Why Behaviour is More Important than Personality

April 16th, 2020 | 5 minute read

Have you ever considered the impact of behaviour in your business? Often the biggest challenges in a business are related to people and their behaviour. Because of this,  all of our work employs behaviour change strategies in some form. 

When looking at pre-employment testing, personality profiling has traditionally been chosen over forms of behavioural assessment. While the insight into someone’s personality is interesting,  it is static, so cannot be changed. To put it simply – personality is who we are, whilst behaviour is how we do something.

Personality is Fixed, Behaviour is Flexible

Dr Robin Stuart-Kotze, professor at Oxford University says, “It has been maintained that personality becomes virtually fixed at about age five.” It is extremely difficult for people to change elements of their personalities. However, they can more easily alter their behaviour, to flex according to the needs of a situation. It is this flexibility, that enables businesses to employ behaviour change strategies to drive the right behaviours, and discourage the wrong ones.

Behaviour Impacts Performance

Behaviour impacts all aspects of performance and each different role needs different behaviours for someone to be successful. Being able to identify behavioural traits and pair them with the right job role increases performance.

It is useful to first understand what kind of behaviours would be best suited to the job role you are recruiting for. From there, you can identify key traits to look out for at interview. Some questions to consider:

  • Do they like process? Or prefer more flexibility?
  • Are they driven by results? Or more motivated by relationships with the people around them? 
  • Are they more interested in the end goal? Or do they like the details?
  • Are they a problem solver? Or more solution oriented?

It is much easier to change how we do things, than to change who we are.

At Duo, we believe in firstly finding and appointing someone with behaviours that fit a particular role, that will enable them to perform to their areas of strength, then coupling this with skills, knowledge and experience. If you recruit people with the wrong behavioural traits for your business, this could go a long way to explaining culture or performance issues.

For insight into the behaviour of your people, and what might be lying at the root of some of your business challenges, we have created our signature tool, the duo behavioural map. To request a free behavioural insight, drop us an email!


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