Big Five Personality Traits

Knowing more about personality typing can help you better understand yourself and others.

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Big Five About
Why is learning more about the Big Five worth my time?
Knowing more about personality typing can help you better understand yourself and others. When you have a general understanding of how people think, feel, and experience the world, you can relate to them more and have a better understanding of why they may act in certain ways.
The Big Five
So what is the Big Five?

The Big Five is based on many psychologists’ belief that there are five overarching personality traits in all of us: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (O.C.E.A.N.) Each person falls somewhere on a scale for each trait.

Other personality tests tend to type people without allowing for a range or scale. Systems like Myers-Briggs may be less accurate for someone who identifies with two parts of a characteristic; for example, if someone identifies as equal parts introvert and extrovert, Myers-Briggs may seem like it’s boxing them into a type. In cases like this, the Big Five can give a more accurate look at specifically where someone falls on the scale.

Openness

Openness is the measure of how open to experience, open-minded, and imaginative an individual is. People who are more open are usually creative, artistic, and willing to try something new. Those who are less open may have difficulty thinking abstractly or accepting change.

Big Five Communication

Communication Style

Those who are higher in Openness will likely prefer it if communication is direct, honest, and offers new ideas. Those who are lower in Openness will appreciate it if communication is respectful of their personal beliefs, which will allow them to feel comfortable.

Big Five Careers

Career Choices

Those who are more open generally make great artists, entrepreneurs, and engineers, while those who are less open tend to succeed more as bankers, analysts, and contractors.


Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness measures the thoughtfulness and organization of a person. Someone who is more conscientious is likely to follow a schedule and follow through on achieving set goals. Someone who is less conscientious may have difficulty staying organized and finishing projects on time.

Big Five Communication

Communication Style

Those who are higher in Conscientiousness tend to prefer when their time is respected and all thoughts are expressed directly. When communicating with those who are lower in Conscientiousness, understand their need for spontaneity, while holding them accountable to their responsibilities.

Big Five Careers

Career Choices

Those who are more conscientious are successful freelancers, consultants, and business owners, while those who are less open tend to succeed more with physical labor as firefighters, mechanics, and drivers.


Extroversion

Extroversion is a measure of how outgoing, talkative, and people-oriented someone is. More extroverted people tend to draw energy from others, while less extroverted people, or introverts, usually recharge by spending time alone.

Big Five Communication

Communication Style

When addressing those who are higher in Extroversion, create connection through casual conversation. Those who are lower in Extroversion, however, generally appreciate it when communication is clear and brief.

Big Five Careers

Career Choices

People who are more extroverted usually make great actors, counselors, and photographers, while those who are more introverted tend to succeed more as librarians, engineers, and writers.


Agreeableness

Agreeableness measures how easily a person connects with others. Those who are more agreeable tend to care deeply about others and enjoy helping those in need. People who are less agreeable are generally more competitive and blunt.

Big Five Communication

Communication Style

When communicating with those who are higher in Agreeableness, allow yourself to be vulnerable and open to building a personal connection. However, when addressing those who are lower in Agreeableness, be direct when sharing your perspective and remain logical and patient.

Big Five Careers

Career Choices

Individuals who are more agreeable generally make good therapists, nurses, and teachers, while those who are less agreeably usually do well as accountants, programmers, and scientists.


Neuroticism

Neuroticism is a measure of how easily upset or stressed a person is. Individuals who are higher in neuroticism tend to worry easily and be less self-confident. Those who are lower in neuroticism are usually more relaxed and even-tempered.

Big Five Communication

Communication Style

If someone is higher in Neuroticism, help them to feel safe by being encouraging and supportive. When addressing someone who's lower in Neuroticism, be open, upbeat, and positive.

Big Five Careers

Career Choices

People who are higher in Neuroticism generally do well as florists, writers, and accountants, while those who are lower in Neuroticism tend to succeed as police officers, lawyers, and surgeons.


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