A Sik Mind? With Dr George Sik - April 2015
Sunday, 5th April 2015
A Sik Mind?
With Dr George Sik BSc (Hons), PhD, C.Psychol, C.Sci, AFBPsS
Spring is in the air and with some of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been getting – not to mention many people’s determination to do a bit of spring cleaning – the theme of change is perhaps a rather topical one. A question I get asked a lot is around the extent to which personality can change. How fixed is the way we prefer to behave?
There are two ways of looking at this. One is from the point of view of what we call ‘state’ as opposed to ‘trait’. Whatever your preferences tend to be, mood (or state) can alter them: you might be a naturally calm person but that big presentation you are about to give is putting you on edge. Equally, you might be a real worrier but your end-of-the-week couple of glasses of wine are making you feel very mellow. Mood can, of course, affect your state of mind when completing a personality questionnaire like The Quest Profiler – particularly when it comes to those questions relating to feelings – so it’s worth exploring tis briefly when introducing a feedback interview.
As for more stable aspects of our personality (traits), there is certainly an argument that we get more and more set in our ways as we get older, and certain aspects of personality seem remarkably steady over the years (those relating to certain aspects of extraversion, for example). However, even with advancing years, it’s possible to make changes to your personality…otherwise why would anyone bother with learning and development? It may take willpower and effort, but change is generally possible, and there’s no better season to remind us of that fact.