Personal Development & Professional Success

Are you content with your own performance and productivity at work?

Every year, millions of dollars are spent by major corporations on training sessions and courses which are meant to help employees become more productive and efficient in the workplace. Rewards, incentives, training sessions and team building activities all play an important role in motivating employees to be more productive and more efficient.

However, an essential factor when it comes to employee motivation is your personality type; more specifically, how well you have developed, as an individual.

There are a number of theories that attempt to correlate the influence of personality on professional success. Essentially, researchers are interested in identifying the factors that lead to the development of traits which, in turn, contribute to success in our professional lives.

According to Erik Erikson, the development of a healthy personality is fundamentally related to the ability to overcome the challenges of several psychosocial stages we encounter throughout our lives. Every stage represents a learning opportunity, bringing with it specific lifelong benefits.

I. The first stage is TRUST vs. MISTRUST and it is encountered during the first year of life, when the child relies completely on its caregivers. The specific traits that develop at this stage are HOPE and CONFIDENCE.

II. The second stage is AUTONOMY vs. SHAME AND DOUBT (occurs around the age of 2 and 3) which helps develop two more important personal characteristics i.e. MOBILITY and INDEPENDENCE.

III. The third stage is INITIATIVE vs. GUILT (3 to 5 year olds) this stage is important for the development of CREATIVITY and SECURE DECISION MAKING.

IV. The fourth stage is INDUSTRY vs. INFERIORITY (6 to 12 year olds). The characteristics that are developed at this stage are COMPETENCE and ACHIEVEMENT.

V. The fifth stage of development is IDENTITY vs. ROLE CONFUSION (13 and 18). The focus here is on EXPLORATION and DEVELOPMENT. This is the definition of identity and our place in the world.

VI. The sixth stage is INTIMACY vs. ISOLATION (young adulthood). From this stage we develop our ability to enjoy healthy RELATIONSHIPS and COMMITMENT.

VII. The seventh stage is GENERATIVITY vs. STAGNATION (middle age). This enables us to develop our commitment to CAREER and SOCIAL INVOLVEMENT. Usually, this stage represents the height of an individual’s professional activity.

VIII. Last, but not least, the eighth stage is EGO INTEGRITY vs. DESPAIR (old age). Success here leads to feelings of FULFILLMENT and INTEGRITY. By this stage, most people are reaping what they have sown, and it is at this stage that we can look back and be more objective in the evaluation of our professional and personal achievements.

The graphic below (which was created with the Mindomo Mind Mapping App) shows how these stages apply to professional development and productivity; we can quite easily see the relationship between them, our own personal development and the resultant work productivity traits.

Personality Traits

So much of the success we enjoy in our professional lives depends upon the successful navigation of these developmental stages that occur throughout our lives. However, remember that these characteristics are not set in stone. We can change provided we are determined to do so – that, after all, is the essence of personal development.

If you take a look at the right hand side of the graphic (Work Productivity Traits) see if you can objectively assess your strengths and weaknesses – taking a baseline is always a good place to start any self improvement initiative – and then perhaps pick just one of these things to work on next year. You have access to all the tools you need right here at the White Dove Books site.

Article by Naomi Mihut

Copywriter and Client Relations Manager at Mindomo

“Creativity is a gift that doesn’t have to be wrapped up in luxurious paper but has to be shared with others to make it valuable.”

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