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Thread: ESTJ colleague

  1. #1
    Member Anna intuitive's Avatar
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    Default ESTJ colleague

    I have difficulties with my colleague/supervisor of the past eight years. I feel frustrated, switched off, disrespected, forced... Recently I figured out she's an ESTJ. She fits with all the type descriptions of ESTJ I have read. That helps me to see that she can't help being the way she is, she just is that way, just as I am an INFP and can't help being that way either. It helps me to acknowledge her wonderful strengths. But I need to go further than that to get over myself and find a way to accommodate her (even love her). Any experiences or insights you have that could help me?

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    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Why do you have to love her? Be open with what you dislike (to yourself, I mean), and let us know what specifically doesn't work so we can help you strategize. welcome to the forum, btw!

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    Member Anna intuitive's Avatar
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    Loving her is a strategy. I'm talking about being firm, consistent, compassionate, engaging with her. The reason I feel forced into this strategy is because a shift is taking place in our group. Although we are only four, two of us are in leadership roles that are quite well-defined, and we report to an international organisation. So at present we have a co-ordinator, a training supervisor and two members. Now our coordinator is planning to retire and he is nominating me as next coordinator. This means that I will get to coordinate our group meetings and will have to work closely with Ms ESTJ supervisor to create training schedules etc. At the same time I'll still be subject to her supervision in my work with training groups.

    What is happening at the moment is that she seems to be seriously upset that a) the coordinator is leaving and b) that I am likely to take over.

    At the beginning of our last group meeting it seemed to me that she was trying to take over the meeting, while the coordinator was hanging right back. I refused to let her bulldoze the group into accepting her planning ideas without further reflection, but insisted that we take the time we needed to hear from everybody. I twice stopped her from taking over the process. Thereafter she derailed the meeting (as she had done the previous meeting) by shouting at the coordinator for letting us all down, refusing to participate in future planning, withdrawing into long silences. I could see she was distressed. She is usually the iron control lady, so for her to shout and cry is very uncomfortable for her. This is where the compassion comes in. At least I feel it is appropriate to be supportive of her when she is not throwing tantrums.

    At the same time I will be in a week's training with her next week, being trained by her to give a workshop, and spending an hour each day reporting to her on my insights into the process of the workshop. So then my role will be different. I will probably try not to challenge her then. We don't see things the same way, and never will, but challenging her in that situation (which I sometimes have done) seems a waste of energy.

    Up until now my strategy on the whole has been to keep a polite distance from her, do the work I need to do for the supervision process, but basically avoid her as much as possible.

    This strategy now has to change, as the roles are changing.

    I don't know if this is clear enough. It's a complex situation.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    ESTJs that have encountered are actually okay folks.

    My best strategies:

    1) If you disagree with them, meet 1 on 1, explain the new idea and observe the instant knee jerk rejection. Ask to meet again in about three days after each of you have had some time to dwell on the idea. Typically by then the ESTJ will be much more open and actually observe the benefits of the new idea.

    2) Data-ESTJs will accept data and react accordingly with the data even if they dont like it.

    3) Time and planning-They respect time boundaries as that is how their world is organized. Thus if you give them time boundaries, they may try and speed them up, but will respect if you draw a firm line and insist that the times are accurate-especially if supported by some form of numerical data.

    4) Maybe schedule a 1 on 1 the day before the group meetings, just to make sure you are on the same page.

    5) Dont be intimidated by the forceful presentation or the appearance of absolute correctness. The ESTJ absolutely does not want to be wrong, thus if you are correcting them, they will appreciate it later, and respect you, even if in the moment they appear flustered. But with TJs in general often a 1 on 1 correction is MUCH better than telling them they are incorrect in a group. I suppose in some sense perhaps if you love them, you will make sure they dont appear incorrect as they seem to very much want to be respected.


    You should read this blog/thread as well!EJCC has lots of very insightful feedback about how to interact and understand ESTJs.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/sj-guardhouse/17823-ask-estj.html

    (Welcome to the forum!)

  5. #5
    Member Anna intuitive's Avatar
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    This is extremely helpful and very practical. It also rings absolutely true. For example, I have lots of new ideas, and many of them make total sense. But it seems that my ESTJ colleague does not like them because they are new. I have already started to realise that if I drop them into the picture some time ahead, preferably by email, she will get round to looking at them and evaluating them from a non-pressurised position. She hates to be caught on the back foot. Also, I am mostly enraged because she treats me and many of my values and many of those I value with total disrespect. But yes, it is very important for her to be respected, so me being reactive and a bit subversive towards her is not helpful to either of us. It helps me to have all this spelled out. Hence I am copying this post and will print it out and keep it handy when I am going to be or have been engaging with my ESTJ colleague. It is odd for me to be looking for a practical strategy as I usually go by gut feel. But my gut feel fails me when I am working with my ESTJ colleague. It's like I need to learn a new way of behaving, and that's interesting and challenging to me. How amazing! Thanks...

    And - I have already put my nose into EJCC's thread and it is also amazingly helpful. It is all like manna from heaven, getting all this help with what has been quite a sticky problem for quite some time, so I am gobsmacked and awestruck all at the same time...

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    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Yes-but be VERY careful as ESTJs really are to be forgiven for 90% of what appears to be trodding on other's values. EJCC, if I recall correctly, was rasied by an INFJ mom, so learned to be very aware of tohers, but most ESTJs can be very pushy and never be in the slightest bit aware how they come across to others.

    With my first ESTJ boss I finally set her down and expleined that people hated her and left her group because she was a micromanger, she gossiped, she was a control freak, and she gave them no intellectual or creative freedom. I gave her a whole series of very concrete things she should change. She cried.

    However she made the changes and for the next five years, nobody would leave her group. She could still be a bit knee-jerk, but just having someone help her become aware of her how her actions negatively impacted others made a huge difference in her willingness to pause and rethink-and then try and react in a less negative or controlling way. She really did want the best for others around her, she did care a great deal, but I'd argue ESTJs dont always pick up those skills early on in life, so very direct feedback was useful.

    good luck!!!

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    Member Anna intuitive's Avatar
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    <Yes-but be VERY careful> Hmmm, yes. "My" ESTJ is clearly quite innocent about the effect she has on others. This innocence is part of the way she is.

    My ESTJ asks for feedback about how she interacts with people - but cannot take it when she gets it.

    Having read through one tenth of EJCC's thread (and still reading) I have come to a sort of sad stillness. The sad stillness counsels me to to be very "neutral" in the coming week of training with Ms ESTJ. That is, to fulfil her requirements as best as I can without stressing out about them, and to stay kind of lowkey around her. It was helpful to me to read that EJCC is quite happy for people to be indifferent to her in the work setting. So, being indifferent, neutral, seems a step forward from seething hatred. My ESTJ is necessary to me as she rubber stamps my way forward in my work as trainer. She is efficient and hard working. She doesn't do things the way I would prefer, but she does them. Perhaps a neutral lowkey stance on my part in relation to my role with her as trainee, supervisee, will prove appropriate in the long term Anyway, that's how I see it now.

    Then there is the issue of moving into a different role with her, in time, with me functioning as coordinator of the group.

    This is a different role, and requires a different approach. For now, I'm not coordinator, and I can let the coordinator do his thing, and hopefully the two of them will work out their problem. I also do feel compassionate towards her because she is hating the insecurity of a change-over, and she is allowed to feel her feelings. It doesn't alter the reality that the structure is changing in the group.

    When I am coordinator, there will come a time when I will feel responsible to be very honest with her about the effect she has on people - not just in the group, because we can handle it, but more importantly on people outside the organisation in her official capacity. This corresponds to your setting down of your first ESTJ boss and explaining things to her - congratulations, by the way, you obviously did that extremely well. But it is important that I wait patiently and quietly for the right time, and then work hard at clarifying what I would say. I've sensed for a long time that I have a responsibility towards her and the organisation to do that, but it has been all part of a maelstrom of feelings and reactions in me.

    EJCC is a find because she is willing to be self-reflective about her type qualities - such an unusual attribute for an ESTJ. She has the strengths and weaknesses of the ESTJ together with the ability to take questions. She's great!

    My ESTJ seems to be a more suffering person - when she's not going ahead full tilt, that is, and is clearly beginning to question her difficulty with relationships.

    Thanks for the help!

  8. #8
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna intuitive View Post
    And - I have already put my nose into EJCC's thread and it is also amazingly helpful. It is all like manna from heaven, getting all this help with what has been quite a sticky problem for quite some time, so I am gobsmacked and awestruck all at the same time...
    Quote Originally Posted by Anna intuitive View Post
    EJCC is a find because she is willing to be self-reflective about her type qualities - such an unusual attribute for an ESTJ. She has the strengths and weaknesses of the ESTJ together with the ability to take questions. She's great!
    Aw! You're making my ego very happy

    Orobas had some great suggestions - but I'll reply in greater detail to your post on the "Ask an ESTJ" thread.

    Many welcomes, and I'm glad I've already been helpful
    ~ 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?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    want to ask me something? go for it!

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    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Yes-but be VERY careful as ESTJs really are to be forgiven for 90% of what appears to be trodding on other's values. EJCC, if I recall correctly, was rasied by an INFJ mom, so learned to be very aware of tohers, but most ESTJs can be very pushy and never be in the slightest bit aware how they come across to others.
    The way this is phrased makes me sad ESTJs can be aware of others without an NF presence in their lives.
    ~ 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?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

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