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Thread: Expressions of Type in the Workplace

  1. #1
    .~ *aĉa virino* ~. Array Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Expressions of Type in the Workplace

    ESFJ crisis: At a large meeting this morning, which my team leader (ESFJ) ended up running, one of the guys leading a different team (I'm pretty sure he's an SP type) basically had an issue for which a meeting had to be scheduled and actually said he didn't want to do it after she said he needed to set one up when he said he needed some information....

    She flew right back in his face on that one and said it wasn't her job. As soon as the words came out of his mouth, I foresaw how it would play off -- her response, his response to her response ('chill, don't worry about it, i'll take care of it').... but I'm kind of surprised to hear her in the next cube over still furious about it.

    I think it's a habitual thing, she constantly feels like she's expected to mom everyone and do their job for them (in terms of scheduling and running meetings) to make sure that things get done, she's at her breaking point, and she's going on vacation next week. She certainly does step in a lot to make sure things happen, picking up everyone else's slack; but now you see how the stress can really get to someone who feels ultra-responsible.

    She's over there talking to HER boss now about it. She took it very very personally. In her favor, the guy's done this before at other meetings I was... kind of being haphazard and sidestepping organizational responsibilities, for projects involving myriad teams of people and numerous members who need to be kept in the loop. His approach is just very relaxed, loose, and fluid; meanwhile, she likes to get closure and clarity.

    (EDIT: Lol... now she's telling someone ELSE about it! ESFJ has to let the world know until the indignation is burned out of one's system. I do want to say, I really like my team lead, though, and deal fine with her intensity... it's just funny sometimes from my perspective to listen to things.)

    ..... anyone have similar examples where type differences have really banged heads?
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  2. #2
    ⒺⓉⒷ Array Eric B's Avatar
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    Yes, ESFJ's (from my intimate experience) like to "parent" others (in addition to whatever their other drives in life are, and neatness and order, etc), but then get totally burned out by it (and loudly complain of this). "parenting" is even in the archetypal sense, with the aux. Si. They know how things "should" be, and often generalize it to the entire world, instructing you of "the way it IS". They're the ones who "know"; how dare you think you "know" (I also went through this a lot with my ISTJ parents, and am going through a "mid-life" phase where I'm reeling from this, because in coming into contact with more non-SJ people, especially other NTP's, including in our meetups (you, Jenocyde, etc.; they seemed to be nonexistent in the environment I grew up in), I'm seeing how the world and people are NOT always exactly as they say, and I feel bamboozled, almost, with all those cutting lectures about how I was just floating around in my own little world totally ignorant of how people "are", I was just being "weird" and causing all my own problems by driving everyone away, etc.

    Then, of course, the taking things personally, but they can easily dish out personal judgments of you. It will take years of fighting for them to see that and change, and they don't realize other types might not get over it that fast. And having at least one close friend to vent to about you, but they don't want you to talk to anyone about them.

    (I guess your subject is the workplace, but it will be similar anywhere where there is a relationship and responsibilities. I guess they will be a bit less fussy outside of the home).
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  3. #3
    Magical Array BlackCat's Avatar
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    I find that I personally work better with other SPs and also with NTs. I find that NFs get a bit butthurt by my up frontness around work related stuff ex: "We're doing a shitty job right now, we need to pick it up!" or "You're doing x wrong, just fix it this way!" etc. I find that SJs are extremely set in their ways and sensitive about how they work, and that a chaotic SP such as myself that adapts and changes my approach to every which situation conflicts very much with them. I basically can't work smoothly with SJs, with SOME exceptions. I've worked with ONE ISFJ whom we worked well together, but we still had Si and Se conflicts pretty regularly.

    As for NTs, I feel that NTs have a sense of direction in the workplace that I find hard to match, but when they share their vision of how something should be done it makes sense. And I just do it, and they appreciate that. In the workplace there can be a theme of mutual criticism, just because in my experience the NTs that I know understand that work and socializing are two different things (my view as well), and that on the job we should be trying hard to improve ourselves. In my experience with working with an ENTP for a long time, we'd go through a pattern of being in hardcore work mode, saying whatever needed to be said, and then when things would settle down we'd basically trolololol the rest of our shifts away, since we knew what each other's expectations were.

    I love working with other SPs, we have a similar energy and drive and approach to work. My favorite co-worker atm is an ESFP, he's pretty awesome.

    In general I seem to work exceptionally well with other SFPs and also NTPs.
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  4. #4
    Administrator Array highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    ..... anyone have similar examples where type differences have really banged heads?
    Sure - tons of examples.

    This is one of the practical uses I have for typology/MBTI. I try to understand where people are coming from on either side, their individual perspectives, conflicts related to personality differences and their different experiences, and then attempt to talk to each of them individually and take steps to get the heat down. It's a lot of my job I suppose - getting people to get along and be productive working with each other. Sometimes it works. Sometimes people are just like oil and water and one or both are too stubborn to consider understanding things from the other's perspective.

    I once had a consulting project where the client group (led by an ENTJ) had grown from 7 to 40 people within a couple of years and they weren't working together at all. A lot of it had to do with personality conflicts, turf battles and a lack of respect for each other. There were a couple of "camps" that were very much at odds with each other and the dis-function contributed to the group as a whole not being viewed in a very positive way by others in the company. I interviewed a bunch of people, got the issues and concerns out in the open, presented that (that was not an easy presentation to make). I also brought in an INTP to facilitate a workshop in which they aligned their direction over the next couple of years. I arranged for them to do an MBTI workshop (they had a certified person somewhere in the company). That was quite helpful. Finally, I recommended they overhaul the entire organization - roles and responsibilities and helped them to develop a charter that delineated clear lines of responsibility between them and the rest of the organization. It took a few months for things to sink in but within a year they were functioning reasonably well. One guy got demoted. One left. Responsibilities were shifted.

    On a personal level, I can tolerate a lot of variation in people's work styles but mostly come into conflict with people who don't get things done, who make us look bad or unfairly criticize. Perceptions are important. There was one guy last week that I was very upset with. He was responsible for a critical task and just didn't get it done after 4 weeks. I talked to him over and over about it and tried to shift responsibilities to others to the extent is was possible and give him help. Shit finally hit the fan because of the failure of this guy to perform and I was forced to roll him off the project. He kept blaming everyone else for not getting things done. I have to admit that I was quite upset with this guy because he made us look bad but did my best to throttle back the emotions. On the day of his roll off, I did talk through things very calmly on what went wrong, that he was accountable, the expectations vs. outcomes/results, the impacts of that and later encouraged him to not beat himself up about it but use it as a learning experience. He seemed thankful - said I was generous in my discussions at the end. He did realize what he did wrong.

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