Management & Personality

PersonalityLast week we were asked to think about how people differ and how these differences could have impacts on the workplace. The differences I focused on where culture, language and how these could have an impact on communication or time management within an organisation. These differences gave me a deeper insight into how management needs to understand each person that is in their organisation.

As we moved forward into week 2 we see deeper issues like, intelligence and personality, identity and subjectivity related to approaches such as nomothetic and idiographic. Having never heard of these two perspectives, I was excited to being this new learning journey.

What is the nature and value of the nomothetic perspective?

Here the nature of the nomothetic is that we can identify a characteristic in a person and with that we can somehow predict their behaviour. Our personality has certain aspects about it that have been stable over our life and then can influence the way we behave. The ways in which we can illustrate this is through personality theory, in particular test such as the big 5 and MBTI.

What is the nature and value of the idiographic perspective?

The nature of the idiographic perspective is that each and every one is unique, that the particular context a person is in relates to this uniqueness.   To understand a person we need to understand the context the person is in. In order to illustrate this perspective we need to look at identity, what defines us as an individual and how we interact in society, our subjectivity how we act in that society our ways of behaviour.

To completely understand in more detail you need to know some statistical concepts such as correlation and validity. I am lucky that I understand these concepts so I quickly moved forward in the modules.

Our first reflective exercise was interesting as I had to imagine a scenario where if I was leading a team, I don’t like to use the word manager as I am nowhere near this title in my career.

Would it be more helpful to a manager to adopt approaches informed by the nomothetic or the idiographic perspective?

  • Depends on the organisation – the context, the environment.
  • Team building may use the idiographic perspective better, as focus would be on different ideas within the diverse aspects of a given project, for example a community project.
  • Nomothetic seems to be very rigid and pre-planned would fit with an organisation that works in silos such as a call center with set targets and goals, and certain types of people could be chosen to do this work.

Case study 1 = consider the use of psychometric’s & compare this to your own experience.

Taking the psychometric test MBTI the following is considered.

EI = Many aspects of my experiences involve extroverts and moving into a new career has opened up the avenue for me to work alongside many introverts. Many projects that I worked on seemed that I was always with the introverts and as tasks became more problematic I hoped we could brainstorm and talk these out whereas the others all took their separate ideas and worked it out from there. This left me very much in the dark, I hoped that I could learn from others in areas I was not familiar with but this was not open to me as certain people worked alone.

TF = in this new career I have been working alongside different people to what my previous career entailed. Before I would have been surrounded by people who were concerned with people’s reactions, however today in my professional identity I am finding that I am becoming more concerned with analysis because my colleagues and the environment I am in is creating this new way of thinking. However when working with a team and when deadlines are near and tensions do rise I do still find myself watching others and understanding their reactions and feelings.

Having done one test it was very accurate and on many levels gave me great insight, however the nature of the work for me was very boring and the work environment was very different to what I was used to which was the deciding factor for me to leave this employment after a short while.

Identity and subjectivity

Identity defines our relationship with the society which we are working in. These relationships influence the way society treat us.

Subjectivity is the idea that an identity actually allows us to take on subjective positions to do certain things and not others.

As individuals we understand society as it filters through our brains and perceptions from our experiences. Experience as a learning resource can make us see things clearly.


Altogether this week’s learning has given me a deeper insight into people and most importantly the people I would consider difficult to work with. I now know I need these people with me in order to see every project for every angle.

It has been challenging as I am not in the context of a manager or a working environment. It gives me the opportunity to look back on previous employments and projects I have worked with. This gives me the chance to visualise the projects and see how each project was planned and problems that did occur.


Introduction – Management

Welcome to my Reflective Blog Posts for my first MOOC of 2015, Managing People.

Most of the outline for week 1 is getting to know the platform you are working on. Future Learn is an easy and free flowing platform.

The main activity is to engage with all the other learners in the discussion forums. The educators recommend taking your learning further by finding out who is on other social media platforms such as Twitter using the hashtag #FLmanangingppl and Facebook where many have set up groups to join.

The first piece of research I found very interesting is how they teach the MOOC. Here the emphasis is on adult teaching and how they incorporate the principles of Andragogy.

Adults are internally motivated and self-directed and most importantly bring their own life experiences to the learning process.

Bringing this idea into your learning you are asked to think about how people differ and the impact this would have on the workplace. Her you begin to think of all the places you have worked and all the diverse people you have engaged with.

As you begin to think of past experiences you begin to jot down questions like how does this impact a day to day year to year working organisation?

The exercises highlight many reflective experiences that you may have and to look at how small problems that may appear in different workplace contexts. Having researched a little more it is interesting how having a diverse organisation can cause problems if they are not clearly monitored.

With these exercises the educators ask that this new learning experiences be related back to old experiences and that you take the approach of problem centered learning where there is active learning along with engaged learning.

I truly love this way of learning I find that when things go wrong in life or in work that by the time you fix the situation there is no time to ask “how did that happen”, here I am prepared to go back and reflect on these times.

In particular two modules focus on how we learn as adults. Firstly how we can use the Kolb Cycle to begin this process and use it in our daily work contexts. Secondly how the Cognitive Apprenticeship Model can be incorporated.

With the Kolb cycle we start by looking at our experiences. As we think of these we begin our reflective observation where we look at experiences from different angles and begin to see different people in many ranges and diversities. While doing this we can then build our abstract thoughts and use this active experimentation to work out how to use these thoughts in different ways. The result here is that we create a new concrete experience and begin the cycle again this experience becomes more advanced than the previous one.

As this is still very early on in the course, trying to understand how I will achieve the above experiment is daunting. However looking at the many comments and engagement in this MOOC it already shows me that I will not be short of examples and diversity.

This second module really stuck a chord in me, the methods of Modelling, Coaching and Scaffolding are very interesting from a learner’s point of view and to be able to learn these from the perspective of a teacher is a tremendous opportunity. The last part of the process really nailed it for me where by you take Articulation, Reflection, and Exploration into the experiences and teaching process and give the learner the confidence to make his or her own solutions and create new processes.

Having done a degree in Sociology I was only too happy to hear the Sociology of learning being added into the mix, even at that I was introduced to new concepts such as Situational Learning, The culture of expert practice and Perspective transformation.

The final chunk of modules proposed reflecting on experiences and seeing them in a new light, in addition to this reflection you are asked to see how these can prepare you to be a better learner.

Lastly they ask you to acknowledge your own personal objectives; my three objectives for this course will be to:

(a) Thoroughly consider each of the MOOC’s learning objectives as I move forward,

(b) Keep to my schedule

(c) Engage and share resources with other learners via the Future Learn platform the Twitter hashtag and the Facebook group.

Looking forward to week 2.