I’d like to continue with the narrative I’ve started about knowing yourself and how it makes you a better leader with another story on that topic from Rice University. Researchers there found that conscientious people are more likely to provide good customer service because they are aware of how positive interactions affect perception. The study examined links between personality traits and effective behavior in customer service scenarios.
“Performance in a professional service capacity is not just knowing about what the product is and how it works, but how to sell and talk about it,” said Stephan Motowidlo, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Psychology at Rice University and the study’s lead author.
Motowidlo said that historically, institutions have been very good at examining the technical side of individuals’ jobs through IQ tests. However, an interest in the nontechnical side—the “softer, interpersonal” side—has increased.
“Much like intelligence impacts knowledge acquisition—driving what you learn and how much you know—personality traits impact how interpersonal skills are learned and used,” Motowidlo said. “People who know more about what kinds of actions are successful in dealing with interpersonal service encounters—such as listening carefully, engaging warmly, and countering questions effectively—handle them more effectively, and their understanding of successful customer service is shaped by underlying personality characteristics.”
Motowidlo hopes the study will encourage future research about how personality helps individuals acquire the knowledge they need to perform their jobs effectively.