Aptitude and Attitude:
Our aptitude and attitude play a most important role in the successes we attain in each sphere of our life endeavors. Your likelihood of succeeding as a business entrepreneur depends to a large extent on your aptitude and attitude. It is therefore extremely important that you understand what they are; what your current levels of competences are in each; and what you can do to improve on them.
The Psychology Dictionary defines aptitude as ‘’the natural capacity of an individual to acquire competence or skill through training. Individuals who have the ability to learn to play the piano are frequently said to have a natural aptitude for this activity. Specific aptitude refers to potential in a particular area (e.g., artistic or mathematical aptitude)- whereas general aptitude refers to potential in several fields…” (http://psychologydictionary.org/aptitude/).
Cyber Sisman defines attitude as an ‘…enduring systems of beliefs …’ (http://www.cybersisman.com/psychap/finalexam/socialpsych.pdf)
Going by the definitions above, our ability to solve a complex mathematical problem is almost entirely dependent on our aptitude in mathematics. Our aptitude tends to reflect our score on intelligence tests, which can tell us our ‘Intelligence Quotient’ ‘IQ’. On the other hand, our ability to resolve an ego contest between two senior executives that is hurting an organization is within the realm of our attitude. Our attitude and success in resolving such social issues is a reflection of our ‘Emotional Intelligence’.
As an entrepreneur, you will constantly be faced with multi-faceted problems requiring you to apply varied dimensions of your aptitude and attitude in understanding and resolving them. It is therefore important that you understand the various components of these factors.
Dimensions of Aptitude and Attitude:
The Human Resources and Skills Development Canada states that Aptitudes Scale is based on General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). They are as follows:
GENERAL LEARNING ABILITY … to understand instructions, underlying principles and to reason and make judgements,
VERBAL ABILITY … to understand the meaning of words and ideas, and use them effectively,
NUMERICAL ABILITY … to carry our arithmetical processes quickly and accurately,
SPATIAL PERCEPTION … which is the ability to think about geometric forms and comprehend two-dimensional representation of three-dimensional objects; as well as ability to recognize the relationships resulting from the movement of objects in space,
FORM PERCEPTION … which is the ability to make visual comparisons and discriminations,
CLERICAL PERCEPTION … which is the ability to perceive pertinent details in verbal or tabular material,
MOTOR CO-ORDINATION … is the ability to co-ordinate eyes, hands and fingers rapidly and accurately when required to respond with precise movements,
FINGER DEXTERITY … is the ability to move the fingers and manipulate small objects with the fingers rapidly and/or accurately,
MANUAL DEXTERITY … is the ability to move the hands easily and skillfully; to work with the hands in placing and turning motions.
In his paper on Attitudes (http://www.slideshare.net/kunjikili45/attitude-organisational-behaviour), Professor Srinivasa Rao mentioned the nature and dimensions of attitude as:
EMOTIONAL: i.e. feelings about an object or issue,
INFORMATIONAL: i.e. beliefs and information about the object or issue, and
BEHAVIORAL: i.e. the tendency to behave in a particular way or manner towards the object or issue.
We therefore see that our aptitude and attitude affects, positively or negatively, our behaviors (both proactive and reactive) in situations and circumstances. These actions and reactions are what, significantly, generate the results we achieve as entrepreneurs. How you act on or respond to a situation to a large extent determines how others respond back to or act on you. It is therefore important that we understand our strengths and weakness in the various dimensions of aptitude and attitude. It is not necessary that we master everything. May be it is even impossible do that. But what we can do is to understand areas we are strong in and lever on those and be able to improve on our areas of weaknesses. We will also realize that we gain more positive incremental returns by trying to improve on our areas of strengths than on our areas of weakness. Our understanding of these dimensions will also make it possible for us to understand what motivates our staff, the thinking of our business partners etc. thereby making it possible for us to help others improve on their performances, develop strong and lasting relationships and achieve excellent results.
There are now various tests (intelligence, emotional, entrepreneurial etc.) that can assess the various components and dimensions of our aptitude and attitude, thereby helping us understand areas of our strengths and weakness. I suggest you take at least a few of them starting with the entrepreneurial tests. In taking them, you must first be completely honest with yourself; secondly, you must see the results in good light, to understand what your areas of strengths are so that you can lever on that and to realize your areas of weakness so that you can improve on them.
The test link below, compliment of Banque de développement du Canada, is free:
The test link to PsychTests (shown below) costs US$12.95, but provides you with a comprehensive personal profile report. They also have Emotional and Intelligence tests that you may consider taking:
Let me conclude here by reminding you that the clearer your understand yourself the better you can prepare to get to where you want to go to.