What is personality?

Personality consists of the typical characteristics of people that provide further information on why they do what they do. Almost everything we do is defined by our innermost needs, also called “motivations” in psychology. We try to satisfy these motivations by our behaviour, both personally and professionally.

In addition to these general motivations that link us all, your individual personality can be described from two perspectives. On the one hand, you see yourself in a particular way that can best be described by your ambitions, goals and intentions – in other words, it describes your values. But you have most probably already found that others often perceive you to be completely different from how you would describe yourself. This “external” personality is also called reputation; it is how others see you. Reputation can be summed up in the five aspects self-confidence, sociability, integrity, charm and creativity. This is also called the “Five Factor Model”, the psychological reference model of the personality.

There are often significant differences between a person's identity and their reputation, and the size of the imbalance is directly associated with their professional success. So it is important to highlight the difference, because only the realistic assessment of your effects on others will help you to work, sell, manage or lead effectively.

As a leader, your staff not only orientates themselves towards you because of your job title, but also because of your effects on them – and customers don’t buy from a company because its sales department thinks it is good, but because the products and terms are put across well.