Reinhold Niebuhr once said: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can. And the wisdom to know the difference.” This quality of wisdom differentiates people who enjoy high and long lasting success from those who are simply successful. The former have clarity on specific factors that contributed to their success and therefore, how they can best sustain their success.
Differentiating Skills from Personality Traits
In the context of recruitment selection at the workplace, SQI differentiates eligibility from personality-fit, thereby increasing selection accuracy and the degree of fit. Eligible candidates possess the relevant skills, also deemed as abilities that can be trained from “unable” to “able.”
Most people are aware that acquiring new skills, such as public speaking, is something within their control to change. However, few are aware that workplace personality traits also fall under the same category. At SQI, we use a framework of 48 traits to profile individuals.
Personality Traits Can Be Managed
Unlike our blood type that is fixed, our workplace personality traits are mainly nurtured traits developed within us throughout our school and work lives. Hence, they can be managed and changed through SQI’s expertise, allowing a user to ease into shifting his/her perspectives, moving away from “under-use” or “over-use” to “effective-use.” Effective use occurs when there is a fit between our personality traits and the nature of the work, work relationships and work environment.
Take for instance the trait of “Directness.” An individual with an inclination to be forthright may be dealing with work that is technical in nature in an open and communicative environment. Her inclination to be forthright is a response to her perception of what she believes to be most important and effective to thrive at her workplace.
However when this inclination is over-used, a person may become blunt and come across as offensive others. Conversely when under-used, a person may be perceived as non-communicative. Hence, SQI’s optimal balance principle is key. The optimal score range provides that basis for our Recruitment & Selection reports and certain Learning & Development reports. In these reports where normative assessment is used, we evaluate a set of essential attributes across individuals.
The optimal score range for each of the 48 traits was the result of eight years of research work (2000 to 2008) with internal and external validation from credible third parties. Respondents from the research whose traits scores were within the optimal range showed strong correlations between their SQI assessment scores of the relevant job attributes and their performance results for the respective jobs they held, regardless of the industry they were from.
Perspective-Shift in Traits Management
For individuals whose trait scores are outside of the optimal score range, SQI supports them through our post-assessment traits management expertise. In this process, we do not focus on imparting skills. Instead, traits management seeks to shift their perspectives. This is done intentionally in order to “tune-up” or “tune-down” specific traits as highlighted in the SQI report, for a specific purpose over a certain duration of time. Hence while the process is mentally stretching, rest assured that it does not require changing our personality entirely.
In some of our reports, we include a section providing recommendations for Traits Management, tailored to the individual’s trait scores. One such report is the Managing Change Report in the Learning & Development category. For the relevant traits that are outside of the optimal score range, we offer a structured guide for individuals to manage them. It is organised into three (3) parts: 1) Rationale for Traits Management 2) Suggested Approaches 3) Pitfalls to take note.
Factors Impacting Personality Trait Scores
As a result of this, the SQI report scores of the individual can change and will change when he/she is assessed again after the recommended interval of one (1) year. The extent to which the scores of the work traits change depends on whether the individual has acted on the awareness gained and the suggestions received from the traits management support rendered.
In addition, it is important to consider factors that have shifted one’s perspectives and hence moderated his work traits scores. This includes other personal variables (e.g. relationship, health and financial issues), organizational variables (e.g. revision of reward systems, change of management) and environmental variables (e.g. new technology, physical relocation of office) encountered during the 1-year gap period.
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