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Working With a Type A Personality

For starters: be on time.

Many personality type assessment models like Carl Jung's Psychology Types, Myers Briggs Personality Types Theory, The DISC model, etc., have been developed over the years. Of the models, the most commonly known is Andrew Goldsmith's Theory: Type A and Type B Personality

Understanding someone's personality provides insight into the best way to approach and work with him or her. 

Type A personalities operate at a maximum speed and aspire to achieve large goals; as a result, they display the following traits and behaviors:

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  • Competitiveness - Everyone and everything is a challenge to a Type A, and he or she will do everything to break down any barrier that stands in his or her way.
  • An Unrealistic Sense of Urgency - Completing a task or goal is done as if the world ends tomorrow. Type A's don't like to waste time and they race to complete the goals they've set in their minds.
  • Multitasking - Type A's can handle many unrelated tasks or goals and perform well at all of them.
  • Constant Stress - Type A's are subject to a tremendous amounts of stress because they are constantly racing against time or have too many things to do.

Below is a list of actions to keep in mind when working with a Type A personality:

  • Don't Waste Time - Type A's are sensitive to time and the quickest way to get on their nerves is to take your time. If you want to get on their good side, work at the same speed as they do.
  • Get To The Point - Type A's tend to process information quickly and when you hear him or her say "Got It", it's a signal for you to get to your point. They appreciate individuals that can communicate in a clear, concise, and succinct manner.
  • Never Show Up Late - Doing so, may result in him or her seeing you as not worthy of their time. Making a Type A wait means that you are preventing him or her from doing something else.
  • Have A Timeline - Type A's hate uncertainties because he or she won't know how much time it will take to complete the task. Make sure you have some sort of timeline around what you need him or her to complete.

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Bernardo Tirado, PMP
    @thePMObox

Bernardo covers leadership and technology for PsychologyToday.com.   In addition to being an industrial psychologist, he’s certified as a Six Sigma Blackbelt, Project Management Professional, Body Language Expert, and is a Train-the-Trainer in Analytical Interviewing.  

 
Bernardo Tirado is an industrial psychologist and project management executive. more...

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