innovation, Life, Transformation

Disagreeableness #Day 14


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Five personality traits make up an individuals personality, which is used by Five Factor Model (FFM) and the Global Factors of Personality. These are…

  • OPENNESS
  • CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
  • EXTROVERSION
  • NEUROTICISM
  • AGREEABLENESS

The last one is of particular interest and the antonym of the word is the subject of today post, Disagreeableness. I came across this today in Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast: Revisionist. Malcolm Gladwell’s 12 Rules for Life. Of the 8-9 episodes, I was attracted to this one because of it’s catchy headline. In blog space, such headlines would be the most apt.

The description further reads…

Crucial life lessons from the end of hockey games, Idris Elba, and some Wall Street guys with a lot of time on their hands.

It is one of the most entertaining podcasts that you would hear, if you like to discover few uncommon truths. The flow of the podcast would absorb you completely and is elegantly produced.

Mr. Gladwell has only one rule in his life, and this is being disagreeable.

Ironically, I couldn’t agree more. Being agreeable is a social norm, promotes a great bond between the members. This makes the team. The more agreeable you are, the more you will make decision which is universally liked and beneficial for everyone. You would not like to upset anyone or be in a position to be disliked. An agreeable personality type is more likely to seek approval from peers and therefore there is harmony in the universe.

On the other hand, disagreeableness is not a common desired personality traits. The definition of the word reads, the quality of being disagreeable and unpleasant. No wants to be disagreeable, as it amounts to not being social and in human resources context not a team player. In a number of instances, I have taken a decision in my life towards a certain action, not because it was be right to so do, but because it was more socially acceptable to do so. And this act of agreeableness limits us to exploit our our true potential.

According to Mr. Gladwell, “Being disagreeable is not matter of temperament, but a function of choice.” This is a continuation of his thoughts, through which he has been breaking help notions through his books- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. He finds that agreeable people hinder innovation because they are more likely to take action that would make them comply, likes and therefore conform. They’re too afraid to disrupt the social norms because they value an atmosphere of camaraderie and acceptance. An agreeable will never challenges the status quo. Unfortunately, all the rules, laws etc ensure that we conform and follow. Therefore mould is hard to break.

Whereas, the disagreeable would set new standards, trying to find what is best according to them, rather than looking for conformity. Mr. Gladwell further build his point by narrating research paper and movie storyline, where the behavior was contrary to rational and the right thing to do.

We should be disagreeable and cherish being one because in certain time of our life when we need it the most, we should be in a position to exercise it.

I’m reminded of the closing lines in the movie “Sanju”, based on the life of Indian actor, Sanjay Dutt, and his father Sunil Dutt advise to him “Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, Logon Ka Kaam hain Kehena.”

You got to do, what you got to do. Which is by the way, the most difficult thing to do.

Picture & layout courtesy: Canva.com

 

 

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