Identity is at the core of how we interact with the world. As people, our subjective identities are ground-breaking indicators of the manner by which we react over an expansive scope of various circumstances.
To put it plainly, identity can be viewed as the hidden example of considerations and sentiments that impact what we are likely to do. For identity to influence our conduct along these lines, it should likewise be predictable and stable, albeit clearly it will be impacted by setting and culture. That is simply the circumstance you find yourself in (at work or home), and what is viewed as suitable and adequate.
At a hypothetical dimension analysts have considered identity for more than 100 years. Relatively as of late, in the course of the most recent 50 years, an accord has developed and there is presently understanding that the Five Factor Model (FFM) speaks to the best structure for human identity. Analysts concur that these five components catch the most imperative and essential identity contrasts between individuals; or as certain specialists depict them, they are the ‘essential shades’ of identity.
Underneath the five measurements are gatherings of characteristics. An individual who scores very high or low on a measurement is bound to score profoundly on the greater part of the qualities in that measurement, however not really every one of them. For instance an individual may score very on Extraversion and on the social qualities (for example intelligent, well disposed) related with it, yet not on the rush looking for characteristics (for example thrill-chasing, high-vitality) which are likewise connected with it, or the other way around.
The accompanying attributes are frequently connected with, and characterize, the five measurements:
Openness: Playful, inquisitive, inventive, innovative, liberal, looks for curiosity, forward looking/visionary.
Conscientiousness: Orderly, dedicated, sure (feeling of authority), accomplishment situated, dependable, self-restrained.
Extraversion: Active, vivacious, thrill-chasing, eager, emphatic, intuitive, well disposed.
Agreeableness: Accommodating, steadfast/trusting, caring, philanthropic, consistent, agreeable, excusing/tolerant.
Neuroticism: Calm, collected, positive, strong/vigorous, purposeful, agreeable, directed.
Being open to experiences is built into the core values of the individual, meaning that this is an internal trait. To be open is to be able to easily understand everyone’s feelings and emotions and be able to act accordingly. This means that you are in tune with others and want to be the person they come to in times of need. A humanitarian trait is present in high levels of openness, as everyone you meet is deemed as equal, worthy and deserving of justice. Openness allows people to try new things, embrace creativity and be unique individuals.
Scoring high means that you love to talk to others, are extremely sociable and thrive in group environments. Extraverts are not afraid to stand out in the crowd, and they seek excitement and happiness. Thriving in life is more important than being like everyone else in society. Strict, regulated rules do not appeal to extraversion, rather making new ones and trend setting is a more valuable trait. If you are extroverted you are genuinely a happy individual, looking at life through a positive lens and have a strong sense of self.
This trait is facilitated by compassion, giving to others, selflessness and empathy. People who are agreeable do not strive to be those who are powerful in society and do not value status, drive and ego driven tasks. They are a more go with the flow type of individual and feel the need to give back to the community. They have a large concern for underrepresented or devalued individuals in society and want to aid in bettering the lives of others. These individuals are more likely to be bubbly, outgoing, and inviting.
These individuals value order, structure, integrity and task-achievement, are extremely disciplined and are always looking to enhance their knowledge. They value stability, tradition and conformity to external factors.They are goal oriented, perform tasks effectively and thrive in a career setting.
Neuroticism is associated with the inability to handle emotions, low self-esteem and lack of self-control in situations. Often neurotic individuals struggle with the ability to remain stable and balanced. Neurotic individuals have difficulty with task completion, motivation and setting goals. These individuals seek spontaneity through pleasurable outcomes and situations.
Other factors that effect these personality traits are:
Identifying with a specific gender is a key factor in your results with The Big Five Personality Traits. Women are more likely to score higher in Neuroticism, and Agreeableness, as they are often in touch with their emotions, open to speaking about internal thoughts and are extremely assertive. The gender differences are more apparent in egalitarian countries that are thriving and have high rates of health. In these cultures women possess an individualistic trait meaning that they obtain diverse gender roles than in collectivist or traditional countries.
The differences in third world and developed countries differ, as the contrast between female and male gender roles are vast and extreme. Poorer countries can disallow such gender differences, in comparison to countries rich with resources. Males in these countries obtain more means to resources that allow them to develop fully into their potential. This means that without the same resources women lack the ability to develop fully, and do not have the ability to exhibit the same traits in society and culture as males do. In traditionalist third world countries, Men engage in more risky, dominant and achievement fulfilling roles in society, while women take on more nurturing cautious roles.
According to psychologists Frank Sulloway, the order in which you are born can have a significant effect on your personality trait due to the roles, behaviours and tendencies that you are accustom to throughout your upbringing. For example, first borns take on more responsibility which makes them more conscientious, more authoritative and less agreeable to others. They enjoy rules and structure and are less likely to introduce new ideas into their lives. With this being said, there is major debate and speculation amongst birth order in psychology and personality formation, as the constructs of the traditional family vary in contemporary culture. Additional theories suggest that individuals constantly adapt, conform and transform into the given society and culture they are immersed in.
The Big Five Personality Traits have been translated to fit the traditions, languages and cultures around the globe. Differences in individualism, power, masculinity and uncertainty avoidance causes a change in the big five traits. For example, a country that values individualism will effect its levels of extraversion, while as countries that accept inequalities in the hierarchical structures score higher on conscientiousness. Other factors of culture include, laws, political structures, values, ideological discourse and traditions, that influence the behaviours of individuals in a given system.
Identifying these personality traits and your percentage in each is valuable in relationships, the workplace and personal life. Knowing these traits will allow you to become more self-aware and better improve in the lacking areas of traits. Humans are extremely complex and embody a multitude of traits that make a person who they are. Here we can identify in what areas we thrive, and develop improvement strategies in order to overcome our weaknesses.
Obtaining self-knowledge allows an easy flow through the everyday challenges of life. People are often afraid of the clarity that comes with knowing themselves and how they operate in the world around them. It is bounded in truth and leaves everything on the table. For some, this is overwhelming, daunting and too real to comprehend. Understanding why we reacted in a certain way, why we are having internal feelings will allow us to adjust accordingly to a certain situation.
Being aware of how you feel gives you power. Identifying what makes you tick will allow you to be a better person overall. Knowing our flaws with allow us to strive for greatness, through the ability to constantly improve ourselves. We become insightful and aware human beings.
Picture this: You are walking down a busy street, as you look around at your surroundings. You see people walking, some in a hurry and some taking their time. You may catch a glance at them. Some will engage in eye contact, and some will not. You may attempt to give a friendly smile. Some return the greeting and some do not. The greeting or lack there of makes you perceive them as friendly or rude. You look at the street lights and the store signs. You wait until you see the green light to walk, and you make your way across the street. Every second of everyday embodies the notion of perception. Whether it is the way we view the world or the way that others view us, this process is defined by perceptive processes of the senses.
Perception is defined as the ability to capture, process, and actively make sense of the information that our senses receive. It is apparent in the cognitive processes of the brain that allow humans and other species to identify their surroundings and conceptualize other’s behavioural gestures. We constantly encoding and decoding the messages that the brain receives from the outer world. It is important to understand how this process works in order to understand the communication process. Studies show that humans interpret visual queues at a rate of 13 milliseconds. Meaning that in less than a second, someone has already made a perception of your character.
Identifying the perception process is crucial to ensure that you are perceived in a positive light. This occurs through a specific form of perception called person perception. This is when we encode behavioural cues from others that allows us to come to conclusions of a person’s character. This can come from a facial gesture such as a smile, a greeting such as a wave or a hand shake, body language such as crossed arms to the full auditory interpretations from conversing.
The entire perception process allows others to link these cues based on the interaction or communication process and link them to characteristics of the individual. For example, if you are talking to someone and they have their arms crossed and are looking off into the distance you are going to perceive them as disengaged, closed off, distracted with an overall unwillingness to interact. Based on the these cues an individual can perceive them as rude, standoffish or reserved. This may cause the individual to no longer want to continue in engaging in a conversation solely based on the notion of perception.
Of course, a major element of person perception is the cultural context in which the situation is taking place. Understanding the location or surrounding environment that the communication process takes place in is crucial. For e.g. In North American cultures it is custom to make eye contact and shake the hand when meeting a new individual. But in Japan, it is deemed as rude to look directly in someones eye and the custom greeting is bowing.
This direct correlation of behaviours and personality traits is called implicit personality theory, that is based on the assumptions that we have about the characteristics of the individual. The major aspect of perception in which social norms and roles com into play in such theory. We have certain perceived expectations when we engage with others. When these are not met there is an element of deviance associated. This process happens fast, automatically and at the subconscious level. Further allowing you to respond and make decisions quickly. This furthers your role as a social being.
Although understanding how others perceive you is beneficial under various scenarios, it is a reality that humans are not always aware of the internal perceptions that others have of them. Since no one can read minds, engaging in communication is solely based off of external sensory cues with no access to the internal perceptions that one may be experiencing during the conversation. Due to this, individuals are left to perceive themselves through the process of introspection, which is defined by looking inward to our own feelings and thoughts. A major fall back of this perception process is the misconceptions that occur while speaking. Individuals have to come to conclusions that may not always be accurate. Leaving an aspect of ignorance apparent in the conversation when a person’s own morals, values and attitudes get in the way of perceiving others.
This internal perception of ourselves is vital, as the level of self-esteem we exhibit will transcend onto others. The self-actualization process will in turn affect how we come across in how we act and feel in a conversation. It is shown that as humans the more cues we have to process the less accurate our ability to perceive others is. Things essentially can get lost in translation and people could be perceiving you differently than you think- for the good or the bad. This proves that less is more. Statistics show that we accurately encode facial cues about 90% of the time. Showing that our brain capacities are better based on physical functionalities than of voice.
Types of Perceptual Errors
A reality in society is that the ideological implications of stereotypes diminish the perceptual integrity of individuals. The connotations that we have with specific social markers can allow perceptions to occur before the encoding process all together. This disallows individuals to achieve a positive characteristics when judging based on social factors that are outside of their control.
2. Halo Effect:
This is the process in which individuals come to a conclusion about an individual based on only one aspect trait. This gives power to one individual trait over all others and results in an over cast of influence. E.g. if someone does an act of good they are as a result perceived to be a good person.
3. Horn Effect:
This is the opposite of the halo effect, as it takes one bad act and results in the person being considered as a bad person.
4. Recency Effect:
Taking the most recent information as the ultimate perception of the person, even though you have access to other information about them.
5. Primary Effect:
Making an assumption about someone based on the first information that is received. This is the embodiment of the first impression and how that can determine a person’s overall perception by others.
6. The Similar-To-Me Effect:
We often feel more comfortable, identify with and have more positive perceptions of those who are similar to us.
7. Fundamental Attribution Error:
When an individual underestimates external factors and thus relies mostly on the influence of internal factors when making judgements about others behaviours.
8. Self-Serving Bias:
When individuals put positive outcomes on internal characteristics and project blame of the negatives towards external factors.
9. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
When individuals have a preconceived perception of a given person or situation will result in their expectations becoming a reality.
Identifying and understanding the way the brain processes information through our senses is one of the most beneficial tools of the cognitive mind. Perception is in every aspect of your life, from knowing your surroundings, making a good impression and identifying the behavioural traits of others. The way we interact with our environment is through understanding human behaviour. The beauty of perception is that everyone sees the world differently, so there is no one mode of perception. Making your perception of the world one of a kind. Without perception, the world would be a standardized monoculture of uniformity. Master perception, make the world unique.
It is proven that a lack of confidence can hinder your overall performance in the workplace, personal relationships and self-actualization. Due to a rise in the digital age, online communication and social media, a major consequence is a decrease in confidence. Succeeding in life and obtaining opportunities starts with your inner perception and your first impression.
The psychological aspect of confidence goes hand-in-hand with goal setting and accomplishments. When you achieve success your confidence boosts as a result. This makes your performance rate in the workplace rise and in turn, creates a continuous boost of confidence cycle. If you do not believe you can achieve your goals, then who else will? You have the ability to change the way you feel about yourself and the ways others perceive you. Take a look at Speak’s guide to mastering confidence through body language and speech.
Communicate Through Body Language:
A major aspect of communication skills is the ability to build confidence through body language. The reality is that 90% of our communication skills and perception of others is non-verbal. This means that the majority of the way we come across is through the natural tendencies of the human body. That is why mastering and adapting muscle memory is an extremely powerful skill. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so make today day one and become more confident.
Master The First Impression:
Furthermore, first impressions are everything, that is why so many individuals put an emphasis on the first date, the first interview, meeting the parents etc. This is because within 10 seconds the person who you are interacting with has already made an assumption about your character. You must be thinking, I said all the right things, I was so nice, I had amazing manners, well the reality is that verbal communication will not be the root of your success in communication. The mind and the body need to be simultaneously interacting to create a well-rounded appearance.
Embody The Essence of Confidence:
This is where the notion of confidence comes in. Being confident is a skill that for many, is extremely difficult. So why not fake it till you make it? Or rather fake it until you become it? This is where the term procedural memory comes in. This is the process in which mastery comes through the constant repetition of body movements. It is true that with practice anything is possible. If you embody the essence of confidence you then build up the natural tendencies of muscle movements.
Communication Is Instinctual:
In addition, this is a lesson for your muscles to the point where they naturally execute these habitual behaviours. The notion of naturalistic body movements has been dated back to the beginning of time. In fact, in the animal kingdom, the communication process is instinctual for survival. Animals entire functionality is based on non-verbal communication, this includes gestures, body language, and facial expressions. All of which are relevant to humans, as our biological makeup correlates with animalistic capacities.
Setting Goals is Crucial For Confidence:
Moreover, the mind and the body are interconnected, so the way you move your body is vital for a confidence boost. It is stated that feeling motivated heightens an individual’s level of confidence. The root of feeling motivated is completing goals and feeling good about accomplishments, which in turn makes an individual feel self-confident. So getting out there, setting goals and crushing them is a great way to feel more confident. These can be goals of any size and any manner, from making your bed every morning to completing a marathon, both can contribute to a boost in confidence!
Master These Body Language Tips:
However, what about those days where you cannot shake a low self-esteem persona? The answer is simple, change your body language. By incorporating positive body language you can, in turn, become a more confident person. Every time you choose to smile, you inherently become more happy and gleeful. It is because the brain obtains the signals coming from the body and translates them into feelings. Let’s talk about poses that are crucial for increasing confidence:
This pose is an easy and quick way to train the body to feel confident. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly and raise those hands in the air! Just like you’ve won the biggest race of your life! These are signals of power and resilience that are being sent to the brain at a rapid pace.
While someone is talking or when you are listening to a presentation leaning in articulates a state of interest. It shows you are paying attention and that you are invested in the situation at hand. This tells your body that there is value in the information being disseminated and makes you an active listener.
Smile, it looks good on you:
Smiling calms the body by lowering your heart-rate, releasing endorphins that eliminate stress. It gets your body ready to be productive and master all the necessary tasks for the day. Every morning smile and tell yourself that you are worthy, attractive and that a good day awaits. It is the best way to begin your day with a cup of confidence!
Everyone is always talking about good posture. But what if it actually helped boost confidence? When sitting keep your back straight, sit all the way back on the chair, feet flat on the floor and keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
Do not forget about your arms and legs:
When we are nervous we tend to fidget with our arms or tap our feet. Many cross their arms or legs in a resting position. Try to avoid all of these tendencies because they make you look closed off and nervous. Keeping your hands in your lap while you are sitting and by your side, while you are standing is the best resting position.
Start and End with a great handshake:
A great handshake can tell you a lot about the person that you are meeting. It is often times the first sign of confidence through body language and is a trait that should be universally mastered. A handshake needs to have strength, without too much force, mixed with direct eye contact and a smile. This is the recipe for a confident greeting.
Take up space and invite others in with open gestures:
By showing you are not afraid to occupy space shows you are confident. Widen your stance by standing stable and solid. This shows that your natural relaxed state is dominant and sure of yourself. Stand when you can and walk around when applicable show that you are there for a reason
By holding your hands out while speaking and using your hands with articulating shows relaxed body movements. Invite others in by facing your palms up. All of these gestures allow you to be perceived more positively and invites others in for open dialogue. This is beneficial for your overall creditability and appearance and persona.
In conclusion, all of these tips are simple ways to train the body that you are confident. The more you incorporate these gestures into your daily routine, the more confident you will feel. It is natural that not everyone feels confident all day every day. Sometimes we need a little boost to get our day going. Soon with practice, you will become the master of your confidence.
Enhance your influence on others through your communication skills. Speak is a key tool that aids in your journey toward confidence. Learn more about Speak and become the best version of yourself. Let Speak help you become a confident communicator and obtain skills that enhance your lifestyle. Email us at [email protected]