Some highly successful people have gotten to where they are because of their Type A traits and are running out of the oomph that is required to get further ahead or to sustain and retain their current status. They may still have the oomph but they may be having difficulty dealing with “lesser beings” – people who are not Type A’s and those who may be less intelligent and less driven than the Type A manager may think they should be. That difficulty may result in frustration which turns to anger which, in turn, becomes abusive behavior.
Highly driven people need to moderate their behavior and attitudes in order to work smarter rather than harder. Because they have reached a stage in their career at which they must rely on others to get things done they need to cultivate patience and moderate the tendency to be sharp and even angry with people.
Type A personalities are often saddled with the belief that it is detrimental to cultivate the traits associated with Type B’s. “Who wants to be apathetic and disengaged?”
Project managers can cultivate a skillful balance. They need to be patient, objective and relaxed without being apathetic and disengaged. They also need be ambitious, assertive (as opposed to aggressive), business-like, in control (as opposed to controlling), eager to get things done (rather than impatient and highly competitive), time-conscious, and alert, but not tightly-wound. Being preoccupied one’s status is not a particularly useful trait, though being aware of one’s status and how to maintain and use it is.
How does one cultivate a skillful balance and become a patient, relaxed, highly motivated, high achieving project manager? Start by doing mindfulness meditation so you can be aware enough to have the ability to decide to choose your behavior moment to moment rather than be driven to act out based on habitual patterns. Learn to calm down. When you see yourself about to impatiently lay into someone, pull yourself back, calm yourself down and the optimal way to get what you want done.
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