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Open up and say aaahhh…

by | Sep 17, 2015 | The Workplace

Sometimes people are just where they are supposed to be, working with people in the right context and in the right manner. You as a manager need to recognize it and nurture it.

Ihad a visit to my oral hygienist today (I won’t give you the details suffice it to say kids, always floss) and while I was sitting there conversing with her a thought came to mind. I began to think how perfectly suited for her job she was. She possessed just the right mix of intelligence and professionalism, light-heartiness, and tough love when needed (again kids).

As I sat there I began to roll through my memory to other hygienists I knew, which oddly was five, and tried to compare their demeanor and personality with my current Floss Nazi (her self-described moniker, not mine). As it turns out, they all had a comparable mix of those personality traits, and while it could just be a coincidence, I tend to think it isn’t.

Fact is we’ve all heard the saying “she was made for that job” and while that may be the case is it really true? Could it just as easily be that people conform to the needs of the job regardless of their natural personality traits? Or is it that the best members of a profession have the same qualities that make them better than the rest? And will the rest, while able to hold jobs in their fields, ever be as highly sought after or recognized as a leader in their field?

And now I wonder if my hygienist’s personality would be equally suitable and successful in the courtroom or the boardroom or the backroom of a casino?

The ramifications of this are quite real as companies spend a great deal of time and money in their human resources and recruitment efforts. If an employee can be molded into the right type of person for a given job then more focus should be given to training in the field. If, however, it is shown that the personality traits of a person will dictate their success in a given profession, then more energy should be given to the recruitment and proper placement of people with the desired characteristics.

Of course, like many things, the answer may likely fall in the middle, where good recruitment and training would be the best course of action. However to really know for sure, organizations need to do some smart research and anaylsis of their best AND worst performers, looking for common traits and even more important, missing traits.

We’ll look at this a lot more down the road for sure, but for now I need to find where I left that damn floss dispenser.

Robert Westfall

Robert is a writer, behavorial researcher and decision-making consultant. He is the founder of Instinct, a firm specializing in helping organizations be more human focused and planet conscious.  You can learn more about his work at www.TheHumanInstinct.com and follow him at twitter.com/WeAreInstinct

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Remember when things just seemed to work? Yeah, neither do we.

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