(This article appeared previously on AOLJobs.com.)
Here's a tip for the Type A professional: “Type A” is not synonymous with “psychopath,” or at least it shouldn't be.
(MORE: When Type A People Retire)
Tips for Type A Personalities
- Encourage others to participate. To avoid that tendency to be domineering in meetings, plan an agenda that requires others to participate. You know you tend to dominate the conversation. Give someone else a chance. And don't interrupt.
- Focus on empathy. To be less demanding, you need to realize that not everyone moves or thinks at your pace, but that doesn't mean they have less to contribute. Motivate them to succeed. Don't browbeat them into failure.
- Minimize interruptions. To avoid getting distracted, stop trying to do several things at once. Answering your phone or reading your email while someone is trying to talk to you is rude and counterproductive.
The concept of a Type A and Type B personality has been around since the 1950s, when a heart specialist noted that certain characteristics were common among patients who developed heart trouble. However, the definition is evolving, and not in ways that are entirely complimentary to the Type A.
Tips for Type B Personalities
- Be direct. Keep in mind that the Type A beside you is moving at a higher speed.
- Respect time. Showing up late drives a Type A crazy, as does conversational dithering and anything else that appears to waste time.
- Don't take it personally. Type A's are not trying to be rude. It's just the way they are.
Carol Kopp is a veteran producer, developer, writer and editor for Internet news sites. She was formerly a senior news producer for CBSNews.com. She has created personal finance features for CNBC, developed a travel database for a national business consortium, and writes features about the business of consumer technology for Minyanville.com. She was senior news manager of the pioneering Prodigy online news service.
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