Friday, September 5, 2014

Personality Mapping

Each one of us is different in many ways. Some of this differences come because of our culture and the way we have been raised. The difference also comes because of the various other choices we make in our life on day to day basis. We react to same situations differently. We consider aspects of morality and ethics in different ways. Even twins become very different in terms of their approach to life. On the contrary, people from two opposite part of the world sometime behave in a much similar way. You will find honest people in all part of the world, no matter how different are their circumstances or how differently they have been raised. There are great mathematicians, scientists, psychologist, linguists in all part of the world and there are people of immense learning everywhere. 

So is it possible to map people on certain dimensions in a framework, which is uniform across the world. Can we build a model which helps in mapping people on a framework? It's not about
categorizing them good or bad but map on their traits. Also a person is not good or bad in absolute terms but is good or bad relative to the context. For more about goodness and badness you might want to see this article.

I think we can map each personality on three dimensions, which is
  • Knowledge
  • Aptitude
  • Attitude
And the success of a person is driven by how amenable is the context to their traits. Let's go through each of the dimension

Knowledge: Knowledge is the simplest of three to measure and judge. In fact, all the exams in the world judge to a large extent the knowledge, to a small extent the aptitude and to a minuscule extent the attitude. Knowledge is about how many President name you remember in chronological order. You know about all the monuments of the world. You remember all the scriptures of all the religious text. You remember every damn thing in the world and you are a walking search engine. 

Aptitude: Aptitude is about how much you understand and figure out things. In simple terms, its comprehensibility. You know all scriptures but then  you understand the deep meanings of those words and the shades inherent in them. If knowledge is science then aptitude is art and contrary to popular belief, I believe that art is a higher order to achieve. Knowledge is sequential and aptitude involves non linearity. Also aptitude is context driven. Some people have high aptitude for logic but others may have high aptitude for music. It's those left and right brain thing. 

How aptitude can be developed? This is little bit innate and has to be look from the inherent inclination of a personality. Don't try to make Albert Einstein to run hundred meter race and Usan Bolt to solve the relativity. They both have different aptitude and can shine when put in the situation which brings out their strength.

Attitude : Attitude is the most subtle part of personality framework and most defining one. A person with no knowledge and no aptitude but with right attitude can do wonders. If knowledge is science, aptitude is art than attitude is the binding soul which gives shapes to everything. Many intelligent people of the world fail because they could not gel with the ecosystem because of their attitude. Attitude is about how a person reacts to a certain situation. It is a famous saying that "It's not action but it's the reaction which defines a person." Attitude is the reaction build into a person. If people get into trouble, they all react in a different way. From one extreme of behaving disparately to posing and handling it calmly, one sees a range of reaction. 

How attitude is developed? It's difficult to outline a process of how it can be built and how it can be changed. It's a combination of all the things that a personality is exposed to. Parents play an important role as they help in building the reaction mechanism. However you will often find siblings pole apart in terms of their attitude. It's difficult to map attitude in a linear scale of saying good and bad as two extremes, as attitude has its own shade. It;s more of a circle. The radius acts as the intensity of a particular shade but than on circumference, different shades of attitude are all same. 

Some people are quick to make decision and some take their own sweet time. Which is good and which is bad attitude? Difficult to say. In a given situation, quick decision might save the day but in another situation quick may turn out to be hasty decision and may backfire. So attitude needs to be look with all its shades and the context in which it operates. In simple terms, attitude is the reaction mechanism inside you. If you want to understand your attitude, focus on your reaction and not on what action someone is doing on you.

Personality Mapping
Personality Mapping
At the end

If you are trying to map a person, try to look into them from these three dimensions. This will clearly bring out their strength and weaknesses and will help in identifying who is suitable to deal with a particular situation.

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