It is not only essential but also vital to have a personality which is capable of impressing others and delivering desired results.
--BY DR VIBHUTI JHA
The Vedantic concept of personality development is based on the concept of perfection of each soul and self-confidence for the realisation and manifestation of this inner knowledge. This establishes that it is a continuous process, a never ending process and not the least, a self driven process. During the last 100 years, educationalists, marketers, scientists and psychologists have tried to understand and analyse the meaning, elements and characteristics of this wonder word “personality” but fact remains that it is still unexplained completely in true senses and taken differently by every segment in society. Especially college going students take this aspect casually considering “they have perfect personality” and there is “no need to work further”. This misconception ultimately leads majority of students to become a mediocre and “me too” category personality when it comes to professional performance in industries or businesses. By the time one realizes its importance in delivering better performances as a professional, it becomes too late and then it is difficult to develop personality as desired in the professional world. Time does not wait for anyone so even if you try to do so after joining the mainstream, hardly a very small percentage will become successful in developing their personality but that requires an extraordinary effort, focus and determination. Now, in current market and business scenario where people have very less time to judge a person for his/her capabilities, it is not only essential but also vital to have a personality which is capable of impressing others and delivering desired results. It has become the core requisite for a professional to create the first impression to make others consider you for the responsibility. In fact, HR teams of companies conducting recruitment drives or selection processes take hardly a few minutes to shortlist candidates from larger numbers on the basis of personality assessment in the first go. We cannot ignore this vital unwritten aspect of our CV which directly or indirectly becomes responsible for our fate as professional, in future.
Until quite recently, it was believed that personality is more or less permanent. In 1890 William James, the famous Harvard psychologist, wrote in his influential work, The Principles of Psychology, that personality is "set in plaster" by early adulthood. This view prevailed for over a century; however, the idea that personality is more fluid gained ground over time and the perspective started changing. We are now at the point where we realize that we have influence and control over traits and characteristics we want to develop or refine. The Freudian theory and many other works by great psychologists kept on defining the developmental aspect of personality of individuals linking it to various growth and life stages, influencing factors and environmental changes.
People started linking personality to performance in the last 50 years and it gained importance in management of people, delivering responsibilities and handling different issues. Now, tasks in businesses are being assigned to people on the basis of their personalities with expectations of better results. But if we talk about the students of majority professional institutions, even today, our minds still get stuck to pre-conceived notions on the aspect despite being so much informed and knowledgeable . Our mind starts remembering various definitions given in books by legendry greats about the word “personality” and its development. We, as student, do not give a serious view to this personality development aspect considering it as “not applicable to me” kind of matter. We look to someone else to “guide and explain it” as it is meant for others. Students in majority start thinking this way considering their own development to be the perfect one. Definitely it is not that way. It is something beyond bookish information and it is applicable to all. When it comes to students of professional institutions, this aspect is even more complex as he or she is not clear about his/her own personality traits because of the prevailing school education practices where the focus is always on mass not on individuals. When such student is coming out of schools, he/she is not aware of own personality traits, competencies or USP. Notable changes in environment, what has been in school days, mostly changes the attitude and behaviour of students towards objects but personality remains at the backseat quietly, as no one wishes to change it seriously. In the presence of few “over-smart” personalities as most students observe in initial days of professional colleges, it gets hidden/unexposed in most cases.
This changed life scenario leads students towards adopting easier and cozy side of personality traits which unknowingly gets acquired as “observational learning”. Students instead of focusing on developing their personalities as professionals, start hiding behind excuses for non developmental activities. Majority of students prefer to go easy, hide weaknesses and start relying on others to perform responsibilities. Instead of making it happen, the majority restrict themselves to see what is happening to land in the space of “what has happened” by the end of the course programme. Instead of having an industry-ready personality, such students in real world with poor personalities get failed in taking up responsibilities.
Hence, the overall situation becomes complex for majority students in professional institutions as far as personality development is concerned. But, personality development is essential and is of prime importance for every individual student coming to become a professional to work in industries. It is a core element which helps in delivering the results in performing responsibilities. Without a deliverable personality your other qualities go unrecognized in the industrial world where you have to show your potential even in “no opportunity” situations. When a student faces an interview for a job, it is impossible for an interviewer panel to judge his capabilities, potential, competencies and knowledge in a short time but still most panels select good candidates most of the time surprisingly. This is due to the analysis of personality traits of the candidate in very short time because they are quite “visible”. Such traits are clearly observable through body language, gesture, posture and communication. Other requisites like attitude, behaviour, competitiveness and competency are latent ones which require time and effort to assess.
Personality is the core element of a professional along with requisites like knowledge, attitude, communication and competitiveness and behaviour. In fact, personality is the basic requisite which directly or indirectly envelopes other requisites. Hence, personality development is a must for a budding professional in any professional institution. In fact, personality is the collection of characteristic thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are associated with a person. Personality development is an improvement in all spheres of an individual's life, be it with friends, in the office or in any other environment. The progress in and insistence on quality of education coupled with rapid strides in spread of knowledge calls for equally developed and able recipients. Thus, a definite need is felt for a well-developed personality in our life and work place.
Five dimensions are involved in forming the desired human personality. These are:
• Physical self
• Energy self
• Intellectual self
• Mental self
• Blissful self
A well-integrated personality is the sum total of harmonious expressions of these five dimensions. A student is supposed to develop a balanced personality, balancing these five dimensions during his/her transformation process in college, before entering into the real world of market/ business.
There are various elements a student needs to consider for personality development so that it has a positive effect on his life and performance as a professional. The ingredients of a balanced personality can be summarized as:
• Knowledge to perform responsibilities effectively
• Attitude to excel in performing responsibilities
• Behaviour to be a good professional and a responsible citizen
• Competitiveness to sustain the pressures of professional working
• Communication to make and understand things clear
• Competency to know and display your strength
The student life in professional institutions is a runway to fly with these ingredients enveloped in your personality. Once you have these in your personality, nothing can stop you from being successful in profession. Take advantage of institutional programmes and developmental activities to explore latent capabilities.
Personality development helps in becoming a good professional and a genuine citizen. Though personality gets changed/altered with life incidences, experiences and learning from environment, a professional facing challenges everyday in his/her profession needs to work on it continuously, sustain it and improvise it with self analysis or feedback from others.
Though the list can be long but here are some ways one can accomplish personality developmental aspect:
1. Be a better listener. Learn positively from everything.
2. Read more and expand your interests.
3. Be a good conversationalist. Have an opinion.
4. Meet new people. Handle people the right way.
5. Be yourself. Motivate yourself.
6. Have a positive outlook and attitude.
7. See the true and correct view of life.
8. Be supportive of others. Respect others and their opinions.
9. Have integrity and treat people with respect.
10. Believe in your strong points. Identify your core competencies.
11. Work on an effective body language.
12. Work on your weak areas.
Don't give up your heart if you face anything hard in your life. It all depends on our views. Developing personality is not a one-day activity. It takes time and depends on our interest and dedication to improve it. Find out the factor which you are weak in and try to work on that. Give some time to your own self, analyzing your daily acts, reactions, responses, attitude, behaviour and communication as own critic for improvising it tomorrow. Learn positive things from everyone, every situation and every act of yours and others. This is the key for 360 degree personality development. Professional institutions are the best places to develop your personality capable of delivering results as they provide opportunity and environment to grow continually. Take advantage of that and stop hiding behind excuses. Stop hiding your weaknesses, work on them and come out victorious. Have a clear vision in life, plan your mission accordingly, set objectives and goals to acquire requisites of professionalism where personality to deliver the results in performing responsibilities is the base of all other peripheral requisites.
Here are some "popular sayings" which will be very helpful for everyone as part of developmental process to become a true, genuine and performer professional with a personality to mark:
• Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you compare, you are insulting yourself.
• Life laughs at you when you are unhappy... Life smiles at you when you are happy... Life salutes you when you make others happy...
• Every successful person has a painful story. Every painful story has a successful ending. Accept the pain and get ready for success.
• Easy is to judge the mistakes of others. Difficult is to recognize our own mistakes. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to cover the earth with carpet.
• No one can go back and change a bad beginning; but anyone can start now and create a successful ending.
• If a problem can be solved, no need to worry about it. If a problem cannot be solved what is the use of worrying?
• If you miss an opportunity, don't fill the eyes with tears. It will hide another better opportunity in front of you.
• "Changing the Face" can change nothing. But "Facing the Change" can change everything. Don't complain about others; change yourself if you want peace.
• Mistakes are painful when they happen. But years later, collection of mistakes is called experience, which leads to success.
• Be bold when you lose and be calm when you win.
• Heated gold becomes ornament. Beaten copper becomes wires. Depleted stone becomes statue. So the more pain you get in life, the more valuable you become.
Personality is the result of man's experience; it is the sum total of all that he has said, done, felt, thought, hoped for and believed in; it is the result of his reactions to the events of life as they come and go.
Personality development is all about your individualism and how you control your emotions to act in a way that is most beneficial for you in acquiring the requisites. When we think and analyze how people around us have behaved or reacted, we are in a way trying to assess how their personalities are, without really knowing what we are doing. This is how the industry works. A personality is built up by the kinds of thoughts and feelings we have within us that can result in a particular behaviour, act or performance. Focusing on personality development can help overcome many hurdles in your life. Problems that may seem to loom large otherwise can suddenly seem to be really miniscule for you. Always fill your mind with positive and fresh thoughts. Remember, how you present yourself has a lot to do with the way things can turn out for you. So, turn things in your favour with successful ways of personality development.
Dr Jha is a Professor-Marketing & Director (CRE) at Kathmandu College of Management and can be reached at [email protected]