PhD is not solitary work, it is a job that needs to be done with people and people are all diverse. No two individuals are same. If you understand what personality theory is, it would be easier for you to predict the way people would react to different situations and you would be able to use your own personality traits for your own advantage in a more productive manner.
It is useful but not easy to run a personality assessment. You need to be acquainted to the theory of personality. Though psychologists have devised many a theories for personality assessment, the Bog Five has been the most useful and a test that has survived the test of time.
Very briefly we will discuss the big five traits here and how you could use them to your advantage:
- Openness to experience: people having high scores in openness to experience are broader minded and have high imagination. The people on the other side of the continuum are surely narrow minded and more conservative in their approach. High on openness scholars keep looking for variety in their work and if you are one of those then do venture out into a course outside your area or collaborate into newer projects to satiate your desire for variety.
- Conscientiousness: most if the academicians have this trait common in them and they got to have it because people who are such are the ones who are organised, prepared, punctual and they better be else otherwise survival in a PhD course is actually a challenge. If you have your supervisor is higher on it, you need to learn to polish these skills in yourself.
- Extraversion: it is a more social component and it is always better and more productive when an introvert and an extrovert come together. People with common social preferences tend to not be able generate good amount off productivity.
- Agreeableness: agreeable person is someone who is willing to work with others and has a more accommodating approach. People are often more keen on interacting with people who match their personality traits.
- Neuroticism: this is a constant experience of negative emotions and finding it difficult to deal with stress and stress causing situations. PhD does come with own set of anxiety and stressors if you find that your supervisor is of a high neurotic behaviour, you must try to ensure that you don’t give them stress and live up to the deadlines set so that they don’t come into situations that increase their level of anxiety.