Personality traits have a direct impact on production in any industry. The process of personality recognition is more complicated than it appears. For instance, if an employee is either optimistic or pessimistic we often assume the optimistic employee would be the best producer. We confuse “positive” attitude with positive performance simply based on the optimistic definition.
In reverse, we often associated pessimistic personalities with poor production based on the negative attitude associated with pessimistic people. Errors are made in judgement by management because we simply don’t realize that understanding personalities and how they effect production is complicated. Not understanding how pessimism and optimism are manipulated in the human mind our assumptions control our views and thus can effect individual and company production.
In fact, both optimistic personalities and pessimistic personalities have positive and negative factors that effect employee production. Each personality has two avenues of application that if recognized can help or harm overall performance in the individual and the company.
Two types of pessimistic reasoning are;
1- Pessimistic Paralysis- This is the personality often associated with pessimistic employees. The feeling of failure, pending doom, everything negative and thus the employee fails to reach the personal heights they are capable of thus effecting overall production.
2- Pessimistic Drive – This is the personality trait that we often miss or mistake for the paralysis. This employee also see pending failure, possible and sure defeat, however this employee is driven to meet the challenge even though they believe the odds are strongly against them. This personality is highly productive, maybe not the happiest person in the world, but constantly driven. These employees are serious, always seem to stress BUT, they deliver almost every time.
So, clearly being a pessimistic employee is not an automatic negative. Pessimistically driven people, while never comfortable with their life, are highly productive. While we assume highly optimistic people are the most happy and productive we might be shocked to learn that sometimes it is just the opposite.
Two types of optimistic reasoning are;
1- Optimistically Impaired- This is the overly confident “can do” employee shouting “Let’s GO!” the “rah rah” person that see’s nothing is impossible. While the attitude is great and often contagious the over confidence often leads to misjudging or not judging the challenge resulting in significant loss. Over confidence is a detriment and while it is great to say after the fact, “we tried hard” simply failing to achieve time after time is a pattern of the optimistically impaired. They are “happy” and motivated, but they are also underachievers.
2- Optimistically Driven- This is confidence with accountability, confidence with experience and confidence with a plan not rhetoric. This employee is at the top of the food chain, clearly knows and understands the obstacles with a focus to succeed. This employee leads a low profile and lets the numbers speak for themselves.
While clearly some personalities are more productive than others, you must have a mix to make a successful team or organization. Management responsibility is to recognize each trait and potential each trait offers to get the most for the employee and the company.
Nothing is “simple”, embrace complexity to understand your team.