Business News Daily receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure


5 Promotable Personality Traits That Will Help You Get Ahead

Shannon Gausepohl

Hiring and promotion are nuanced, and skills and prior work history are only part of the equation. As many employers know, a candidate's attitude and personality traits play an important role when relating to performance in the workplace.

"Leaders need to have an understanding of things like the DiSC (dominance, influence, support, and conscientiousness) profiles to know how different how personality types interact and work best together," said Jennifer Akoma, VP at Airfoil Group, a marketing and PR firm. "There is not one personality type that is better than another; each trait can benefit a team in a different way." 

Akoma notes it's important for a team to be balanced with a variety of personality traits. The dominant personality can help move things forward. Influencers help with creativity and energizing the group; steadiness plays a supporting role, keeping things moving forward and making sure the team is harmonious; while C’s attention to detail ensures quality and accuracy.

"You can see how each different type of personality and work style can play a key role on a team," she said.

Personality can be a predictor

"An overwhelming amount of data supports the claim that personality predicts job performance better than any other known evaluation method, including interviews and IQ tests," said Robert Hogan, a psychologist and president of personality test provider Hogan Assessments. "Personality should be [a] major factor used to make personnel decisions." 

Carl Persing, research and solutions adviser at strategy consultancy and survey provider Metrus Group, agreed, noting that people's personalities tend to motivate and guide them in their careers.

"Personality traits make you seek out certain jobs and affect how you fit in," Persing told Business News Daily.

When hiring managers are filling entry-level positions, they frequently screen for basic traits like reliability and organization skills, to make sure the candidate will be motivated to do the job. But when it comes time to promote those employees, personality becomes an even more important factor, said Eric Heggestad, an industrial and organizational psychologist and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

As the candidate, if you feel that you have personality traits that would be beneficial in a particular position, you should highlight the way you leverage your strengths to solve problems, complete projects, motivate teams, improve quality or other strengths that could be beneficial to the organization that is interviewing you, Akoma said.

For promotions, "you look a lot deeper, at things like charisma and the ability to motivate people," Heggestad said. "It matters more at the higher level, as the span of control increases."

"Know your strengths and seek opportunities that would highlight those strengths. For example, if you are an extroverted person and you like to connect with people, perhaps a way to advance your career is in sales," Akoma said. "Or if you’re a very service-oriented person, you may want to focus your career path on client growth and retention."

Five traits

Based on these experts' research, data and experience, here are five personality types that are most likely to earn you a promotion:

  • The "people" person. Clients, colleagues and bosses all like this person. He or she has a pleasant personality, gets along with others and is enjoyable to be around. A people person is likely to be a good manager or team leader because of these qualities.
  • The delegator. When lower-level employees are given the opportunity to work on a group project, there will always be at least one who assumes the position of leader. This person knows how to give constructive feedback and delegate tasks based on team members' strengths.
  • The adapter. This person learns very quickly and is able to adjust to any task or work environment. His or her intelligence and intuition help in figuring out how to tackle a new role.
  • The decider. A person who is decisive and confident in his or her decisions is a great fit for a leadership position. The ability to choose a direction quickly and effectively is essential for a strategy-based role.
  • The ethical person. No matter what the employee's role is, his or her actions are guided by a sense of ethics and integrity. This person won't compromise his or her morals or try to get ahead at the expense of other colleagues.

"It's important for candidates and employees to be aware of their personality traits and their strengths in order to find a position that they are well suited [for] and perform at an optimal level," Akoma said. "Strong management will recognize and focus on an employee’s strengths and ensure they guide and direct them toward the right opportunities that align to their strengths."


Image Credit: Your Design/Shutterstock
Shannon Gausepohl Member
<p>Shannon Gausepohl graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in journalism. She has worked at a newspaper and in the public relations field. Shannon is a zealous bookworm, has her blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and loves her Blue Heeler mix, Tucker.&nbsp;</p>