Aug 28, 2020 in Analysis

Personality Trait Theory

Different leadership theories are used to explain exemplary performance in sporting activities. One theory that is predominantly used in sports is the personality trait theory. In earlier times, certain traits in individuals were associated with success resulting in numerous questions as to whether traits were inherited or acquired.The personality trait is defined as an individual’s characteristics patterns in terms of behavior thinking and feeling. Its applications have been applied in various sectors including industry, social life, and sporting activities.

One of the sporting activities in which the personality trait theory can be applied to is softball. The sport is a subset of baseball. This game is played indoors. A team of softball players is composed of nine individuals. Different players have different personality traits and therefore coaches have to juggle on how they combine these personalities and traits to come up with an effective winning team. Each player can be said to be a leader in their right depending on the traits that are exhibited. This paper discusses the Nugget’s softball team and shows that the personality traits theory plays a fundamental role in teamwork sports such as softball.

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Personality Theory

The personality theory encompasses certain traits that determine how individuals relate. There are two aspects to the above theory. The first relates to certain traits while the second relates to different personalities. Some traits in individuals have been found to be more related to leadership. Traits are defined as distinguishing characteristics or qualities of a person. All successful sporting teams including those in softball require the best form of leadership. Recent data has highlighted several important traits that are believed to be linked to effective leadership. These traits include honesty, integrity, self-confidence, drive, and optimism. Some of these traits would directly apply to players in our team especially when they are competing against other teams. Most of our team members rely on drive and optimism to achieve better results. Additionally, our team recognizes that when we walk into a field, we are competing with a rival group, and therefore our levels of self-confidence must be high. Honesty and integrity also come in handy.  The two are used to show the level of discipline in our team. Before our coach make the final selection of the team that will play on a certain day, he juggles between different personalities traits that will have the best outcome. In most cases, the starting nine players in the field have different levels of personality traits. Others show a high degree of certain traits compared to others. Our competitors are also likely to be selected on the same basis. Ultimately, different traits will play a role in the team that wins any baseball match.

The second aspect relates to the personality. Personality is closely associated with popularity. It combines different aspects including mental, social, physical, characteristics as well as traits. Personality defines how the team will be led and how the other followers will perceive this form of leadership. In our team, we rely on the personality of our captain George, and coach Mike. The two play a very important role since the other players will always follow their lead.  The personality of Mike and George determines most of our behaviors. They also assist us in a number of different ways. First, they increase our self-awareness levels and that of our followers. The personality of George and Mike may also influence certain characteristics of the other players. Their personalities may also determine the exact style they use to address their followers demands. In this case, the followers are us, the players. The other followers are our supporters. 

Power and Influence

Power and influence are associated with the form of personality that is expressed by a given leader.  The leaders of the team; George and Mike show different personality factors such as high locus of control, emotional intelligence, and extraversion. They use such personalities to influence the team members. Emotional intelligence is commonly used by Mike to inspire us to achieve greatness in the sport. It is commonly utilized during important softball matches. Their personality traits are also utilized to influence and improve self-awareness among team members. 

Power is exercised by both Mike and George to ensure that all team members are in line with teams rule and regulations. However, personality traits have a dark side. The dark side is associated with patterns of behaviors that tend to bring forth negative outcomes. Sometimes the captain abuses the power granted to him destroying the personality created. This normally results in conflict within team members. It is important to note that when personalities are destroyed individual traits would remain the same. Another important power factor relating to personality is Machiavellianism. This refers to the use of manipulative power. It tends to influence other members of the team towards one side. People with high mach powers do not work the same rate as those with a low mach. Some of our team members show high levels of mach.

Players tend to be receptive to power and influence depending on the personality traits of the coach or captain. For example, when the coach, Mike, who is considered to be the leader of the team, orders that the team should have an extra training lesson, all of use comes to the training ground. When the captain does so, some of the players would miss coming to the field. This shows that the coach has more influence. 

Power and influence are necessary in the team since they assert authority and establish order in the team. The coach, as the overall head of the team, has certain obligations that must be fulfilled. Otherwise, the team risks failing. Therefore, it becomes important for leaders to use their power to ensure everything runs accordingly. However, power should be used basing on the situation. Too much use of power creates a perceive feeling of abuse. Leaders should ensure that they do not create such a perception.

Traits and Characteristics of an Effective Team Leader

The big five personality characteristics are used to show characteristics that of an effective leader in any sport. Our Coach, Mike has several important characteristics that qualify him as an effective leader. The first characteristic is extraversion. Mike is sociable, talkative, assertive and outgoing. He takes charge of any situation that arises in the team. Since Mike is social,  more people in the team like to interact with him. This creates a good environment for success since a relationship is a build between the various types of leaders.  Mike always tries as much as possible not to be too assertive or dominant.

The second characteristic of Mike is agreeableness. This is defined as his ability to show trust, confidence, understanding, affection and kindness. Agreeable leaders form good relations with other members and are liked compared to other members. Agreeableness is linked to emotional intelligence. The third characteristic is conscientiousness. It refers to the extent in which people are organized, goal-oriented and mindful of details. Conscientiousness and Extraversion are two characteristics that have been linked to leadership self-efficacy. The two factors are linked to increased leadership performance.

Mike shows low levels of neuroticism. Thus, Mike is considered to be emotionally stable and self-confident. Aspects such as low self-esteem, anxiety, being moody and irritable area all related to high levels of neuroticism. Mike never shows such characteristics since it will severely dents his personality and image among the other team members. Openness is another important characteristic shown by Mike. It relates to being informative, imaginative, insightful, sensitive and flexible. Openness in sporting activities such as softball encourages aspects related to innovation and creativity. It also provides solutions on how to deal with complex problems facing the current society. Other important personality characteristics that should be shown by team leaders include high levels of emotional intelligence, high internal locus of control, being a risk taker, and a brilliant decision maker. Team leaders should avoid issues related to Machiavellianism and narcissism.

Mike shows some important activities to team member. Some of his traits include high levels of self-confidence and integrity, and being honest. Other important traits noted in Mike include cooperativeness, organizational and speaking abilities, cleverness, adaptability, stress tolerance, achievement orientation, high energy and dominance. Effective team leaders in sporting activities ensure that they bring forth good attributes that ensure that the whole team succeeds. 

Transformational and Transactional Leadership

Transformational leadership plays a greater role in the softball. It is commonly associated with the big five personality traits which include openness, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and low levels of neuroticism. Transformational forms of leaders place more emphasis on improving the standards of the other members of the team through a variety of methods. The most commonly used method is inspiration. The leaders of the team who are Mike and George, and other stakeholders place the needs of the players first before considering all the other aspects of the game. In other words, transformational leadership is people- oriented and achieves greater result because people can work with better because of increased feelings of motivation and inspiration. Transformational leadership ensure that more time is spent together between the members of the team, the coach, and the entire management. As a result, more players are more likely to be retained in the team because of the relationship that has been built over the years. Transformational leadership supports all activities of growth related to the existing team members. The main aim of transformational leadership in most organization is to grow individuals to high levels that were originally never anticipated. In the end, this leadership style assists more team members compared to the other forms of styles. 

Transactional leadership also plays a critical part in the team. It is task –oriented. In other words, it ensures that all tasks are conducted effectively by all members of the team. Some of these tasks in softball may relate to training, observance of the rules guiding the team, specific measures for team members who are indiscipline and rising through the ranks of the team. This form of leadership determines the daily activities that occur in the team. Rewarding of any higher position in the team is solely based on one's effort. The method is also resistant to change. If the team is used to playing in a particular fashion under the coach, this method is what will be utilized until the coach decides to attempt a different approach. Power and influence have more effect in transactional leadership than any other leadership. This form also rewards all team members who perform exemplary well. 

Vision, Mission, and Strategy and Link with Leadership

The top leadership of the softball team engages in activities that implement the mission, vision and strategies put forth by the team.  The Coach, as the overall head is able to achieve the mission and of the team by ensuring that they have the maximum number of followers. In this case the follower consists of all players as well as our supporter. Most of the activities initiated by the Coach will always be  all quarters. If these activities are in line with the main goal of the organization, then there are high chances that full implementation will occur. For leaders to have a following, they show certain traits and characteristics that quickly attracts the highest number of followers. The personality of the coach is based on the four models of emotional intelligence to attract more followers or in this case team members. The coach has achieved this by implementing the vision mission and strategy by utilizing aspects related to social awareness and relational management. The two are part of the four modes of emotional intelligence. Relational management deals with aspect that relates to teamwork, bond building and development of other while social awareness relates to service orientation. The coach first utilizes self –awareness and self-management activities to gather a huge base. After this, Mike aligns the population to the implementing the mission, vision and strategy of the organization 

Effective Changes

Some of the changes to be implemented in the team would include a reduction in practices related to transactional system and more emphasis on transformational leadership.  Sporting activities are normally competitive and any advantage gained increases chances of successfully coming on top. Some of the transactional practices that will be removed include methods of motivation and resistance to change. In turn, transformative leadership will be used to bring out and develop traits and characteristics of better leaders.

Conclusion

Personality traits identify and describe essential characteristics linked to effective leadership. These characteristics could be used in different settings to gain a competitive advantage over other teams. Therefore, it is important for all forms of leadership on the sporting field to recognize the important role that the personality trait theory plays in such games.

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