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28 Things Type A Personalities People Don’t Do

28 Things Type A Personalities People Don’t Do

Have you ever looked at someone and said, “They’re a go-getter!”? Have you ever wondered how someone starting out in the proverbial mail room can advance through the company so fast and achieve her goals faster than other coworkers? These people might have a Type A personality. Some of the traits below might better clue you into what tendencies make up a Type A personality.

1. They Don’t Put Things Off Or Procrastinate

Why put off ’til tomorrow what can be done today? The longer the task is hanging around, the more they’ll dread completing it. The more they dread it, the less likely they are to start it. This is a vicious circle the Type A personality hates. They just do it now and move on.

2. They Don’t Wing It

Always having a task list means there is not a moment wasted. Done with one thing and onto the next.

3. They Don’t Keep Looking At Their Watch

Having several alarms and reminders set will create deadlines. Having a deadline is the surest way to not lollygag around. Having alarms and reminders also lets them know when the scheduled time is up and it’s time to move on to the next item.

4. They Don’t Like Laziness

Type A people understand laziness is a choice. The more often they make the choice to be active, the easier a habit of good decisions will form.

5. They Don’t Lack Passion

The Type A person has a lot of passion for what they do. A good example would be a political lobbyist. They have a laser focus on what they want and why they want it. The rest of the world is muted and they go full steam ahead toward their goal.

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6. They Don’t Show Indifference

Being emotional can be helpful or hurtful. When emotions get the best of a person, their judgement can be clouded, letting them stray from their goal. On the other hand, having emotion can help center people on their goal, helping them choose a clearer path.

7. They Don’t Relax Often

They are prone to stressing over everything. Many Type A people feel something is missing when there isn’t any stress in their lives. They always feel like there is something that they should be doing, even when they are already doing something productive.

8. They Don’t Fall Short On Energy

A Type A person will love sleeping, but not for the same reason as other people might. They see it as a way to recharge their battery so they can get a jump on the next day’s tasks. Many people with a Type A personality have a strict sleep schedule and are early risers.

9. They Don’t Like Failure

They tend to be perfectionists. While doing the task right is part of what drives their perfectionist attitude, they also like the challenge of making sure no one else can do it better or faster.

10. They Don’t Like Unscheduled Time

If the event can’t be scheduled, it won’t happen. Flying by the seat of their pants is not the way to be productive during the day. Similar to having a task list, a Type A lives and dies by their calendar.

11. They Don’t Live In The Shadows

Some Type A people would live on praise and admiration if they could. They love the spotlight and getting recognition for their hard work.

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12. They Don’t Like To Be Late

No matter who is late, you or them, a Type A person will be irritated about not being punctual. Being late can throw off a whole day which will be even more stressful.

13. They Don’t Let Problems Go Unsolved

They love solving problems. It’s seeing a challenge or the competing part that draws them to figuring out a solution.

14. They Don’t Have Much Patience

Hurry up and get it done is the motto of the Type A personality. When one task is done, there are always 10 more waiting. When they have to wait for someone to tell a long-winded story or someone is walking slow, they get frustrated.

15. They Don’t Know How To Solo Task

Having a single browser window open with a single tab simply means they aren’t getting anything done. Usually you will see them doing more than a couple of things at the same time. While this can give the appearance of getting more done, it often spreads their attention thinly across all of the tasks, making it hard to focus.

16. They Don’t Leave Their Workspace Dirty

No matter how long of a day it was, they will always clean up their area. This might be because they won’t be able to sleep at night knowing there was something is out of place or they could have done it but didn’t. Another possibility could be that they just want to be able to jump right into working in the morning.

17. They Don’t Like Working With Other People

Working with other people slows down the completion time of the project. Needing to explain why they are going to do something or talk about what will work with someone else is torture.

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18. They Don’t Do Well With Being Passive

Aggressiveness gets things done. Waiting for someone to hand them something just won’t do. If they need to talk to someone or find out information to complete a task, they make it happen. They don’t wait around hoping they will get what they need.

19. They Don’t Like To Punch Out At The End Of The Day

A couple of emails from home can’t hurt, right? Working after hours and on the weekends is the norm. Just because the rest of the office is relaxing doesn’t mean the Type A needs to rest.

20. They Don’t Have Many Close Friends

They usually don’t have close friends because they work a lot. Friends just want to hang out and do nothing. If there is a job to be done like building a deck, there is a greater chance a Type A will hang out; otherwise there’s work to be done.

21. They Don’t Say No To More Work

Something in their head won’t let them say no to more work. They feel challenged and they love to prove they can do what they set out to do. They will find a way to make it happen, even if it means they have to give up something like sleep or a day off.

22. They Don’t See Tasks As Anything But A Challenge

The challenge is the motivator. Striving to be better, to get more done, testing the waters and see what they can get away with are all things you could see in this personality type.

23. They Don’t Beat Around The Bush

Their directness could be seen as aggressiveness. However, it’s really just a way to get things done. Asking someone how their day was might lead to a long conversation when in reality they just want to know one detail. They will just ask about the detail they want to know to save time and misunderstandings.

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24. They Don’t Always Take Care Of Their Health

Hypertension and higher risk of heart disease are common side effects of having a Type A personality. Along with the stress associated ailments, they are usually not the most healthy people out there. Exercise and eating right take precious time.

25. They Don’t Let People Finish Their Sentences

People take a long time to get to the point. Finishing their sentences helps the story move along, or so they think. Being impatient is why they are not the best communicators.

26. They Don’t Walk At A Slow Pace

Walking fast gets them where they need to be. Plus its about the only exercise time they can justify during the work day.

27. They Don’t Like Waiting In Line

Waiting in line anywhere or even slow moving traffic is enough to make a Type A want to snap. They go into a rage when they are driving and they come to a slow down. They are furious when there isn’t actually anything there to cause the slowdown. They would also rather pay for the person’s groceries than wait for the person ahead of them to write a check at the grocery store.

28. They Don’t Go With The Flow

Make plans how to get the goal done and get to it. With a clear plan, there is no reason for them to have to think during the process. They just work, work, work once the plan is set and the goal is made.

Featured photo credit: Defeat via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

What Makes People Poor Listeners?

Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

How To Be a Better Listener

For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

1. Pay Attention

A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

2. Use Positive Body Language

You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

According to Alan Gurney,[2]

“An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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Be polite and wait your turn!

4. Ask Questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

5. Just Listen

This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

6. Remember and Follow Up

Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

  1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
  2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

8. Maintain Eye Contact

When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

Final Thoughts

Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
[2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
[3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
[4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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