Job Performance is Optimized when One’s Personality Matches the Task
Personality traits are essential for job success. Often interpersonal skills are as important as technical and intellectual ability in assuring success at work. A recent study conducted by Stephan Motowidlo, Ph.D., at RiceUniversity was published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology (Volume 43, Issue 9, pages 1851–1861, September 2013) and concludes that conscientious individuals are more likely to provide superior customer service. Such individuals are aware of how good interpersonal skills positively effect interactions with others.
Motowidlo found that personality traits impact how interpersonal skills are learned and used in a manner similar to how intelligence determines the attainment of knowledge. Personality characteristics which result in more effective communication, such as listening, engaging warmly and questioning help an individual handle interpersonal situations effectively. The understanding of successful customer service is determined by underlying personality traits.
Hopefully there will be additional research about how personality helps individuals acquire the skills they need to perform their jobs effectively.