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The personality trait more managers are hiring for right now: The ‘star system’ doesn’t ‘work for us anymore’

By | Aditi Shrikant |

The underlying thesis of most career advice is to outshine your co-workers. Lean in, speak up, stay late — all of these emphasize independent success. 

But recently, managers are starting to prize a different trait: agreeableness. 

In situations with high levels of uncertainty, agreeableness has shown itself to be an asset, according to a new study published in Collective Intelligence.

“People are endorsing cooperation and agreeableness much more than they did pre-pandemic,” says Randall Peterson, a co-author of the study and professor of organizational behavior at the London School of Business. “The pandemic really showed people the value in being this kind of even-tempered, cooperative type rather than the star who wants to put themselves in front of everybody.” 

‘The star system is not going to work for us anymore’

The wide-reaching study analyzed data during a 10-year period. Researchers studied almost 3,700 individuals on 593 teams who were working on more than 5,000 group tasks. 

All study participants took a 242-question personality assessment, which recorded how much of each of the Big Five personality traits they might have.

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