object. In simple words, extraversion is the quality of being outgoing and enjoying the presence of people rather than being alone. A philosopher named Jung classified Freud’s theory of extraversion as tough-minded behaviour (Dolliver, 1994). Furthermore, the HEXACO personality inventory states that individuals who possess a high score on extraversion feel more positively about themselves. They are confident individuals who are not afraid to lead others and address large groups of people. Some of their characteristics include enjoying interactions and social gatherings in a positive mood by being enthusiastic and energetic. This showcases my personality in many ways as well. My day to day life portrays many examples of an extravert behaviour.
My main goal in life is to always have a positive outlook on situations that I come across. This was evident in my first year at university as I faced many barriers, such as being removed from the co-op program. I faced this situation head on with a positive outlook to do better in the coming semesters to improve my grade point average (GPA). Fortunately, I am now closer to being re-evaluated for the co-op program, as I followed through with my plan. This has taught me to always look at the bright side of things and to always move on. There are also many other activities that I take part in which showcases my extravert personality like being part of clubs, socializing with classmates and attending several networking events and workshops to extend my network base. Being an extravert has many positive impacts and has been proven by research to help improve job performances.
According to Minbashian, Bright & Bird (2009), there are many behaviours which extraverts possess that help them perform effectively in managerial positions, such as getting ahead and getting along. The research breaks down extraversion into two categories; affiliation and agency. Both these subdivisions are related to effective job performances, however affiliation effects have a weaker correlation between effective job performance and extraversion (Minbashian et al., 2009). Specifically, in the study done by Minbashian et al. (2009), it is proven that the scores found on a measure of agency is very positively related to good supervisor ratings on effective performance. Furthermore, extraversion behaviours showcase a higher motivational trait which is very important for managers. Assertive individuals are also proven to be more effective leaders than low assertive leaders (Minbashian et al., 2009). This research shows that in my future career as a marketing manager, I would be able to establish positive relationships with others and can be an effective leader to my subordinates. Being in the marketing field forces us to deal with plenty of situations where communication and confidence is key to success. By being an extravert, I can fit into the role comfortably and do not have to force myself to act a certain way to fit into the job. An individual can have many strengths but learning from their weaknesses and turning it into a strength motivates an individual to do better.
One of my biggest weakness is agreeableness. According to the HEXACO personality inventory, my score on agreeableness is low of 3.56 out of 5. Under the section of agreeableness, there are subsections which include gentleness with a score of 2.5. In a study done by Purdioux (2015), it determines the facets of agreeableness which include tender-mindedness, modesty, altruism, etc. Agreeableness is defined as being forgiving and lenient. Since I am low on agreeableness, I am portrayed as very stubborn, angry and critical. In my day to day life, I am very stubborn when I feel like I am right which leads to many altercations between my mom and I. We always argue on topics that are viewed differently by both of us and this gets me angry. There are many times where I have held grudges against my friends and the longest has been a year. This weakness of mine has been a downfall to many life decisions I have made and am hopeful to make improvements. Weaknesses not only have an effect on our personal life, but also has a great impact on our career.
In a study done by Witt, Burke, Barrick, Mount & Michael (2002), they try to prove the relationship between agreeableness and job performance. In a sample survey done on various employees, results show that individuals who are low on agreeableness received a low rating on job performance than the individuals who are high on the agreeableness scale (Witt et al., 2002). Additionally, agreeableness is more important in situations where collaboration is a main aspect of the job. As I want to become a marketing manager, the description of a marketing manager is to have great interpersonal interactions. According to the survey, the findings conclude that jobs that require high interpersonal interactions need individuals who portray traits, such as selflessness and flexibility (Witt et al, 2002). Furthermore, it shows that individuals who are high on agreeableness can solve conflicts easily, cooperate with coworkers and have a mutual understanding with others. This means that I need to improve on this weakness to become a successful marketing manager.
To be able to improve on my weakness, I need to create a developmental plan. My plan is to attend relaxation, mindfulness classes or yoga for one year to help open my mind to other opinions, improve commitment and to control my anger. Additionally, a behavioural example to improve agreeableness is to listen. When I converse with others, I should first listen to others’ opinion on a topic. This would help me understand others’ point of view on the topic. Then by sharing my view, there would not be any conflicts and an understanding would occur. By not listening to others, I am creating unnecessary arguments which would not have occurred if both sides were clearly stated. Moreover, I need to understand that by improving agreeableness, it will also improve relationships. To do this, I need to have a softer tone when speaking to others. By lowering my voice and changing my tone it will stop arguments from occurring and the other individual would not feel intimidated.
My plan is a SMART goal. The goal is specific because I will be attending yoga classes or doing mindful exercises. It is measurable because to measure my final results, I will redo the HEXACO survey to see if there are any improvements on my scores for agreeableness. It is attainable because there are yoga classes available at Pan Am for free. It is relevant because by doing yoga I will be able to open up my mind to individuals’ ideas and be able to control my anger and feel calm. The goal is timely because I plan on going for an entire year beginning this November. This shows that my plan is a SMART goal.
According to a study done on self advocacy and adherence on the personality traits, it is proven that by improving adherence behaviours it could help individuals who score low on agreeableness and conscientiousness (Axelsson, Lötvall, Cliffordson, Lundgren & Brink, 2013). Relating it back to my goal on attending meditation or yoga classes, I am portraying adherence behaviour by committing to do an activity that will help improve my commitment skills, anger, openness to ideas and stubbornness. By doing this, I will be more committed in listening to other individual’s ideas as well. According to Phillips, Lipson & Basseches (1994), it is shown that the art of listening helps psychological developments. By also performing different behavioural changes like listening, I will be able to further aid my process in improving my agreeableness skill.
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