Are You a Type A Personality?

by Tony Jacowski

If you have heard about the types of personalities it is quite possible that you already know what characterizes the Type A personality. But it is most likely that you have questions on how to be sure whether you belong to the Type A personality or not. Well, here are the few characteristics that indicate that you might belong to Type A.

Characteristics of Type A People

If you have ever felt restless over not finishing something as fast or as perfect as you would have liked to, especially when you think someone else is procrastinating, you must read on. Chances are that you belong to the Type A personality and there are also chances that you are more prone to coronary heart diseases (CHD) due to the extra pressure that you put on yourself. Do you ...

  1. have an unquenchable fire in you to achieve goals?
  2. become restless – if you are not multitasking, you think you are criminally wasting time?
  3. find that you are often highly alert, mentally as well as physically?
  4. want to prove to the world what you did and how others can emulate it and be successful too?
  5. become irritated by others' differing line of thinking?
  6. always rush to finish tasks?
  7. find it difficult, if not impossible, to relax, even on scheduled downtime?

What You Feel?

You always feel you would rather burn out attempting something rather than be idle. You probably live in mortal fear of becoming a couch potato. But why do you feel this way? Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, the two early experts on personality types, feel it is the fear of losing out on something better. You may just think that it is the fire in your belly that is driving you. Many Six Sigma professionals are definitely Type A Personalities. Let's look at some comments of those who have Type A personality. As we do so, try to remember if you yourself have ever made any of these comments:

  1. Losing sleep is no big issue, especially over an unfinished task. I can always take a nap during the day if I feel really tired.
  2. I often skip meals – I'm just too busy sometimes! Work always comes first – besides, the body can always tolerate a little extra pressure.
  3. I don't understand why people don't do things perfectly the first time – they just make life harder for themselves.
  4. If I don't push hard, who else will? There are lots of things to do and change in this world.
  5. I pay importance to everything I do. My pride depends on doing everything perfectly the first time. I'm a perfectionist!
  6. I know that I'm neglecting my health and family life, but there are many things to do and my competitors will surpass me if I rest for awhile.
  7. I am usually upset by the minor mistakes of others, but I don't want to do the small things myself – I have bigger things to concentrate on!

Slow Down

Do you see similarities here? Like a true A type, you are probably not afraid of expressing your feelings. However, you must consider how your comments or actions may affect others, especially co-workers or family members. For example, if someone has a different opinion from you, or disagrees with you in some way, this is just a part of life. There is no reason to become unnecessarily upset.

If you find that you have the characteristics of a Type A personality, then you must find a way to slow down, otherwise you are probably putting your health at risk. You may think that there is nothing wrong with your working relentlessly. But perhaps you will realize you were wrong, much later in life.

Copyright © Tony Jacowski

About the Author

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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