Personality can make and break you

Friday September 25 2020
By Pauline Bangirana

After answering an estimate of about twenty questions in a personality test, I have come to learn that from the test, that my personality is a defender. One with this kind of personality is introverted and observant. 
Did you know that your personality can make or break you in the different spaces? 

In his book, The Obstacle is The Way, Ryan Holiday highlights that when faced with a person with a difficult personality,  you don’t back down or give in simply because they are difficult. Quiet tricky, but our personalities play a vital role in elevating or demoting us. 

Maureen Ingabire, a communications practitioner recalls an experience that led to the loss of a job she would have probably held onto longer.
“I was in a managerial position but I was always mean towards my colleagues. I never sympathised with any of them because I chose to maintain a strictly office relationship,” she shares.

When the company Ingabire was working for, a small medium enterprise wanted to cut down costs, her name was presented first. 
“I later learnt that everyone at work found me mean and cruel and that’s how I was forced to leave that job, an experience that challenged me to be a better person and it is now paying off,” she shares.

Hilda Leah Asiimwe, a human resource practitioner explains that a personality can be looked at as a motor that drives a person’s behavior at work. This can also be reflected through the way a person reacts to certain situations at work.

Asiimwe highlights that employers understand that every personality is suited for a particular position, “so it’s important to recognise personality traits and pair employees with the duties that fit their personalities the best. This can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.”


Whether we’ve thought about it or not, our personality traits have a surprising impact on our jobs. Awareness of these characteristics can help someone’s work behaviour and can also aid HR in hiring the best people for a particular job.

Lastly, there are no good or bad personalities; just the right personality for the right job, the right team and the right company.
Asiimwe adds that at most workplaces, people’s personalities are not left at the door but instead, they are a key factor in whether someone succeeds in a role.

Although intuitively the relationship between some individual traits and the impact on performance might look obvious, their relevance should not be neglected.
As an HR practitioner, Asiimwe says that it is evident that employing highly conscientious and agreeable personality types to work in the organisation could improve performance. Therefore human resource, marketing and operational managers should ensure they identify the personality type before they make recruitments.

Immaculate Julie Musoke Nakyeyune, the founder Mkazipreneur highlights that personality will determine whether you get that promotion or not, whether to count on you in trouble. 

“It is really vital in the way you engage and reach out to other people. We are working hard to build wealth but at the end of the day, it is about people. A person with a forthcoming personality is easily identified,” she says. 
She says it is important for parents to teach their children about personality, since it won’t be taught in school.