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Thread: ESTJ Boss

  1. #1
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Default ESTJ Boss

    I'm going to be working under an ESTJ boss for awhile. I've worked for one before and have several in my family, so I'm pretty familiar with ESTJ's. But, I'm struggling with this guy.

    Let's start of by saying that he really needs me - or someone who can do what I do - if he were to "lose me", it would really cause a big void for several weeks until he could find a replacement. Because of this, he is being really nice to me and kind of watching his words. I see him talk down to other people and really rip into them at times. He's not a horrible guy, but he tends to micro-manage, be all up in everyone's stuff, and relentless (nothing gets by him and it annoys people). He's very efficient and gets stuff done (like ExTJ's do so well), but he can be a real jerk at times.

    With me, I know that he thinks that certain things I do are not "efficient" - because they aren't the way he would do them. But, I work efficiently (INTP's are extremely efficient when we need to be/want to be - in fact, recognizing inefficiencies is probably what we do best). He really has nothing to worry about. I'm doing things as efficiently as they can be done. I sense sometimes that he wants to rip into me (I can see that he is frustrated and kind of wants to "go off" on me), but because he needs what I'm providing so desperately at this time, he holds his tongue.

    I feel like he's testing me to see how far he can go with me. He wants to see if he can talk to me the same way he talks to others. He talks down and very blunt to certain people, and then I notice that others he doesn't talk to that way (because he knows it won't fly with certain people).

    So, what can I do to:
    1. Earn this guys respect? What do you guys respect in a worker?

    2. Get him off my back? If he's hovering around me and watching me and probing and asking lots of questions, he's only hurting my performance. INTP's can't perform under that type of pressure. The best thing a boss can do for us is explain clearly what he expects out of us, train us if he wants it done a certain way, and then let us go do it. How can I convince him to take a step back, and let me go? Get out of my face and let me do what I'm paid to do (without pissing him off or being arrogant or getting in a heated argument)???

    What should my strategy be here? I'm confused with this guy.

  2. #2
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    (1) He might be incapable of respecting people beyond what he needs them for. In short, you might lose relevance to him, and therefore lose consideration for being treated with respect if he is a shallow userous motherfucker. Be careful. If he is cool, you don't need to worry about this, but if you don't know, then be careful...

    (2) To get him off your back, be direct. Say "Look, I understand you want this to be done, but part of this work is creative, and it will take me some TIME and some PEACE AND QUIET to get from the conceptual stage we're at now, to being able to show you a preliminary work product. So, here's the outline of things now (Give him an outline, drop a picture or two in there, or a diagram, this will satisfy his NEED FOR STRUCTURE , even if temporarily)."

    THEN, you must immediately ask him for the time you realistically need to finish the task. If you ask when he's warm and fuzzy after giving him the outline, he will most likely say yes. Then tell him you'll shoot him an email between now and the time you agree to check in with him to discuss things further.

    Done deal. My Dad is an ESTJ retired Army Colonel. I know how to handle them. Good luck!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Robert165's Avatar
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    yeah, i agree, what you do depends upon his overall personality (what he's like when he's not feeling rushed)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/robert165/

    I'm just trying to do this Jigsaw puzzle, before it rains anymore.

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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I had an ESTJ boss a little while back and he just kind of wore me out. If I had to do it over again, I'd do one thing - change my style of interaction with him. I'd be more prepared for meetings, be more on top of facts, more verbal and mimicking of his communication style, focus on more short term, tactical, bottom line issues, and have numbers - in my discussions with him. Outside of that, I'd do things the same.

  5. #5
    Member Eye-In-TiPi's Avatar
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    Wow. I'm in pretty much the same situation. Just be glad he will hold his tongue when talking to you. That will probably change with time. When he does rip into you, do not back down. Stand your ground if you are right, but admit when you are wrong. He'll lose respect for you if you back down and you'll get ripped into more often. Keep in mind that he has been kind enough to hold back on you and try to do the same when you stand up to him. If he's anything like my boss, he'll shut down the conversation when it starts to look like he's losing the argument. Sometimes it seems like my boss thinks that yelling his point makes it "righter." If you think your boss is pissed off about something he thinks is wrong, wait til he is logically proven to be the one in the wrong. My boss fumes with anger whenever I pick apart his illogic. I think the part he hates most is that I do it all very calmly and don't get angry about it - well, most of the time anyway.

  6. #6
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander29 View Post
    I had an ESTJ boss a little while back and he just kind of wore me out. If I had to do it over again, I'd do one thing - change my style of interaction with him. I'd be more prepared for meetings, be more on top of facts, more verbal and mimicking of his communication style, focus on more short term, tactical, bottom line issues, and have numbers - in my discussions with him. Outside of that, I'd do things the same.
    Damn good advice. They love numbers. They wish they were naturally good at wielding them like rationals, but to ESTJs numbers are kind of like a "teddy bear" as in a representation of the control they wish to have, but which are not tangible, and therefore in need of representation via "facts."

    Quote Originally Posted by Eye-In-TiPi View Post
    Wow. I'm in pretty much the same situation. Just be glad he will hold his tongue when talking to you. That will probably change with time. When he does rip into you, do not back down. Stand your ground if you are right, but admit when you are wrong. He'll lose respect for you if you back down and you'll get ripped into more often. Keep in mind that he has been kind enough to hold back on you and try to do the same when you stand up to him. If he's anything like my boss, he'll shut down the conversation when it starts to look like he's losing the argument. Sometimes it seems like my boss thinks that yelling his point makes it "righter." If you think your boss is pissed off about something he thinks is wrong, wait til he is logically proven to be the one in the wrong. My boss fumes with anger whenever I pick apart his illogic. I think the part he hates most is that I do it all very calmly and don't get angry about it - well, most of the time anyway.
    Hell yes! Do not ever back down, from anyone. Fuck it. If it's on, it's on. The worst that will happen is you end up in the ER.

    I love your point about discombobulating them with coll headed logic. I watched my INTJ brother wield logic over my Dad's authoritarian ESTJ ways my whole childhood. It was hilarious.
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  7. #7
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    (1) He might be incapable of respecting people beyond what he needs them for. In short, you might lose relevance to him, and therefore lose consideration for being treated with respect if he is a shallow userous motherfucker. Be careful. If he is cool, you don't need to worry about this, but if you don't know, then be careful...

    (2) To get him off your back, be direct. Say "Look, I understand you want this to be done, but part of this work is creative, and it will take me some TIME and some PEACE AND QUIET to get from the conceptual stage we're at now, to being able to show you a preliminary work product. So, here's the outline of things now (Give him an outline, drop a picture or two in there, or a diagram, this will satisfy his NEED FOR STRUCTURE , even if temporarily)."

    THEN, you must immediately ask him for the time you realistically need to finish the task. If you ask when he's warm and fuzzy after giving him the outline, he will most likely say yes. Then tell him you'll shoot him an email between now and the time you agree to check in with him to discuss things further.

    Done deal. My Dad is an ESTJ retired Army Colonel. I know how to handle them. Good luck!
    I agree with this, especially the bolded part. To earn his respect and trust, you probably just need to repeat that process from Halla's #2 multiple times, until you've proven to him WITHOUT A DOUBT that your "unconventional methods" work. I have an ENTP friend who I sort of went through this process with, i.e. feeling the urge to "fix" her behavior at first, but then realizing that her end results are always good, so I should just leave her alone. Hopefully this will happen with your ESTJ boss.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    I'm going to be working under an ESTJ boss for awhile. I've worked for one before and have several in my family, so I'm pretty familiar with ESTJ's. But, I'm struggling with this guy.

    Let's start of by saying that he really needs me - or someone who can do what I do - if he were to "lose me", it would really cause a big void for several weeks until he could find a replacement. Because of this, he is being really nice to me and kind of watching his words. I see him talk down to other people and really rip into them at times. He's not a horrible guy, but he tends to micro-manage, be all up in everyone's stuff, and relentless (nothing gets by him and it annoys people). He's very efficient and gets stuff done (like ExTJ's do so well), but he can be a real jerk at times.

    With me, I know that he thinks that certain things I do are not "efficient" - because they aren't the way he would do them. But, I work efficiently (INTP's are extremely efficient when we need to be/want to be - in fact, recognizing inefficiencies is probably what we do best). He really has nothing to worry about. I'm doing things as efficiently as they can be done. I sense sometimes that he wants to rip into me (I can see that he is frustrated and kind of wants to "go off" on me), but because he needs what I'm providing so desperately at this time, he holds his tongue.

    I feel like he's testing me to see how far he can go with me. He wants to see if he can talk to me the same way he talks to others. He talks down and very blunt to certain people, and then I notice that others he doesn't talk to that way (because he knows it won't fly with certain people).

    So, what can I do to:
    1. Earn this guys respect? What do you guys respect in a worker?

    2. Get him off my back? If he's hovering around me and watching me and probing and asking lots of questions, he's only hurting my performance. INTP's can't perform under that type of pressure. The best thing a boss can do for us is explain clearly what he expects out of us, train us if he wants it done a certain way, and then let us go do it. How can I convince him to take a step back, and let me go? Get out of my face and let me do what I'm paid to do (without pissing him off or being arrogant or getting in a heated argument)???

    What should my strategy be here? I'm confused with this guy.
    I work with an ESTJ, we get along very well except when I get overloaded by her verbiage. My advice:
    1) Be totally upfront about the concerns expressed above.
    2) Get an office with a door you can close, or barring that, an isolated workplace. If you can get an office with a door and do some of your work from home, even better.
    3) Prove yourself to be a reliable person & a person of your word.

  9. #9
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    I had an ESTJ boss for 7 years. He is now my friend. Don't be afraid to stand up to him forcefully if he is abusive. It will teach him to tone down his approach. ESTJs stand up for what they believe in. They assume that others will do the same.

  10. #10
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    I had an ESTJ boss for 7 years. He is now my friend. Don't be afraid to stand up to him forcefully if he is abusive. It will teach him to tone down his approach. ESTJs stand up for what they believe in. They assume that others will do the same.
    Very true. Important to have facts though.

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