young woman holding old key trying to unlock door symbolizing her attempt to unlock her positive character traits True Mydentity

Positive Characteristics Are The Key to Unlocking Success and Personal Productivity

Who you are and your most dominant positive characteristics, arguably, are more important than what experience you have when it comes to your career (and life, in general). Being aware of these dominant characteristics is incredibly important, and should be a part of the story you tell when interviewing for a job, and also to double down on building your career success.

The Interview - What’s Important for Candidate Consideration

A few years ago, I was sitting across a large conference room table from a young, recent marketing graduate who was interviewing for a job for the very first time. I could sense her nervousness, yet at the same time, could tell she had done the proper preparations for the interview.

I was looking to fill a supporting role on the team I was managing at the time, perfect for a new marketing graduate to get their feet wet in the corporate world. After some brief small talk and introductions, I got down to asking your not-so-typical interview questions.

"How do you stay organized, whether it be at home or when you were in school?"

"How do you take notes? What is your learning style?"

"Tell me about a time you were overwhelmed and how you worked your way through it."

“How do you go about setting goals for yourself?”

“When you are presented with two different options on how to complete a task, how do you decide which option to choose?”

After a few of these questions, and some great back and forth, I stated that was all the questions I had and asked if she had any questions for me. I noticed a slight sense of confusion on her face.

"I appreciate the time you have given me and have enjoyed our conversation, but you didn't ask me any marketing-related questions," she stated, probably wondering if she was in the wrong interview and why she had spent all that time preparing for marketing questions.

I assured her that she was in the right interview, and explained to her that most things I look for in the right candidate for a position don't exist on a resume.

My interviews consist of attempting to understand how you get things done, handle time pressure, and organize your work. I’m looking for key positive characteristics that indicate your level of productivity. In my opinion, and based on years of managing all different types of individuals, I can conclude that if you can be productive, effective, and efficient, you will be a huge success on any team.

Personality Traits Have Shown to Impact Job Effectiveness

The interview I described above is not taken out of some new age management book. It is based on my belief that an individual's character, personality, and qualities make up the greatest indicator of professional success. After all, most skills needed in the workplace can be trained. But what cannot be trained is how someone thinks, acts, and makes decisions. An individual who shows uniqueness in those areas is the one I am willing to bet on!

This is not just my opinion. Studies have shown that personality is the differentiator in how an employee performs on the job, and usually it is rewarded in better compensation over time.

In a 2019 article by the American Management Association, the author, Dr. Todd Harris, cited research that showed 20-25% of an employee’s effectiveness on the job is attributed to his or her personality. One quarter of how you are likely to perform in your career is based on your personality! That both amazes me and bewilders me. Knowing that your personality characteristics carry such importance, why don’t more individuals know their most dominant characteristics and use them to their advantage?

Where True Mydentity’s Positive Characteristics Questionnaire Comes In

That is why I believe in, and support, what True Mydentity is all about. Through a simple to follow, brief questionnaire, you can unlock your key positive characteristics. Having taken the True Mydentity Positive Characteristics Questionnaire, I can tell you that the results both validated what I thought I already knew about what makes me who I am, and really tied together some characteristics I attribute to my strong key traits relating to personal productivity.

For example, looking at my True Mydentity Positive Characteristics Questionnaire results, I scored greater than 70% in all the characteristics I associate with strong productivity habits, which include:

  • Flexible (85%)
  • Motivated (85%)
  • Determined (80%)
  • Hardworking (80%)
  • Intelligent (80%)
  • Steadfast (75%)
  • Focused (70%)
  • Organized (70%)
  • Responsible (70%)

I love those results and I truly believe they do a good job of summarizing how I effectively and efficiently get things done. Those characteristics define me and my work habits, better than whatever marketing knowledge I have today, which will most likely be obsolete in a few months due to the ever-evolving landscape of marketing. Those characteristics are evergreen, in my opinion.

I Prefer to Evaluate Qualities Related to Productivity Over Previous Work Experience

Personally, I like to see qualities related to productivity when interviewing job candidates, or building project teams. I strongly value someone's abilities around organization, process, and problem solving. I would rather have someone on my team who knows how to use tools for organization and thought-collecting over someone who is a wiz at Facebook Ads every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Sure, I want to see your resume and your work experience. However, I want you to come with your True Mydentity Positive Characteristics Report, which will tell me even more about what I need to know about how you most likely perform in the role, and fit into my team’s culture.

I can see a day where True Mydentity Characteristic Reports are standard across Human Resource departments because the output of those reports, like research mentioned above shows, have a strong possibility of being able to predict behavior.

Insight Requires Action to Deliver Impact

As I build my training and education company, I will be requiring the completion of the True Mydentity Positive Characteristics Questionnaire to use as an important indicator of who will fit best within my company’s aggressive goals.

Take the True Mydentity Positive Characteristics Questionnaire if you have not already done so. Keep the results front and center and lean on them as you build the story of YOU.

Additional Reading for the Curious Individual

If you are interested in learning more about the link between personality traits and productivity, and like to geek out reading academic research papers, I recommend the discussion paper published in 2014 titled “Do Personality Traits Affect Productivity? Evidence from the Lab”.


Guest Post - About the Author
Bob Stanke is a professional productivity and process improvement consultant who provides training and education materials for individuals, teams, and organizations who want to streamline their workflows to get more done and grow results. Stanke’s work can be found on his website.

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