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DIAMOND­DOUGHKID / 005: The Basic Concepts of Personality

Although personality is a really important term in our lives, what it actually means for us has not yet explicitly been defined. There are several quite accurate but distinct definitions to choose from if we want to define it. It is certain, however, that the word itself comes from the Latin word persona. In the ancient Roman theatres, masks with amplifiers were first called persona, which is the combination of the words per (through) and sonare (to sound). The expression personality evolved from this. According to the most widely spread theory from William Stern, personality is the pattern of behaviour, thinking, and feeling that characterise an individual. It permanently and uniquely characterises the individual. From this point on, when we talk about personality, we can mention several distinct theories that examine personality using completely different methods, including their pros and cons. I was not interested in personality as a theoretical concept. What is more, I never had the intention to deal with the topic of personality. As a result-oriented businessman, team developer, and private mentor concentrating on the success of my mentees, I was interested in the process of decision-making. I wanted to unravel when, how, and under what circumstances people make decisions. I was also curious about what concrete points their decision-making has beyond its general construction, at which people can be affected and influenced about their final decision. Why was all of that interesting? If I want the people I work with to be successful, I need to make them understand where their decisions come from, why they are what they are, and what their consequences are. Once it is apparent that they made mistakes at certain points in decision-making – with negative consequences – the technique needs to be introduced that shows how they can change that; how they can influence their decisions so that the consequences will be positive. For example, I once worked with a really creative and dynamic manager who made decisions very quickly and sometimes thoughtlessly because he did not appropriately examine a given situation; his feelings guided his decision-making. This behaviour always got him into problematic company management situations. This type of person is very communicative and tends to employ managers who are communicative as well. The two of them had fun working together, but the new manager’s job would have been to manage the finances; however, this task was characterised by the same creativity and ad hoc decisions typical of him. There were constant financial delays, an unclear financial system, and complete chaos. Nevertheless, he always had an explanation: the company grew too fast, that is how they can be flexible, it is the carrier’s fault, a colleague made a mistake. He had a wide range of excuses. However, it was obvious; the financial manager managed total chaos. After all, the situation was not his fault, but my mentee’s. He employed an interlocutor he sympathised with. The new manager had the necessary diploma and experience, only the right personality was missing, and as a result, his decision-making mechanism was not appropriate in the field of finance. How could a person like that get to this field? How could have he worked there for such a long time? His personality modification has already emerged during his school years, but nobody told him. When filling in the test, it was clear that his life was very stressful because of that, but who would change careers because of a little stress? My mentee made all of his decisions based on these feelings. Was it bad in every field? No. He was successful before we met. He had a good sense of communication, product development, entering new markets, influencing others, marketing, and sales. His decision-making mechanism worked very well in these fields. For a while. However, later on, it no longer worked because chaos started to rule everything. After a while, moving forward was impossible. We had to teach him in which fields his decision-making mechanism works and where it could cause serious problems, so intervention and control are needed. This experience led me to concentrate on personalities. The characteristics mentioned above are personality traits, and if they are identified in time, we do not have to face some of the obstacles life throws at us; we can intervene in advance because it is accurately defined how individuals make their decisions. In a word, personality analysis is the key to everything. If we can define our own and others’ decision-making mechanisms, we know exactly where, in which field, under what circumstances, and with what expectations an individual can be successful. If we concentrate on turning people towards the fields where they can be successful because of their personalities, they will constantly have to make decisions in situations they are good at, so they will make good decisions. They will experience less failure in life; in addition, it happens without them having to modify their personalities. An individual may be successful without playing roles and lives a happy life. I must add that success and happiness mean different things for different personalities. We cannot give a general definition of these concepts. We need to concentrate on the fact that people feel themselves to be successful and happy. This condition does exist; I have been living my life this way for quite a long time now.

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DIAMOND­DOUGHKID / 004: The RISE system in child-rearing