Reflections Essay

  1. What is personality? Is it possible for an individual to have “no personality”? Explain. (Lesson 1)

Personality encompasses the emotions, moods, attitudes, and opinions of people in society. Personality defines an individual’s characteristics and traits, which in most cases becomes evident when people interact. An individual’s personality can be natural, or it can be acquired from the culture, social relationships, a person’s upbringing, and the surrounding of an individual. People’s behavioral characteristics help differentiate and classify as good, bad, moral, wicked, committed, responsible, or reckless, and so on. Psychologically, people’s personality determines their energy and spirit in life and distinguishes people. According to this definition of personality, people cannot be similar due to inherent differences, which may be genetic or acquired from the environment. Psychologists also argue that personality helps to differentiate human beings from animals and other species (Holzman). The researchers point out that human beings are similar and share common personalities that separate them from other things. For instance, human beings can respond to environmental changes and control them accordingly, unlike other species.

An individual cannot lack a personality as human beings can express feelings, control things and act in a particular way. Human beings cannot entirely lack a character as the latter categorizes and sets boundaries between people. However, personality disorders may occur due to genetic differences, drugs and substance abuse, and schizophrenia. Research indicates that a person’s personality may determine success in relationships, work, school, and other aspects of life. Although there are different personality types, it is generally classified into five dimensions called the big 5. The five categories of personality include openness, extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Openness categories people who are broad and always desire to learn and acquire knowledge. Conscientiousness brands people with the ability to think critically, control themselves, and achieve specific goals. Agreeableness refers to people’s social interaction abilities. Neuroticism categorizes people according to their ability to control their emotions. On the other hand, extroversion classifies people according to their interaction with the environment.

  • Of the “Big Five” personality dimensions, which three do you feel are the most important in order to be effective as a sales representative? (Lesson 2)

Although all the big five dimensions of personality are essential qualities a sales representative should possess, agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness are crucial. A sales representative determines the profits a business makes by directly interacting with people. The sales representative encounters people from different cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds and is expected to interact with them accordingly and convince them to purchase a product. Agreeableness is a pivotal personality characteristic a sales representative should have since communication and interactions are compulsory. A sales representative should influence decisions, counsel, and create friends with people to enhance its loyalty.  Sale representatives should overcome biases and discrepancies created due to gender, age, culture, or religion (Heinström). Sales representatives with high agreeableness can work as a team and can tend to the customer’s needs appropriately.

Openness gives sales representatives a competitive advantage. A sales representative with high transparency levels is creative; finding new things to create a difference in the organization is always a priority. An open sales representative can identify market opportunities and suggest ways to improve customer satisfaction. Businesses with sales representatives with high openness levels generate more profits since they are always outstanding in the market. Besides globalization, sales representatives should adjust to changes the market brings and respond to them to suit the company’s specifications. A sales representative should also be decisive; encountering challenging situations is a norm in the field. Therefore, conscientiousness is a fundamental dimension for a sales representative if a business desires high performance. High-level conscientious sales representatives work towards achieving business goals and play their role responsibly. The sales representatives are also organized, punctual and disciplined. Honesty and loyalty also help sales representatives to earn a higher income in their stations.

  • Distinguish between self-esteem and self-efficacy. Is it possible for an individual to have high self-esteem but low self-efficacy? Explain your answer. (Lesson 3)

Self-esteem describes the worth or respect we have in ourselves. Self-esteem entails how an individual evaluates, considers, or judges himself/herself. People can perceive themselves as muscular, weak, happy, attractive, unattractive, or adorable, among other things. A person with high self-esteem holds himself/herself with better regard than the counterpart with lower self-esteem. Self-esteem determines how we communicate, behave and relate to other people. For instance, a person with low self-esteem is likely to be shy and less talkative. On the other hand, self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in their abilities to achieve things in life. Self-efficacy determines our level of competence and success. People with high self-efficacy set realistic and achievable goals and pursue them with all their might.

A person can have high self-esteem but low self-efficacy and vice versa. Let us consider a bullying scenario in a school. In most cases, bullies have high-esteem because they feel more assertive, attractive, and powerful. Bullies may also be famous and liked by people in the school. However, the bullies can have low self-efficacy when it comes to schoolwork or other aspects of life. Bullied students may have low self-esteem as they may feel unappreciated and disliked. Nevertheless, the victims may have fueled their energy and concentration in things they can do, such as projects or schoolwork. For instance, a victim of bullying may be extremely good in music and academics despite low self-esteem. Therefore, the absence of esteem does not necessarily mean an individual cannot accomplish tasks.

  • Define learning and describe what people learn in organizations. (Lesson 4)

Learning is gathering information, skills, and knowledge through experience, being taught, or by studying.  Learning occurs throughout the life of an individual. People change their mentality and behavior through learning. Learning involves comparing what we know and what we acquire, reflecting, interpreting, and upgrading our psyche in the process. Organizational learning enables people to improve their activities by applying knowledge to solve problems. Organizations also allow people to design new items that can benefit society. People also boost their mental capabilities through organizational education; they become creative and critical thinkers in the institution (Toikkanen). Individuals also acquire skills in organizations that are beneficial in their lives.

  • Consider some examples of behaviour that you repeat fairly regularly (such as studying or going to work every morning). What are the positive and negative reinforcers that maintain this behaviour? (Lesson 5)

The activities that I regularly engage in include going to school and working outing.  Some of the positive reinforcers that fuel me to push harder in school include my family’s love, the need to inspire change in the world, and my role models. My family always loves and supports me in my endeavors and encourages me during challenging situations. I always feel a deep compulsion to work hard in school and stay focused due to their massive support. I also desire to create change in the universe like other great men and women, and I have role models who motivate me to stay focused in school. I must appreciate that I have some negative motivators in my education, such as the desire for wealth and fear of poverty. Sometimes I also work hard in school for good results without necessarily enjoying learning. The positive reinforces that encourage me to work out include the desire for a healthier life and a fit body. I also find a lot of joy and comfort when I exercise since it gives me peace—some negative motivators for exercising that I have included the desire to be attractive and famous. I sometimes fear that without an incredible body, I can lose friends and confidence.

  • Describe social cognitive theory and the key components? (Lesson 6)

Social cognitive theory (SCT) deals with how people acquire and maintain their behavior with their environment. SCT tries to influence the behavior of an individual for a healthier life. The branch studies a person’s past experiences and analyzes the expectations and reinforcements that may occur. SCT also explains how past experiences influence the existing behavior of an individual. The health sector uses the theory to promote the maintenance of an action that is suitable for a healthy life. The social cognitive theory uses some components to regulate and guide people’s behavior towards a particular direction. The critical features of SCT include self-efficacy, observational learning, behavioral capability, reciprocal determinism, and reinforcement. Reciprocal determinism is the core SCT component that uses the dynamism interaction of an individual to the environment. Reinforcement looks at external and internal factors that may prompt the persistence or change in behavior. Expectations describe the predictability of the consequence of a behavior. Observations learning analyze behavior by seeing others’ actions. Self-efficacy measures the confidence of an individual’s behavior, while behavioral capability analyzes how knowledge and skills influence behavior (LaMorte).

Works Cited

Heinström, Jannica. “Five Personality Dimensions and Their Influence on Information Behaviour.” Information Research: an International Electronic Journal. Information Science, Information Management, Information Systems, Information Retrieval, Digital Libraries, Information Seeking Behaviour, Information Seeking Behavior, World Wide Web, WWW, 8 Oct. 2003, informationr.net/ir/9-1/paper165.html.

Holzman, Philip S. “Personality | Definition, Types, Nature, & Facts.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2021, www.britannica.com/topic/personality.

LaMorte, Wayne W. “The Social Cognitive Theory.” 9 Sept. 2019, sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/SB/BehavioralChangeTheories/BehavioralChangeTheories5.html.

Toikkanen, Tarmo. “How Organizations Learn.” Medium, 3 Aug. 2017, medium.com/lifelearn/how-organizations-learn-1bf9ea67fe7b.

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