Ever since I was a child, I’ve been an extremely organized person. My mom has pictures of piles of my shoes, organized by color and type. I placed myself in the center of a circle of perfectly organized shoes, and cried my eyes out when they were put back in boxes because my logic was flawless. Why keep shoes where you can’t see them? Put them in a pretty circle and life will be fine.
Mahatma Ghandi said, ” I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.” My famous words were, “Mommy it’s just me being me.” I think we both meant the same thing? I thrive on checking things off my to do list and writing a daily schedule for myself. Even at a young age, I had to make lists. Of course, at that age, it was playdates with friends. Now its monthly sales meetings, but still.
In school, this personality trait became a bit of a burden. Classmates would always pick me to be in their group projects because I would get organized and oversee everything. If a team member was slacking off or not turning their things in on time, I would end up doing it for them. I would always rather take on more work, instead of face failure. This resulted in an A for the group, but with many sleepless nights and tears for me.
Leaving school and going into the work environment, I found this personality type, again, to be a blessing and a curse. I always strive for perfection and getting all of my tasks done on time. But working with a team, sometimes your schedules do not match up. If I need someone else on the team for any reason to get a task done, I often find myself feeling frustrated that they are not ready when I need them to be. In a collaborative work place, I can’t just do it for them. I have to be patient and wait for them to be available to answer my question, or check a draft, etc.
What is Type A?
Type A personalities thrive in careers such as small business owner, manager, event planner, editor, news reporter, teacher, marketing, data entry, analyst, or a career in the liberal arts (actor, dancer, writer, etc.). This is similar to the positions that a ESTJ-T personality type would thrive in as well. People with my personality type enjoy structure, small measurable and concrete goals, taking and giving orders, sticking to a do list, organizing, working with others, and routine. Things we do not like: lazy people, co-workers who talk more and do less action, unorganized people, abstract concepts or unclear direction, and rule breakers.
Here are some tips to keep your cool in the work place as a Type A/ ESTJ personality type:
Take a look at what you need to get done at the beginning of the day or the week. If you know you will need someone’s assistance, give them more notice than necessary. Schedule a meeting with that person and hold them accountable for being present and prepared.
Patience, patience, patience
Realize that your team members are also working on their own tasks and schedules. We all have lives outside of work. So learn to adapt and don’t allow someone else’s schedule bother your work flow.
Keep a daily or weekly task list and prioritize what needs to get done. Stay on top of yourself so you can delegate tasks and ask for help more efficiently.
Not everyone works and operates the same way that you do. Accepting people for their process is going to be the key. Type B personalities thrive under pressure, after procrastinating so much that they can’t wait any longer. INFP’s would rather work autonomously or have their mark on the group project. INTP’s are innovators and would rather invent a new way of doing something and not follow the rules. Learning more about who you are and how you work will help you accept others.
When you need something, ask for it. If it is not done before you need it, ask again. Don’t be shy in asking for what you need. As a Type A, I hate failure. I don’t want it to look like I am not doing my job because someone else is behind. So do what you need to do. Ask firmly, but nicely…remember you don’t know what that person is dealing with.
Working with other personality types is just a part of life. No matter what your job is, at some point you will need to skills to collaborate with a diverse group of people. Do a little research and figure out what makes you tick in the work place so you can be a better team member.
Now what you have all been waiting for…a picture of the aftermath of little Sam’s organized shoes.