Friday, October 17, 2014

Employers should specify ‘being conscientious’ as the top skill they are looking for

If you want to be successful at work, there is one trait that you need above all others. It isn't creativity, or emotional intelligence, or people skills, or experience, or judgment or even native wit. It is conscientiousness.

All the academic studies have been saying as much for decades, suggesting that whatever line of work you are in, this is what sorts out those who do well from those who don’t.
However, now it turns out that being conscientious yourself is only a starter. What you also need is a husband or wife who is conscientious too.

According to a study soon to be published in Psychological Science, the character traits of the person you marry have an effect on how well you do at work – a fair or foul wind from him or her can determine whether you get promoted or get a pay rise and whether you find your days in the office relatively tolerable – or not.

Researchers at Washington University in St Louis have spent the past five years studying married couples – most of whom both work – and matching the success of each against five personality traits of their other halves: extroversion, openness, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness. They found that the last one had a large positive effect: people with conscientious husbands and wives simply did better.

This makes sense for three reasons. First, a conscientious spouse is more likely to remember to take the rubbish out and to make sure there is something for supper. If you marry someone like this, you don’t have to get entirely bogged down in such things yourself. Second, they set a great example. If they are organised and punctual and diligent – all those unfashionable but utterly wonderful things that conscientious people always are – it helps you to be so too. And third, if you were smart enough to marry someone like this your home will be a well-oiled machine, which means that you are going to turn up at work considerably less stressed than colleagues who arrive from a hearth that is chaotic and where bills go unpaid and parents’ evenings are forgotten.

This report adds to the pile of studies that tell us that the world belongs to the conscientious. Variously they show that conscientious kids do best, that the conscientious are happier at work, and even that they live longer.

In a way it is not surprising, given that 90 per cent of success is showing up. Conscientious people get there on time, floss their teeth, do what they are meant to do, are reasonably motivated, good at planning and good at refusing to eat that marshmallow just now. This makes them precisely the sort of people who are well suited to the twin institutions of work and marriage.

Yet what is surprising, given the considerable charms of conscientiousness, is that we keep so quiet about it. It is not something anyone ever boasts about. It is not cool and it’s certainly not sexy.

Click For Original Article

BY Lucy Kellaway (For The Financial Times) 
Twitter: @lucykellaway 

About us:

L&B Consultation
is a full service Multimedia Marketing & 
Consulting company focusing on publicity, radio promotion, 
brand identification, brand management

Check out
Follow us on Twitter @LBConsultation