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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi ESTJs :)

I have a question. I have one ESTJ co-worker who is on the senior position in relation to mine, but is not my boss. In my observation, she does like to assume the position of a boss in different situations, even towards to out boss (which is quite funny to watch ;)) She is really a dynamic person and in the same time can be very into details of each situation.

So, here is the thing: she is currently after me for making some (minor!) mistakes in the large report. I tried to explain to her that there is no mistake proof system or anyone who could be checking the report in the final phase, so it's only natural that there may be some mistakes as - I believe - all reporting needs to be checked after the creation phase...

Well, anyway, I am having this important meeting with her tomorrow where she is going to pin point mistake after mistake (even those very minor ones) and I need to deal with it and respond and - since I am INFP - I don't excel in direct communication (oh no!). I don't think she means it personally, but for me in the way I perceive it... yeah... it may be harsh! :)

So... here is my question: how to deal with the criticism from ESTJs? How to respond? What kind of responce do you want? What would make you feel you've been listened to and you've been taken seriously? What response do you expect when you communicate in that direct way? What would relax you in the situation like this?
In other words - what should I do tomorrow, how should i behave towards my ESTJ co-worker?

If you have any ideas or advices, please, share!! :)
 

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1. Don't fight back. You're only going to come across as defensive.
2. Respectfully ask her what you can do to improve.
3. Ask her what she would recommend you do in the future in order to avoid making the same mistakes.

This will put her into problem solving mode rather than nit-picking mode. It will also make you look much better, as you will seem willing and eager to learn how to improve.

ESTJs generally want to resolve situations, and they think they know how to do it best. Play to that. Ask her what steps she would have taken in your place and discuss how you can apply those methods to your work.

You may not have to do all of it, but discussing it will put you on better terms; she'll feel her advice is appreciated and you won't feel attacked.x

Also, on a side note, when we ESTJs criticize, we're generally not trying to personally attack you. We're trying to be helpful. We just suck at the tact aspect of giving our advice.
 

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It's so hard to have a discussion on this subforum because all the other ESTJs get to it first and they say exactly what I was going to say.
 

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Can't stress enough that we aren't attacking you when we criticize you. Forreal, don't take it personally, and I know that's hard for you, that's hard for a lost of feelers. It's what makes us the "most difficult" type to deal with. In reality, when we criticize you it's us trying to help you, not belittle you, or even attack you! We see room for improvement in everything and anything, and we will try to make sure that everything is up the the standard that we hold dear.

Take in stride and don't get too offended!
 

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It's so hard to have a discussion on this subforum because all the other ESTJs get to it first and they say exactly what I was going to say.
Hahahahahaha. So, so true.
 

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I've worked with another ESTJ before, and it's a strange combination. We either agree completely or disagree completely, since we each have different views on the world. We can relate to each other easily, and we try to work as efficiently as possible, but it's marred by the fact that both of us see things a bit differently (in terms of our standards), so we might want to do things slightly differently -----> conflict. There would have to be a similarity in values for the combination to work.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
haha, I kind of imagined it this way - either great understanding and a very efficient match or something that would look as a deadly fight to the outsider... ;)
 

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So...how'd it go?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for asking! :)

It wasn't very easy...

In some aspects it was easier than I thought as thanks to longer conversation, I could see that my ESTJ colleague see the situation in less black and white way than I thought she would. She was a bit less judgemental in this conversation that she can come accross sometimes, maybe due to very short and powerfull statements she makes about things. I could also see that she didn't really mean it personally, whatever she said. She is a smart and perceptive woman. Sometimes very commanding and determined (at times a bit too much for me), but she is smart and I appreciate it very much in people.

She was in a nit-picking mode from the beginning. I tried to use your advice and ask her for ideas for improvement and advices. I could see that, although she seemed tired, she appreciated it too. So I think it worked for the good of a situation and our relationship, thank you! :)

There was also a funny moment - during the talk there was a manager with us and he interrupted at one moment as he was getting the impression from the way my ESTJ colleague spoken that I make 50 or maybe even 100 mistakes each day. So the manager asked my colleague how many mistakes do I actually make and my colleague said: 'no, not many, maybe up to 2 or 3 mistakes a week and those are only oversights, no real mistakes'. To put it in the context - even 1 oversight a day is really a small number in the work I do. But, as you mentioned before, ESTJs have very high standards.

Difficult moments for me were when my colleague said that my workload to her is just an excuse, not a real reason (for last 3 months I had overtime nearly everyday and I am rather one of those people who do things faster than slower, which combined with the high workload, time pressure and tiredness may be the reson of higher number of oversights) and that I should deliver my work with zero mistakes. In my opinion the workload actually is a reason. Right now I feel I am overusing my powers to some extend and I am constantly tired. The other thing is that I think it's not realistic to set my targets as 'zero mistakes'. Sure, I would like to decrease the number of those, but I am still a human and human makes mistakes. I think there rather should be some controlling system.

Anyway, don't want to bore you. This is my general report from the talk.
 

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Thanks for asking! :)

It wasn't very easy...

In some aspects it was easier than I thought as thanks to longer conversation, I could see that my ESTJ colleague see the situation in less black and white way than I thought she would. She was a bit less judgemental in this conversation that she can come accross sometimes, maybe due to very short and powerfull statements she makes about things. I could also see that she didn't really mean it personally, whatever she said. She is a smart and perceptive woman. Sometimes very commanding and determined (at times a bit too much for me), but she is smart and I appreciate it very much in people.

She was in a nit-picking mode from the beginning. I tried to use your advice and ask her for ideas for improvement and advices. I could see that, although she seemed tired, she appreciated it too. So I think it worked for the good of a situation and our relationship, thank you! :)

There was also a funny moment - during the talk there was a manager with us and he interrupted at one moment as he was getting the impression from the way my ESTJ colleague spoken that I make 50 or maybe even 100 mistakes each day. So the manager asked my colleague how many mistakes do I actually make and my colleague said: 'no, not many, maybe up to 2 or 3 mistakes a week and those are only oversights, no real mistakes'. To put it in the context - even 1 oversight a day is really a small number in the work I do. But, as you mentioned before, ESTJs have very high standards.

Difficult moments for me were when my colleague said that my workload to her is just an excuse, not a real reason (for last 3 months I had overtime nearly everyday and I am rather one of those people who do things faster than slower, which combined with the high workload, time pressure and tiredness may be the reson of higher number of oversights) and that I should deliver my work with zero mistakes. In my opinion the workload actually is a reason. Right now I feel I am overusing my powers to some extend and I am constantly tired. The other thing is that I think it's not realistic to set my targets as 'zero mistakes'. Sure, I would like to decrease the number of those, but I am still a human and human makes mistakes. I think there rather should be some controlling system.

Anyway, don't want to bore you. This is my general report from the talk.
Glad things went all right with the ESTJ. The other manager did a fantastic job of putting your performance (3 actual mistakes versus 50 implied ones) into perspective. I want to give that guy a gold medal for awesomeness.

As to your other coworker...well I understand where she is coming from. Generally, it is best to aim for zero mistakes, even if it feels (or is) unrealistic. More often than not, the people who push for this level of perfection are interested in the mindset rather than the performance. They want to know that you are TRYING to make zero mistakes. That you are putting your mind on the goal of being perfect.

I think you are right-- people do mistakes and it's bound to happen now and then (and by your account, is seems to happen very rarely). But, however realistic a mindset that is, it isn't usually one a person (particularly a perfectionist) wants to hear.

At the end of the day, don't let her high standards pull you down mentally; if you're doing your best, you're doing your best. That's that. No amount of complaining she does will change that.

I'm sorry to hear about the rough working hours. I've been through that myself, and I know how the pressure and impossibly high workload can really put a strain on you. I wish you the best in your job. I hope things improve with time.
 
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Yes, ESTJs do have extremely high standards, even when it comes to insignificant details. It often gets in the way of efficiency.

I use to get frustrated by them but after getting to know a couple they aren't so bad. They just have a far more direct and robotic way of approaching everything. Having a conversation about anything not entirely grounded in reality is near-impossible. You seem to be coping well, especially as an INFP - the ESTJ's polar opposite. Well done, and keep at it.
 
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