Being selfish & deceitful can’t take you to top at workplace, these traits can…..

A research has found that people having selfish, deceitful, and aggressive personality traits are unlikely to reach top positions at workplace as compared to those who are generous, trustworthy, and generally nice.

Written by September 2, 2020 15:14

New Delhi: If you are wondering what traits, qualities and set of skills can take you to the top echelons of the workplace, this study has given detailed insights on this.

All those staff in a office aspire to get into the shoes of their boss someday and those with bigger ambitions harbor a desire to reach top company board.

But, what can you take there…. Is it just your functional skills, your ability to work hard or communication skills. Or, is it easier to rise the ladder by being clever, deceitful and by crushing your opponents?

A new research finds that in a workplace, people having selfish, deceitful, and aggressive personality traits are not likely to reach positions of power as much as those who are generous, trustworthy, and generally nice, according to new research.

The paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers conducted two studies of people who had completed personality assessments as undergraduates or MBA students at three universities. They surveyed the same people more than a decade later, asking about their power and rank in their workplaces, as well as the culture of their organizations.

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They also asked their co-workers to rate the study participants’ rank and workplace behavior. Across the board, they found those with selfish, deceitful, and aggressive personality traits were not more likely to have attained power than those who were generous, trustworthy, and generally nice.

That’s not to say that jerks don’t reach positions of power. It’s just that they didn’t get ahead faster than others, and being a jerk simply didn’t help, Anderson said. That’s because any power boost they get from being intimidating is offset by their poor interpersonal relationships, the researchers found. In contrast, the researchers found that extroverts were the most likely to have advanced in their organizations, based on their sociability, energy, and assertiveness–backing up prior research.

“The bad news here is that organizations do place disagreeable individuals in charge just as often as agreeable people. In other words, they allow jerks to gain power at the same rate as anyone else, even though jerks in power can do serious damage to the organization,” Anderson said.

While there’s clearly no shortage of jerks in power, there’s been little empirical research to settle the question of whether being disagreeable actually helped them get there, or is simply incidental to their success.
In the first study, which involved 457 participants, the researchers found no relationship between power and disagreeableness, no matter whether the person had scored high or low on those traits. That was true regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, industry, or the cultural norms in the organization.

Do-gooders, hated, workplace

The second study went deeper, looking at the four main ways people attain power: through dominant-aggressive behavior, or using fear and intimidation; political behavior, or building alliances with influential people; communal behavior, or helping others; and competent behavior, or being good at one’s job. They also asked the subjects’ co-workers to rate their place in the hierarchy, as well as their workplace behavior (interestingly, the co-workers’ ratings largely matched the subjects’ self-assessments).

This allowed the researchers to better understand why disagreeable people do not get ahead faster than others. Even though jerks tend to engage in dominant behavior, their lack of communal behavior cancels out any advantage their aggressiveness gives them, they concluded.