There exists a notion that intelligence and personality influences a person’s workplace behavior and performance. Most organizations hire people who can demonstrate some degree of intelligence in logical terms. Intelligent people are perceived to be more knowledgeable with excellent reasoning abilities. Good personalities also contribute to exceptional performance and adorable workplace behavior. For this reason, organizations consider individual personalities when recruiting. According to Crant, Hu, &Jiang (2016), proactive characters have high performances at the workplace. This paper provides an evaluation of how an individual’s personality and intelligence influence workplace behavior and performance.
Intelligence can be described as an individual’s ability to learn and apply knowledge in different fields. An individual’s intellectual capacity cannot be predicted, and they vary significantly from one person to another (Lowenthal 2019). In a workplace, intelligent individuals are considered reliable with the ability to learn and integrate new skills into their work quickly. Various theories have been advanced to explain intelligence.
A general model of intelligence by Charles Spearman defined intelligence as an individual’s mental abilities, which can be evaluated and expressed in numerical terms (Eysenck 2018). According to the theory, psychometrics can be used to measure intelligence (Protzko 2017). But then how reliable are psychometric tests in determining an individual’s mental capacity? In an ideal workplace, cognitive tests are exemplified by given responsibilities and duties that require one to think and solve critically. Intelligence can hence be categorized in different levels depending on the different abilities people exhibit in undertaking given roles.
Triarchic theory of intelligence, as advanced by Robert Sternberg, provides a distinction between there different aspects of intelligence, which are considered when measuring an individual’s intelligence. These are experimental, contextual, and componential intelligence (Christopher, Prasath & Vanga, 2018). Innovative intelligence constitutes an individual’s ability to get used to new environments and develop new concepts. Contextual intelligence refers to the skills of people to successfully remain functional in the environment (Kutz 2017). It also represents an individual’s ability to advance solutions to problems they encounter in the external environment (Sternberg 2018). Challenges are a common feature in the daily workplace environment, and according to the theory, contextually intelligent people will be able to find solutions. However, not all problems would require a smart person to solve.
Louis Thurstone developed a theory of intelligence that emphasized primary mental abilities and their roles in determining an individual’s intelligence capacity (Sternberg 2018). These abilities are; verbal comprehension (individual’s ability to learn and recognize oral resources), verbal fluency (the ability of an individual to fluently produce verbal resources like words and sentences), number (the ability to compute given arithmetic problems), perceptual speed (the ability to rapidly recognize numerics and words), inductive reasoning (the ability to generalize ideas), relating memory and spatial visualization. All these aspects are independent of one another, and they individually determine one’s intelligence capacity. It is possible that a person may be intelligent in number facility but lack the inductive reasoning intelligence. This hence introduces different types of intelligence at the workplace, thus different behaviors.
Personality can be defined as how people think, feel, and behave. Personality development is an essential psychological area that explains how people change in perceptions and attitudes as they grow (Cattell 2019). Personality develops from within an individual and defines who people are (Hampson 2019). Moods, views, and perceptions rely on personality traits. Several psychological theories explain personality from both innate and acquired points of view.
Freud’s theory of psychodynamics explains personality as a resultant of personal instincts and environmental interactions during the early stages of life. Parental experiences have an implication on an individual’s personality during adulthood (Pennington 2018). A good relationship with parents during the first years is critical for the development of a better character. Children are much influenced by what they observe from their parents and the surrounding environment while very young. Positive observations are hence associated with positive personalities, depicted through attitudes and perceptions towards other people.
Eysenck’s personality theory proposes that individuals inherit a given set of skills (Boyle et al., 2016) that influence the way they interact in the environment. These affect the development of personality traits. How these inherited skills can be quantified and related to a personality remains questionable. People may not necessarily have the same likings as their parents. It emphasizes the role of biological factors in the development of a personality. However, the approach appreciates the role of surroundings in the early years of a personality trait development.
Allport’s trait theory emphasizes that personality depends on the individual’s internal processes of cognitive and motivation (Scheffer & Heckhausen, 2018). People have different internal motivation processes. We may also observe two people having the same internal process, for example, the need to achieve or be successful; but still; have different personalities in the workplace. Like Freud’s theory, Allport includes the role of environmental interactions after birth in the development of individual personality traits.
Behavior is hugely reliant on personality. An individual brought up in a harsh environment with critical parents will tend to develop an authoritarian practice. As such, these individuals will be more prejudicial before others. They will have the desire to exercise power and control over their colleagues. As postulated in the personality theories, environmental interactions during the early stages of life dictate the personality an individual develops.
According to Freud’s theory, socialization and environmental conditions are critical in the development of a personality (Aransiola, 2016). Children who are not exposed to social environments when young develop will develop into introverts. Such individuals are reliable at work and can maintain concentration while undertaking their roles. They are also not too emotional and will act in a reserved manner while at work. Introverts register high performance in tasks that require concentration and individual inputs. Their performance is, however, much reduced in undertaking group tasks (Lewis 2017), which require social skills. Unlike extroverts, working in a noisy environment may also be a hindrance to the performance of introverts (Moradi et al., 2019).
Innovatively intelligent people can learn and integrate new skills into their work efficiently. These people are hence easy to attain high performances in their work (Vel, Park &Liu, 2018). Smart people are also versatile with the ability to undertake different roles in the organization. For example, many organizations are continuously advancing new technologies in their business activities. An intelligent employee in such an organization will be able to learn and adjust to the latest technologies quickly. Such will improve performance. Their ability to use their mental skills to solve environmental issues makes them more suitable in influencing others positively.
Emotionally intelligent people can register high work performance (Khokar &Kush, 2009). Emotionally intelligent people can recognize and appreciate the feelings of colleagues, and this enhances improved work behavior. Good workplace behavior is critical in improving performance. Smart people are also able to maintain a positive attitude towards the work they are doing (Carmeli & Josman 2006); hence, they will be able to keep high work performances.
Proactive personalities are naturally speculative. For example, people in an organization will prioritize their work, plan adequately, and will always have personal goals. They are triggered by job satisfaction and hence will be able to maintain a positive relationship with supervisors and mates (Li, Liang & Crant 2010). The personality is thus able to create a productive workplace behavior with a favorable implication on work performance (Buil, Martinez & Matute, 2019). Conflict-prone upbringings are more likely to influence the character of a person negatively. Such individuals will generally register poor performance. Such people feel disconnected from others, hence bearing a negative impact on workplace behavior.
Personality traits depend on the kind of upbringing one receives; hence, Environmental interactions are critical in the development of personality traits like attitudes. Intelligence represents the ability of a person to interact in an environment. Intelligent people are hence more productive at work with the possibility of positively influencing the workplace behavior of colleagues. Good workplace relations are determined to some extent by the emotional intelligence of the workers. Positive personalities can maintain a positive attitude towards the work, hence influencing the performance. Both character and intelligence are significant determinants of workplace behavior and performance.
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