Get more done with less stress using Myers-Briggs® Profile

Much stress is caused at work by differing approaches to getting things done.

Some people seem to do nothing until a last minute coffee fuelled rush. Others seem to have lists, organisers & calendars and move seemingly effortlessly through their days ticking lists off as they go.

Such polar opposite approaches can create disharmony (Conflict) at work where a little understanding could create wonderful harmony.

Let me explain.

Some people like to take things slowly keep their options open and get decisions made at the last possible minute. (Perceivers or P’s)

Others want detailed plans diarised and ticked off as they go, seeing the development of their project, grow over time. (Judgers or J’s)

Where an organised person (J) will want to plan & know procedures, processes, how’s, when’s, where’s and will make sure that all Is are dotted and Ts are crossed; an evolving person (P) will let things happen – keeping his options open and allow life and his projects to unfold until the last possible minute.

There is a real hard wired and physiological difference between the Perceiver (P) and the Judger (J) in their approaches to getting things done.

J’s will start their project / task at time zero and will have an slight adrenalin lift which sustains them through to completion on, or before, the set deadline. Thus their visible effort will match their adrenalin levels and steady state activity follows.

P’s on the other hard will get an adrenalin surge at the start of a project accompanied by a rush of activity. When they realise that the project /task is not due until 3 days/weeks/months/years away there is an associated drop in adrenalin with an associated and highly visible drop in activity level. They relax & chill out.

No rush.

Put off till tomorrow what does not need to be done today.

At the last possible minute our Pressure Prompted P gets an ‘oh gosh’ moment.

He has a massive surge in adrenalin; followed by a rush of creativity and a very highly visible burst of activity; perhaps with an overnight dash to the finish line giving delivery/completion on, or around, the set deadline.

Where there is no deadline at all our Pressure Prompted P does not get an adrenaline burst so the activity simply does not get done.

Both J’s and P’s can schedule and plan. Both can create Gantt charts and work to them. It is simply that J’s schedule their plan from time zero and plan forward; while P’s schedule thier plan from the delivery deadline and plan backward to the absolute latest they have to start to get the task finished on time.

The challenge comes when they underestimate the amount of time needed to complete the task.

If you are an organised “Early Starting J” and work with a “Pressure Prompted P” then you are probably seething in frustration at the seemingly never ending fire-fighting stress-based rollercoaster. “Why can’t they just start earlier?”

Why can’t they delegate more to me earlier so that I don’t have to rush?

If you are a “Pressure Prompted P” it is highly likely that you are tired of being micromanaged by Early Starting J’s who don’t trust you to deliver on time with your usual genius just like you always do (well mostly).

What does all this mean? Information is not useful unless you apply it.

Early Starting organised J’s if you want to get things done by your Pressure Prompted P colleagues on time and with your stress levels intact – The Secret is…

LIE to them.

Yes Lie!

Tell them a false early deadline.

Better still – break your project into smaller tasks with lots of mini deadlines along the way to the real, completion. They will still get an adrenalin surge and you get to know that your project is being delivered without undue stress.

Pressure Prompted P’s; if you are tired of being micro managed, tell your J colleges what you are doing and why they can’t see your visible output. Show them your plan (please write it down first – Js’ like to see things written down!) Show them when you plan to start & finish.

Reassure them and if that doesn’t work to appease them then agree an earlier deadline. Over time, when you regularly deliver they will begin to trust you more.

But you will have to train them to relax with your way of getting things done.

Liz Cassidy, founder of Third Sigma International is a Brisbane based writer, Speaker and Executive Coach. Third Sigma International is a Brisbane based Executive Coaching and Corporate Training business specialising in Effective Communication Skills and Leadership Development. Myers-Briggs® Personality Tests are used in some workshops.

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