A PLEASANT PERSONALITY is important for
salespeople and shopkeepers, but what about the rest of us? Isnt
competence enough? Doesnt technical skill count more than
A team of researchers at Purdue University
wanted to find out. They studied the careers of a group of engineering
graduates to find out if personality played any part in the engineers
level of success. After testing and follow-up, the researchers
discovered that those who had the greatest mastery of the technical
material made only slightly more money than the engineers with
the least technical capability. But those who tested high in
personality factors earned about 15 percent more than those with
the high technical ability and about 33 percent more than
those who tested low in personality factors.
Engineering is a technical field. And even
here, personality makes a big difference.
Of course, in truly perilous conditions,
where lives depend on skill, personality doesnt matter
much. Or does it? For Charles Houston and Robert Bates, the leaders
of an expedition, the most important quality they sought
was personality. The expedition in question was the fifth attempt
to conquer K2, the second highest mountain in the world. They
needed a team of eight experienced climbers. What did they look
for? At the top of their list was a good personality.
Houston and Bates had learned from previous
expeditions that certain qualities of personality can prove essential
to a groups survival. They knew from experience that if
they were to succeed, each mountaineer on the team must be
able to keep his good nature and add to the humor of the party
when bad weather, danger, or hardships strain the nerves.
Even here, even in harsh survival conditions, the principle applies.
No matter what you do or where you are,
your personality counts. When you try to get along better with
others, when you exercise or eat better or get more sleep to
improve your disposition, when you learn to handle stress or
conflict or nervousness or depression a little better
it makes a difference. On an engineering team or at the top of
a mountain or at the water cooler down the hall, it makes a difference.
Increase your ability to get
along with people and improve your disposition.