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CHAPTER THREE

INDIVIDUAL
DIFFERENCES AND
TRAITS

Individual Differences Framework


Heredity
Genes
Race/Ethnicity
Gender

Environment
Culture & education
Parental Influence
Physical Environment

INDIVIDUAL CHARATERISTICS
Personality

Abilities &
Skills

Values

Leadership Style and


Behaviors

The Effect Of Individual Characteristics On


Behavior
BEHAVIORAL RANGE
Comfort Zone
Zone of
Discomfort

Individual
characteristics

Zone of
Discomfort

Personality

Psychological
characteristics
Stable over time and
across situations
A set of
characteristics, rather
than one trait
Makes the person
unique and different
from others

Abilities and Skills

Ability, or aptitude, is a stable


natural talent for doing something
mental or physical.
A skill is an acquired talent that a
person develops related to a specific
task.

Values And Value System


Values are long-lasting beliefs about what is
worthwhile and desirable
Factors that affect values include:

Culture
Personality
Gender
Ethnicity
Generational differences

Views of Ethics

The relativist view of ethics


suggests a belief that what is
right or wrong depends on the
situation or the culture.
The universalist view of ethics
suggests that all activities should
be judged by the same
standards, regardless of the
situation or culture.

Components Of Emotional Intelligence

Self-awareness

Managing
emotions

Self-motivation

Empathy for
others

Interpersonal
skills

Characteristics Of Creative Leaders


Perseverance when facing obstacles
Self-confidence
Willingness to take risks
Willingness to grow and openness to
new experiences
Tolerance for ambiguity

Three Categories Of Leadership Skills


1. Technical skills
2. Interpersonal skills
3. Conceptual skills

Perception, Attribution
and Learning

Social Perception
Social Perception interpreting information
about another person

Social Perception
Social Perception interpreting information
about another person
Perceiver Characteristics
Familiarity with target
Attitudes/Mood
Self-Concept
Cognitive structure

Social Perception
Social Perception interpreting information
about another person
Perceiver Characteristics
Familiarity with target
Attitudes/Mood
Self-Concept
Cognitive structure

Target Characteristics
Physical appearance
Verbal communication
Nonverbal cues
Intentions

Social Perception
Social Perception interpreting information
about another person
Perceiver Characteristics
Familiarity with target
Attitudes/Mood
Self-Concept
Cognitive structure

Target Characteristics
Physical appearance
Verbal communication
Nonverbal cues
Intentions

Situational Characteristics
Interaction context
Strength of situational cues

The Perception Process

ATTENTION
ATTENTION
The
ThePerceived
Perceived
The
ThePerceiver
Perceiver

ORGANIZATION
ORGANIZATION
Patterns
Patterns
Schemas
Schemas
Scripts
Scripts

PERCEPTION
PERCEPTION

Comprehending Perception
We all have a different store of knowledge.
We all therefore interpret the world around us
differently.
Understanding relies upon the speaker and his
audience having the same perception of the required
outcome.

Perception is a 'Learned
Experience'

It is the awareness of the


external world (or some aspect of
it, through one or more of our
senses and, the interpretation of
these by our mind.

Understanding

Understanding is achieved by interpreting current


experience using past experience as a source of
reference, and establishing a context upon which to
base this new information. In other words:
We are only able to understand today in terms of,
and because of, our past experiences.
Yet, we also know that 'Today' is unlike 'Yesterday'.
We inherit Yesterday's patterns and need them to
interpret what our senses are experiencing in the
present.
These patterns are simultaneously essential and
yet out of date.

How do we perceive?

We store a model or memory of objects.


The process of perceiving involves
matching what our senses are
experiencing to one of our models.
Perception is an active pattern-matching
process.
We recognize the world because of our
historical store of information.
We create our own unique world, our own
interpretation of reality.

Barriers to Social Perception

Selective perception
Stereotyping
First-impression
error
Implicit personality
theory
Self-fulfilling
prophecies

Social Perception interpreting information


about another person

Personality Theories
Trait Theory - understand individuals by breaking
down behavior patterns into observable traits
Psychodynamic Theory - emphasizes the unconscious
determinants of behavior
Humanistic Theory - emphasizes individual growth
and improvement
Integrative Approach - describes personality as a
composite of an individuals psychological
processes

Variables Influencing
Individual Behavior
The Person
skills & abilities
personality
perception
attribution
attitudes
values
ethics

Variables Influencing
Individual Behavior
The Person
skills & abilities
personality
perception
attribution
attitudes
values
ethics

The Environment
organization
work group
job
personal life

Variables Influencing
Individual Behavior
The Person
skills & abilities
personality
perception
attribution
attitudes
values
ethics

The Environment
organization
work group
job
personal life

Behavior

Interactional Psychology
Approach
The Person
skills & abilities
personality
perception
attribution
attitudes
values
ethics

The Environment
organization
work group
job
personal life

Behavior

B = f(P,E)

The Big Five Personality


Dimensions

Conscientiousness

Extraversion/introversion

Openness to experience

Emotional stability

Agreeableness

Characteristics Of Individuals
With Internal Locus Of Control

Less anxious

Set harder goals

Manage stress well and adapt to


change
More considerate of followers and
less likely to use coercive power
Internal CEOs select risky and
innovative strategies

Characteristics Of Type A Individuals


High need for control
Doing more in less and less time

Work-Related Behaviors
Defining Characteristics
Time urgency
Competitiveness
Polyphasic behaviors
Hostility

Poor delegation
Likes to work alone
Jumps into action
Sets high goals
Hard work
Perceives more stress

Characteristics Of High
Self-monitors

Able to change behavior to match


situation

Able to read cues from the


environment

Able to cope in cross-cultural


environments

May be a key factor in leadership


effectiveness

Four Major MBTI Types


Sensation Thinkers (ST)
Intuitive Thinkers (NT)
Focus on hard facts
Change agents
Realistic, goal-oriented but Responsive to creativity
can be impatient and jump but can be unreasonable and
into action quickly
unaware of others
Sensation Feelers (SF)
Practical and caring
Good understanding of
systems but can be
reluctant to accept change

Intuitive Feelers (NF)


Personal charisma and
commitment to others
Many ideas, trouble with
implementation

FEELING (F)

INTUITIVE (N)

SENSING (S)

THINKING (T)

Machiavellian Personality

High Machs are:


Skilled at controlling others
Able to perceive and resist
manipulation
More successful in
unstructured environments
Low Machs are:
Naive and trusting
Leadership is associated with
moderate Mach score

Characteristics Of
Leaders Who Fail
Abrasive and intimidating
Cold and arrogant
Untrustworthy
Self-centered and political
Poor performers
Unable to delegate

The Johari Window

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Based on Carl Jungs work


People are fundamentally different
People are fundamentally alike
People have preference combinations for
extraversion/introversion, perception,
judgment

Briggs & Myers developed the MBTI to


understand individual differences

Take it at:

http://www.humanmetrics.com

Kiersey Temperament Sorter

1.In most situations are you more


deliberate than spontaneous
spontaneous than deliberate
2.Is it worse to be
a softy
hard-nosed
3.Is it better to be
just
merciful

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Introvert-Extrovert
where you derive your energy

Sensing-Intuitive
where you obtain your
information

Thinking-Feeling
analysis & logic versus pleasing
people

Judging-Perceiving
how you make a decision

MBTI Preferences

Each Manager Has a Particular Personality Type


That Focuses Attention and Presents Strengths and
Weaknesses in Dealing With Situations
Psychological Focus and
Types
Preferences
Extroversion

Focuses on
people
and things;
sociable;
outgoing

Introversion
Focuses on
thoughts
and concepts;
reflective;
inwardly directed

Strengths

Weaknesses
(if Overextended)

Good at social
interaction; enthusiastic and
confident; instigates action; open
and straightforward

Intellectual superficiality; intrusive;


lack of respect for
others privacy;
easily distracted

Good at personal
interaction; stays calm
and focused; can concentrate intensely;
develops ideas; uses
discretion in talking

May lose touch


with outer world;
keeps people at
a distance; easily
preoccupied

Each Manager Has a Particular Personality Type That


Focuses His or Her Attention and Presents Strengths and
Weaknesses in Dealing With Situations as They Arise (Cont.)
Psychological Focus and
Types
Preferences

Strengths

Weaknesses
(if Overextended)

Sensing

Facts; data; details;


concrete; reality
based; present
oriented

Pragmatic; precise;
stable; results oriented; sensible; systematic

Lacks long-range
outlook; may reject
innovative ideas

Intuitive

Possibilities;
hunches;
speculations; theoretical ; future
oriented

Imaginative; conceptulizes easily; creative;


intellectually tenacious;
idealistic

Unrealistic; out of
touch; bored by
routine; scattered

Rational; analytical;
assertive; logical; carefully weighs alternatives;
firm but fair; explains
thoroughly

Undervalues feelings; overly analytical; insensitive;


critical; judgmental

Thinking
Analysis; objective;
logic; impersonal;
justice; systematic
inquiry

Each Manager Has a Particular Personality Type That


Focuses His or Her Attention and Presents Strengths
and Weaknesses in Dealing With Situations as They
Arise (Cont.)
Psychological Focus and
Types
Preferences
Feeling

Judging

Strengths

Sympathy;
Persuasive; empathic;
subjective; humane; warm; sensitive; demonpersonal;
strative and expressive;
compassion; trust; loyal
consideration
Plan, organize, and
Organized; planned;control well; persistent;
settled;control ones decisive; conscientious;
life; set goals; struc- reliable
tured; routine

Perceiving Pending; flexible; Open minded; adaptable;


curious; spontaneity;spontaneous; undertentative; let life
standing; tolerant;
happen; undaunted inquisitive
by surprise; open to
change

Weaknesses
(if Overextended)
Overly sensitive;
moody; can become
emotionally overburdened
Close minded; inflexible; can jump to
conclusions too
quickly; intolerant;
judgmental
Indecisive; procrastinates; unfocused;
disorganized; impulsive; may collect
data too long before
deciding

Understanding
Individual Differences &
Perception
Perception is Reality

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
Why is this topic worth studying?

Perception refers to the process through


which we receive, organize and interpret
information from the environment
If we understand ourselves and those
around us, we can be more effective
If we integrate factual and perceptual inputs
into our belief system, we can change the
way we think and behave

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
What is perception?

Our interpretation of reality


A cognitive process of simplifying and
mentally organizing the environment
A series of mental models of common
characteristics
A series of scripts to make events
predictable

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
What influences perception?
Cognitive functions
Personality
Past experiences
Education
Gender, age, ethnicity, culture

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
Our perception of a situation:
Affects how we view our managers,
coworkers, and subordinates
Impacts the way we manage people
Affects how we make decisions
Can lead to inappropriate behavior

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception

Common perceptual biases


Stereotyping: assumptions about others
based on belonging to a certain category
or group
Halo effect: one characteristic influences
your overall evaluation of a person
Selective perception: tendency to
consider information that reinforces your
existing beliefs

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
Biases related to decision-making:
Availability bias: tendency to base
decisions on information that is
readily available
Representative bias: assessing the
likelihood of an occurrence based on
pre-existing data
Escalation of commitment:
increasing the commitment to a
decision in spite of negative

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
So What?

Our perceptions in the workplace are biased by


our experience, the culture, our education, and
socialization
We tend to make assumptions and act on our
perceptions as if they were objective truth that
were obvious to everyone
We rarely check the accuracy or validity of our
assumptions
People make inferences about others and
situations without regard to factual information

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
What is personality?
Personality is the sum of total ways
an individual reacts to and interacts
with others
Understanding ones personality can
help a manger predict employee
behavior

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
We can understand personality through
testing

Myers Briggs Type Indicator, categorizes


individuals into one of sixteen personality types,
extroverted vs. introverted, sensing vs. intuitive,
thinking vs. feeling, perceiving vs. judging
Big Five Model, five basic dimensions underlie
all others and explain most of the variation in
human personality, extroversion, agreeableness,
conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness
to new experience

Understanding Individual
Differences & Perception
Why should you take this seriously?

There is irrefutable evidence that tests have


predictive validity and can help us interpret
performance
There is a link between personality dimensions
and job performance
Whether you believe in this or not, many
employers do

Understanding Individual
Differences
Myers-Briggs Debrief

Understanding Individual
Differences
Exercise Summary
1. How groups were formed for this
exercise
Using 2 dimensions of cognitive style
Surveys you took were mini-version of real
test
Groups were not really cognitively
homogenous
2. Questions:
How did it feel to be part of a homogenous
group?
Could you sense that there was cognitive

Understanding Individual
Differences
Exercise Summary
3. Outcomes:
Cognitive diversity can lead to
process loss and inefficiency or can
lead to efficiency and teamwork.
4. Goal of this exercise:
To minimize process loss by grouping
people with common personality
types.

Understanding Individual
Differences
Exercise Summary
5. How to use this at work:
If two dimensions have predictive value,
we can make predictions about how
others will behave.
If we understand where individuals fit on
these two dimensions, it may lead to
clearer communications and better
outcomes.
We can create norms of interaction that
respect differences

Understanding Individual
Differences
The Two Dimensions Used in the
Exercise
ST: Problem focus: set up leadership and
formal structure; work fast; define
solutions not processes; concentrate on
routines and procedures; Task oriented,
look for cost/benefit.
SF: People focus, hierarchical but open to
unstructured situations, concerned about
human qualities of people doing work as
individuals, interest in maintaining good
interpersonal and social relations a
primary focus, focus on facts; how to

Understanding Individual
Differences
The Two Dimensions Used in the
Exercise

NT: Theoretical orientation, comfortable


with complex situations, concentrate of
defining problems, goals, analytical in the
abstract; often create complicated
procedures, using a messy process with
little consensus.
NF: Creative process, guided by insights
and imagination emphasizing
decentralized, humanistic organizations;
Moral concerns with a people orientation,
less concerned with structure. Comfortable

Understanding Individual
Differences
How we gather information:
Sensing (S) getting the facts, good at
details, comfortable with standard
solutions to problem solving, working with
tested ideas
Intuition (N) developing data through
insight and imagination, get bored with
routine, see the possibilities, less
concerned with facts, seek innovation, see
the big picture

Understanding Individual
Differences
How we make decisions:
Thinking (T) analytical, look for
cost/benefit/ focus on analysis/prefer
clarity, task oriented
Feeling (F) personal convictions or
beliefs, can become committed to
personal views, nostalgic, traditional,
principles oriented

Understanding Individual
Differences
How we choose priorities:
Perceiving (P) oriented towards
generating data, can procrastinate,
open minded and curious,
comfortable with ambiguity
Judging (J) oriented towards
decision making, clarity, order, dislike
ambiguity, decisions are important
not information gathering

Understanding Individual
Differences
How we establish relationships:
Extravert (E) requires variety and
stimulation, become bored easily, sociable,
look for new situations, often viewed as
influential, not easily organized, like
meetings
Introvert (I) Think things through
before communicating, harder to get to
know, communication is more of a strain,
few tasks at one time, few interruptions,
others around the introvert often feel left
in the dark

Understanding Individual
Differences
Interpretation of Individual Scores
Consider how cognitive differences affect
organizational situations
Four or more points viewed as a significant
preference, less than four points means no clear
preference on that dimension
Does your score feel right?
You can probably think of a situation where your
behavior was inconsistent with your Myers-Briggs
score
No right or wrong answers, your results represent
a lifetime of experience
According to the theory, we all have the ability
and potential to develop both sides the
personality dimension

Understanding Individual
Differences
Closing Thoughts

There are differences based on country, culture, and


experience
Age and education influence personality
Risk of organizational homogeneity
Seek balance in your own personality, balance is the key to
effectiveness and this ability resides within all of us
To derive the best solution seek cognitive diversity, groups
grasped only a part of the problem, best solution was a
combination of ideas
Psychological testing can deepen self-knowledge, and
improve teamwork but can be misused in promotion and
hiring decisions