Conscientiousness is the motivation to be careful, responsible and diligent. This is a common character trait that is viewed as an important aptitude for a variety of professions and pursuits. The following are illustrative examples of conscientiousness.
Committing attention and effort to a task.
PersistenceContinuing with a task until it is completed. The conscientious are less prone to procrastination.
HonestyA desire to tell the truth and avoid subterfuge.Taking responsibilities seriously and doing what it takes to deliver to commitments.An ability to control feelings and thoughts to focus on a goal.
OrganizationThe conscientious plan before acting and tend to be highly organized.
Dealing With AmbiguityConscientious individuals have a preference for certainty and may find it difficult to deal with ambiguity. For example, conscientious employees may have a strong preference for clear, detailed and precise instructions from their manager.
Hard WorkingAn ability to focus on a task and work extended hours until a task is complete.
ConformistConscientious individuals easily accept rules and systems and are unlikely to challenge authority.
PerfectionismA tendency to continue to work on a task when it is effectively complete in order to reach a higher state of refinement.The conscientious may value and defend the status quo.
Risk TakingConscientiousness is associated with risk avoidance and negatively correlated with risk taking.
CreativityThe conscientious may fear failure and view playful approaches to things as a waste of time. As such, conscientiousness is not associated with creativity.
AdaptabilityAdaptability is the ability to quickly change in response to conditions. For example, the ability to bend the rules to handle grey areas. In some cases, conscientiousness may get in the way of adaptability as the conscientious are nervous about deviating from established processes, systems and rules.
Conscientious is productive in domains that require attention to detail. Conscientiousness is not necessarily productive in domains that benefit from adaptive or high risk approaches such as last responsible moment.The conscientious many find it difficult to bounce from failure to failure without losing motivation. Conscientiousness is essentially an effort to avoid failure. This may be driven by a dread of failure and low resilience to stress.
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