Psychologists have identified basic personality types, each of which carries its own behavioural tendencies that affect personal interactions and the way people typically approach work. Most individuals fit one of two basic personality categories: Type A or Type B. Type B personalities tend to be more laid back, with less internal motivation, and generally function at lower stress levels. Type A personalities are largely the exact opposite, often extremely self-motivated, setting lofty goals and striving for perfection in everything. Understanding your basic type can help you improve your functioning and job performance in business environments.
Understanding Type A Personality Tendencies
There are a number of characteristics commonly evidenced by people with a Type A personality or behaviour patterns. Type A individuals are typically competitive, strive to be the very best, work tirelessly at achieving goals, and are often highly self-critical whether they win or lose in any situation. Their strong desire for perfection usually drives their competitive nature and also makes them hypercritical of their own performance. Most Type A personalities feel an increased sense of urgency, along with a deep need to be entirely devoted to every task. This often leads to being tightly wound, feeling high stress levels, and sometimes being quick to overreact. Their sense of urgency and time constraints means Type A people often take on multiple tasks at once, which can lead to the problem of few actually get completed in a timely manner.
The amount of pressure Type A personalities place on themselves can make them vulnerable to sudden bursts of anger, although their desire to control their environment may lead them to only express anger or dissatisfaction in passive-aggressive ways rather than overtly. Simply being aware of these behavioural tendencies helps many Type A personalities better play to their strengths and guard against their weaknesses.
How to Handle Being a Type A
If you have a Type A personality, you can benefit and function more effectively in your business by learning some tips for dealing with your Type A tendencies.
- One helpful practice is learning to say no. As someone who strives to do everything perfectly, and in a record amount of time, you may often take on more tasks than you have time to complete successfully by set deadlines. The goal to be perfect is already unattainable. Adding a mountain of tasks is likely to result in unduly high stress levels. Start saying no, keep your workload manageable, and remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Try regularly unplugging from your work. Type A personalities have trouble turning off “work mode,” which increases their stress levels and often interferes with their home life. Once you are done for the day, leave work at work, and allow yourself personal time.
- Be aware of the simple fact of life that you cannot personally handle every task or assignment. Your personality may lead you to believe that you have the ability to fulfill any requirements, including tasks that are way outside of your skill and experience range. Understand your human limitations, and focus on assignments that are in your skills and knowledge wheelhouse.