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  1. #1
    Member stormyapril's Avatar
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    Default Working With SJ who wants absolute control

    Hello,

    I need some good advice on how to work productively with an SJ coworker.

    In the heirachy, I am 1-level above this person, but as an ENTP (obviously) I pay little attention to structure. I prefer to establish good working relationships, therefore establishing trust, therefore creating a productive team (I am a project manager). I hope it is clear that the Team environment is absolutely a priority in this scenario.

    The problem is I think with this person in particular, when technical issues come up I am much more knowledgeable and have no issue sharing my opinion or challenging our design group. He is the product manager and (complete guess here) feels threatened because he doesn't understand the technical conversations. Lately, he has started becoming very terse, trying to control everything, doesn't want to have me at meetings...

    Any tips on how to rebuild this and not jeopardize the success of the project? Not having someone cover the technical issues or able to challenge the engineers on problems has already caused one project to go miserably wrong. I would rather not resort to using my "status" and making life hard for him via his manager.

    He is an ISTJ
    Last edited by stormyapril; 05-01-2009 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Additional Detail

  2. #2
    Perfect Gentleman! =D d@v3's Avatar
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    Are you sure he isn't an ESTJ? If it were me and I didn't like you, I would just shutup and do the work while keeping my opinion to myself. Not sure what to do in this scenario though. If he is an ISTJ, don't be afraid to remind him that you outrank him and that he is out of line. [Politely if posssible.]
    Freedom Isn't Free. [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    1. Use rank to get invited to meetings. Do not let him exclude you. If he does exclude you then, call a second meeting to dicuss timeline implications of the changes made in the first meeting. After a few double meetings he'll behave a little better. Make him edit and release all associated documentation and make him provide meeting minutes for meetings you missed.

    2. Confront him factually. Explain exactly what you are observing and gently remind him of the social heirchy and why it matters that you are where you are.

    3. Anytime he proposes changes that may be technically questionable, kill him with requests for data to back up his claims-which will effect timelines-thus will delay the whole project. The data will have to be assigned to be collected by a resource which you control thus may or may not be feasible.

    4. Make sure your guys are on your side. Talk to Dir about issue and explain the problem. Point out flaws in previous project and the desire to prevent repeats. Do this before each meeting. Love you INFJ as he will bring the rest of your guys around. Build an N team that can point out collectively the long term implications of the choice being made.

    5. A day before the meeting , meet with him, discuss the issue, and leave understanding he will still be in disagreement. By the next day he will have to time to think the new idea over and will potentially have altered accepted some new input.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Hmm, interesting. At work I have always tried to be very diplomatic and, of course, work really hard at mastering every aspect I can. I definitely wasn't likely to challenge coworkers, even those below me - when I have to correct someone/disagree with someone at work I tried to be as calm and tactful as possible. It would be really hard to say how to handle this situation since I only have a few details, but perhaps before reminding him about the hierarchy perhaps you could find a few opportunities to ask his advice on something? I am NOT talking manipulation here. There is a difference - you could think hard and figure out a few things to purposely ask his advice about in meetings in front of other people and just make sure to have a friendly look on your face as you listen to his reply. That might be enough to diffuse his stress/anxiety/whatever greatly. Otherwise, yeah, you could just mention in private at some point that you do need his cooperation as you are above him in the ranks and need him to be working with you so that the whole project can run better. Don't pound it in, I at least hate it when people try to make sure I know they are mad at me. Just say it briefly, say thanks, and walk away.

    There you go, my two cents.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  5. #5
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Truly, I love ISTJs. For me, no one makes a better employee (theoretically... there are many variables though). I've noticed that when an ISTJ doesn't know something, they bristle up - and somehow get defensive.

    I once had a job where I oversaw a large staff and this ISTJ woman was the only one who "didn't like me". She would do only exactly what I requested and I knew she was badmouthing me. I suspected that she was withholding important information from me, as well - which is a cardinal sin in my book. So I killed her with kindness. I created a project and delegated it to her. She had complete autonomy over it. She complained about it at first to the coworkers, but I knew that she was secretly pleased that I singled her out for additional responsibility (yikes, right? hahaha...)

    This worked in 2 ways: first - I gave her some responsibility, which is what I believe they all secretly crave, and made her feel competent and appreciated. second - I used this project as an opportunity to guide her and educate her to the ins and outs of the business. She learned how to do her job better, how to do my job and how to do the job above me.

    It required nothing of me except to stay late at work for 2-3 hours each week and recommend a few books to read. It made all the difference in her morale. Sharing knowledge is what we do best as ENTPs - just find a way to engage and connect with this person so he doesn't feel unappreciated and unwanted.

    A team is strong when all of its members are strong. Share what you know.

    If this person is an ESTJ, just cut your losses before he poisons your coffee. (just kidding, guys!!! )

    Another thing about ISTJs that I've noticed, if you don't assert every day that you are on top of your shit, they will think you are a slacker and unworthy of respect. As an ENTP, be aware of the image you project to them. We work very hard but make it look effortless - don't rub it in their faces.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Amira's Avatar
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    Hee hee, clever! Yeah, if I don't know something I feel bad (not logical, but the way I feel), and responsibility and relative independence while working are things I love!
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

  7. #7
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Cool, glad to know that I didn't bark up the wrong tree. It would be hilarious to find out that she still hated me after all these years, especially for dumping more work on her... hahaha...

  8. #8
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amira View Post
    Hmm, interesting. At work I have always tried to be very diplomatic and, of course, work really hard at mastering every aspect I can. I definitely wasn't likely to challenge coworkers, even those below me - when I have to correct someone/disagree with someone at work I tried to be as calm and tactful as possible. It would be really hard to say how to handle this situation since I only have a few details, but perhaps before reminding him about the hierarchy perhaps you could find a few opportunities to ask his advice on something? I am NOT talking manipulation here. There is a difference - you could think hard and figure out a few things to purposely ask his advice about in meetings in front of other people and just make sure to have a friendly look on your face as you listen to his reply. That might be enough to diffuse his stress/anxiety/whatever greatly. Otherwise, yeah, you could just mention in private at some point that you do need his cooperation as you are above him in the ranks and need him to be working with you so that the whole project can run better. Don't pound it in, I at least hate it when people try to make sure I know they are mad at me. Just say it briefly, say thanks, and walk away.

    There you go, my two cents.
    That's a very very good point. Give him respect for areas in which he is an acknowledged expert and do so in front of the other guys.

    ( I have inside info here )

    Likely he gets knocked down a bit by the constant ribbing of the engineers. He takes it well but He wants to be respected and I am sure it can build up over time. Also you are fighting a war against what he has been mandated to do by his authoirty, which is what he respects. Anyways I think he may be job hunting anyway... another good person lost...

  9. #9
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    I think that it often works to be nice. In my experience, too, they do seem to be threathened when they cannot understand your ideas, however if you're not exclusive with your knowledge and try to share with them, they will be more friendly (I don't know if they force themselves to, or if it's a genuine reaction, but nonetheless it serves the purpose).
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  10. #10
    Senior Member NewEra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d@v3 View Post
    Are you sure he isn't an ESTJ? If it were me and I didn't like you, I would just shutup and do the work while keeping my opinion to myself. Not sure what to do in this scenario though. If he is an ISTJ, don't be afraid to remind him that you outrank him and that he is out of line. [Politely if posssible.]
    Agree with all of this.

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