In the morning do you generally jump out of bed before your alarm, or turn over and hit the pause button? Well, research suggests your preference may impact your behaviour.

This week’s Meetology Minute is about how getting up early can affect your interpersonal communication skills, as I am writing this in the USA where I always seem to get up earlier than when in the UK.

The research paper is a meta survey of over 8,500 people and explores the likely characteristics of people who go to bed and get up very early or go to bed late and get up late – referred to as either ‘larks’ or ‘owls’.

Now, we’re not talking in terms of right or wrong / good or bad here but it’s interesting to note that the main characteristic linked to early risers was conscientiousness. This group tended to be more dutiful, they were more persistent, deliberate and calm with a strong need to achieve. In an interpersonal communication setting that might mean they were more likely to follow through with plans that were committed to other people.

Those that like staying up later (and getting up later) were slightly more likely to take risks, and perhaps didn’t follow through on projects as much as they are more likely to be procrastinators and generally indecisive.

(On a side note, if you look at psychological research you tend to see a link between performance and getting up early.)

So, this week, I wonder what your preference is when it comes to getting up. If you have young kids you might not get an option but, if you did, what would it be?

I’ll be back in seven days with another Meetology Minute – exploring the fascinating science powering world-class people skills.


Jonathan Bradshaw
The Meetology® Lab


Tsaousis, Ioannis. “Circadian preferences and personality traits: A meta‐analysis.” European Journal of Personality: Published for the European Association of Personality Psychology 24.4 (2010): 356-373.