Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: Low Personal Adjustment

Personal Adjustment: The ability to handle the normal challenges of life without a lot of drama. 

Do you tend to overreact to situations? Are you easily stressed out? If so, you may be a low scorer in personal adjustment. Let’s take a look at the behavioral traits of someone with a low score in personal adjustment and what managers can do to best encourage their growth. 

Low Personal Adjustment

Meet Steve. Steve often gets overwhelmed by little things. His coworkers never know what kind of mood he’s going to be in and they often tiptoe around him in order not to set him off or stress him out. The last time someone in his office asked him a question about his work he got super defensive and spent the whole day shut away in his office, not talking to anyone. When he gets overwhelmed like this, he has a hard time focusing, often feels anxious and has a hard time snapping out of it.

Steve is a good example of someone who likely has a low personal adjustment score. He:

  • Doesn’t always handle stress well
  • Tends to overreact to situations
  • Struggles with trust at times and tends to keep people at a distance
  • Can be moody

Tips for Managing Low Scorers

Although low scorers in personal adjustment can be wonderful hard-working people, sometimes their tendency to overreact and not handle stress well can have negative consequences in their personal and work life.  Low personal adjustment scorers may lack some of the tools, resources and beliefs necessary to cope with the pressures of life, school, or work. This combination of factors can create anxiety, difficulty with focus, and defensiveness. 

Whether you’re a manager of a low personal adjustment scorer or wanting to learn how to better understand a colleague’s behavior, here are some ideas on how to effectively manage this behavioral trait. 

Recommendations for Low Scorers: 

  • Because of their tendency to overreact, low scorers in personal adjustment may require a certain type of even-keeled support by someone who is not threatened by high emotion. Who can you pair them with to ground them a bit?
  • Encourage them to practice behaviors even if they’re feeling moody.
  • Encourage them to develop self-awareness around their tones, body language and energy levels, making a concerted effort to keep all three positive during the day.
  • Maintaining a steady mood is difficult for low scorers in personal adjustment. Because of this, they may need more encouragement and support than others. Find mindful ways to support and encourage them.
  • Consistent praise, recognition and steadiness motivates the low scorer in Personal Adjustment. How can you provide this in the workplace for them?
  • Give them perspective. Remind them to question whether this moment will matter much in 100 years to provide some perspective on the emotional experience of the moment.

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