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This series of blog posts are based on the five factor model of personality. I’m describing it as navigating your OCEAN (an acronym describing each of the five factors or dimensions) I wrote earlier that one aspect of using your unfair advantage is understanding that these five dimensions of personality are not positive or negative, they’re not good or bad but they can be more or less functional; more beneficial in some circumstances, and less in others.
In this post, I want to make an important exception to that understanding.
Conscientiousness is the “get it done” dimension of personality. The highly Conscientiousness man makes a plan, works the plan, and competes the plan.
Conscientious men are Competent. Through deliberate action, if they’re not already well-prepared to deal with life, they discipline themselves to become prepared. Yesterday’s failures are the laboratory, they gymnasium for getting better.
Conscientious men have a strong internal locus of control. This guy sees himself responsible for making his life happen. Yesterday’s successes are the foundation for today’s demonstration that he’s competent.
The Conscientious man keeps his world organized. He finds satisfaction in keeping his important tools (documents, finances, wrenches, etc.) in their proper place. He’s read the reports of how much time is wasted looking for misplaced items. He’s heeded the moral of the story. (I need to pause my writing at this point to put clean up my shop workspace on the calendar).
Researchers McCrae and Costa caution that “Carried to an extreme, high Order might contribute to a Compulsive Personality Disorder.” Too much of a strength can become a liability.
The highly Conscientious man has a clear understanding of his moral and ethical principles. He takes pride in fulfilling his commitments and obligations. His word is his honor, and does what is necessary to keep his word, even if it means longer hours or greater effort.
The Conscientious man aims high. Once he’s set high goals for himself, he works hard to achieve his goals. The Conscientious man’s goals are an internal compass, giving him a sense of direction in life.
Too much of a good thing can become a vulnerability. Men with a very high need to achieve may lose sight of other important aspects and relationships in their lives. Workaholism isn’t a virtue, it’s an addiction. More on that later.
Men who are highly Conscientious have the drive, not only to initiate important tasks, they have the stamina to carry them through to completion. Boredom and distractions don’t … well distract them. High scorers keep themselves motivated to get the job done. They take satisfaction in checking the box at the end of the day.
Finally, men who score high in Conscientiousness carefully think things through before speaking or acting. This guy is cautious and deliberate. He’s not likely to do or buy something on impulse, only to regret it later.
Below are some of the markers of Conscientiousness. Each one is on a “low to high” continuum. If “0” means “this isn’t me” and “10” means “this is exactly who I am”, where would you find yourself? How would your wife, supervisor, or closest friend describe you on these markers?
Am always prepared.
Pay attention to details.
Get chores done right away.
Follow a schedule.
Am exacting in my work.
Do things according to a plan.
Continue until everything is perfect.
Make plans and stick to them.
Love order and regularity.
Like to tidy up.
Leave my belongings around.
Make a mess of things.
Often forget to put things back in their proper place.
Shirk my duties.
Neglect my duties.
Waste my time.
Do things in a half-way manner.
Find it difficult to get down to work.
Leave a mess in my room.
Would you be interested in discussing your results with me? I’m always eager to learn from the pro’s how to become more Conscientious. If you’re so inclined, send me an email. Let’s connect.
Until next time. Press on, men. Press on.
(image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/building-glazurkarz-ceramic-tiles-1080599/)