Conscientiousness: The Ruthless Pursuit of Order

The ability to implement an idea isn’t nearly as important as the idea itself.

AP2

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Photo by Darshan Gajara on Unsplash

The Benefits of Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness can be broken down into the following two aspects: Industriousness and Orderliness.

Those who score high in Industriousness are driven, focused and determined. They finish what they start.

Whereas those high is Orderliness want everything to be in its place, every detail taken care of. They hate mess (and messy people).

They believe in following the rules and dislike having their routine disrupted.

To summarise, conscientious people may be described as careful, reliable, well organised, self-disciplined, and persevering.

Well sign me up batman!

It’s no wonder our results-obsessed society makes a song and dance about this character trait. It’s easy to see why you would want to be more conscientious.

What’s less easy to see are the costs associated with higher conscientiousness.

And let’s be clear, conscientious is the highest predictor of success after IQ.

To quote this paper from the American Psychological Association,

“It is one of the most reliable predictors of work outcomes, including job performance, leadership, income, and occupational attainment.

It also predicts marital stability and, conversely, a tendency not to experience divorce. Finally, conscientiousness is an independent predictor of major depression above and beyond other personality traits, such as neuroticism.

It seems that if one is interested in either living or promoting the possibility of a long, healthy, successful, and happy life, one should be interested in conscientiousness.”

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AP2

Aviator. Author. Awesome Father. Expert in stalling. I combine lessons in aviation with modern psychology to help people navigate life.