Conscientiousness And Its Link To Success In The Workplace

1260 words - 6 pages

In the discipline of personality psychology, it is crucial for researchers to conduct studies using universal terms and scales, so that they may effectively compare results and further their line of research. However, when it concerns personality traits, such a comprehensive catalogue has not always been available – in fact, it has taken until up until the late 20th century to develop a list of essential personality traits and create scales that measure these dimensions reliably (John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008). The current set of these widely used traits is called the “Big Five” personality traits, and encompasses five broad dimensions - Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, ...view middle of the document...

Scores for the traits are obtained by rating forty-four personality-describing sentences, such as “I am someone who is talkative” (John, Donahue, & Kentle, 1991) that each relate to one of the five subscales of the Big Five traits. For example, the characteristic of being “talkative” is related to Extraversion, where being “helpful and unselfish with others” is linked to Conscientiousness (John, Donahue, & Kentle, 1991). The sentences in the BFI are expanded from adjectives that are recognized as “prototypical markers” of the traits (John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008). Individuals completing the test rate these characteristics on a five point likert scale from 1 (disagree strongly) to 5 (agree strongly).
To further describe and explore the measure, I completed the BFI myself, focusing on my Conscientiousness score at the end. It took approximately six minutes to complete, and 10 minutes to decipher how to reverse score some of the forty-four items and tally the final score.
Reverse scoring and tallying aside, the test language was simple, transparent, and easy to understand. This corresponds with the sentiments of John, Naumann, and Soto, who cite the simple nature of the test as a benefit for researchers, due to participant time being limited and therefore valuable (2008). Certain sentences in the BFI would clarify the connotation of a personality characteristic when it had multiple possible interpretations: for example, “likes to reflect” could be interpreted as ‘brooding’ or ‘thoughtful’, and is clarified when it is followed by “play with ideas”, suggesting a more thoughtful, creative meaning. The eight sentences relating to Conscientiousness were all linked to the idea of a responsible and organized individual. For example, some of the sentences are as follows: (I am someone who…) “does a thorough job”, “is a reliable worker”, “perseveres until the task is finished”, “does things efficiently”, and “makes plans and follows through with them” (John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008). The other three Conscientiousness related sentences are antonymic of these positive characteristics, and had to be reversely scored. After tallying my ratings, the BFI gave me a score for Conscientiousness of 4.66 out of 5. This score supports the idea that I am a highly conscientious individual, this can be supported with specific examples. Out of the five example sentences listed above, four of them are representative of my work ethic at my workplace this past summer. As a reservation sales agent for Fairmont’s Global Reservation Centre in Moncton I took incoming calls from people around the world who were looking to book a stay at one of Fairmont’s 110 hotels. Although this was my first time working in such an environment (my previous jobs included outdoor labour), I loved the fast paced shifts and the challenges that come with global customer service. One of these challenges was the task of completing a comprehensive...

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