Picture this: as a leader, you’re a real go-getter. And then there’s that team member who always needs to analyze everything to death before finally getting into action. And the other one who is such a perfectionist that they never get the job finished. Why do these co-workers manage to get under your skin? And more importantly, how do you deal with your irritation?
Image: © 2016 P.L. Houtekamer
Try the following: Write down one of your good qualities and call that A. This can be any sort of quality, such as proactive, friendly or empathic. Now think about how another person would experience your behaviour if you were to exaggerate this good quality, and call this B. If you exaggerate ‘proactive’, for example, that could be experienced as meddling or pushy. There isn’t one correct answer; think about how you would experience an exaggerated behaviour in another. Now, think about what could be an opposite of B, but in a positive sense. For meddling that could be being patient, for example. This positive opposite, you call C. The last step is to exaggerate C: Someone who is too patient never gets going, or is passive, for example. This is called D. Now for the million-dollar question: Do people who demonstrate the behaviour D tend to irritate you?