This chapter reviews literature and research on the Big Five personality traits, namely agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness, and their role as drivers and blockers in an individual’s change efforts. Personality traits constitute an important component of self-awareness. Understanding and identifying differences in personality can play a critical role in self-awareness and leadership development, helping people identify and solve their weaknesses, implement solutions and handle difficult situations. We argue that the five personality traits can influence people’s motivation and behaviors, encouraging them to direct, accept and oppose change. These directly relate to potential drivers and blockers—and in our field research we have seen these factors operate as extremely powerful drivers and blockers. In this chapter, we explain and explore each trait in turn, along with the hypothesized associations between these and a person’s change efforts. As an important contribution to the literature in the field, this chapter includes detailed examples of drivers and blockers for each of the Big Five traits.
- Leadership development
- Conscious and unconscious
- Drivers and blockers
- Immunity to change
- Insightfully aware leadership
- Leadership transformation
- Individual change
- Leadership development objectives
- Coaching approaches and tools
You cannot defeat darkness by running from it, nor can you conquer your inner demons by hiding them from the world. In order to defeat the darkness, you must bring it into the light.
Seth Adam Smith, in Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern
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We use the NEO-PI version of the FFM for this book. In addition, in Sect. 10.5, we provide a comparison for reference, with the Myers-Briggs personality indicators because that instrument is so widely used in managerial training and development.
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Woodward, I.C., Shaffakat, S., Dominé, V.H. (2019). Exploring the Reservoirs of Drivers and Blockers (Conscious and Unconscious): Big Five Personality Traits. In: Exploring Leadership Drivers and Blockers. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-6276-7_5
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