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I have a boss who's an INTJ. We get along great, and I really like him. And to be honest, he's one of the best bosses I've ever had. He can make I say this because I don't want to give the impression that I'm being negative or complaining. It's just that I've found that getting along with similar types can be more difficult than getting along with completely different types if you let certain issues fester. With different types, you're usually not surprised when they do something differently than you would. With similar types, it's easy to be lulled into a sense that they're just the same as you are and then get confused as to why it is that they're being so difficult all of the sudden (when the reality is that they're just different enough to upset your sense of order in the universe).

That said, the main issue that I have is (surprise!) that my boss is a planner. He wants to know what's going to happen ahead of time. Plus, he's a bit of a stickler to schedules. There's nothing wrong with this. In fact, I enjoy it when somebody makes me stop and think about what I'm doing ahead of time. Plus, we usually agree on the best course of action to take when planning. The disconnect is that I'm likely to figure out something that I feel is better while I'm actually implementing those plans and go with it. I think his point of view is that I'm too easily distracted, and there's some truth to that up to a point. Plus, he probably doesn't like the surprise of me doing things differently. The thing is that sometimes really good things come out of that distraction.

This is all to be expected when working with a J type, and I want to learn to work well with that. However, I simply can't make myself into an INTJ even if I wanted to. These kinds of surprises are something that are just going to happen, and I want to make that process as painless as possible. Do any of you guys have any advice for me on this subject?
 

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There's a line between having a plan and micromanaging. Having a plan is knowing what the end result should be, and having a way to reach that end result. If he is not the one carrying out the plan, then he simply has to deal with variations that his individual workers might find easier or better. Micromanaging is deciding that boxes should be cut with a box cutter and then having a fit when somebody uses scissors. So somebody is more comfortable using scissors. Big deal. It still allows them to reach the end result.

If those are the kinds of issues you are encountering with him....Him having one thing in mind but you're just finding something different that still allows you to reach the same end result or a better end result, then I wouldn't worry much about it. Its something he's just going to have to get over and maybe he'll learn to appreciate it. He might already if better things are coming out of it. He may be annoyed, but that doesn't mean he's not happy with the results.

It might help if you let him know you are going to deviate from his plan because you've found something better. Present him with the logic and its doubtful he'd mind too much.
 

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ggmmgmph. so . . . i'm an intj and while i've never managed anybody everything i do for a living is done as one part of a team. i could bat for either side about this [i'm privileged to have a near-0 level of scrutiny because nobody knows wtf my 'people' do]. and i have a couple of thoughts.

i think it's important not to make assumptions about why it bothers him so much. is it a timeline disruption because of dependencies? or is it you not doing things in the way that he wants you to?

if it's the former [get it done by] then i'm going to be semi-tough love. you are responsible for the deadlines you've undertaken to meet. if there is ANYTHING that is going to jeopardize that . . . it's not a matter of 'it's carved into stone and now you have to.' nor is it a matter of blame. but you shouldn't just unilaterally wander off script.

if it's the latter [do it this way] then i hate it when people knee-jerk say this but i do think you should re-examine whether he's intj. the easiest litmus test about that, of course, is to say 'why should it matter how i did it? back off'. if you find yourself fired for insubordination you probably weren't working for an intj. if you get some form of 'true dat' or an explanation about why it matters, you may be.

it's basically about dependencies. i would assume anyway, unless he really is a micro-obsessed control freak.
 

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Okay, but now a serious post. My INTP boyfriend does not really see time the same was I do.

As an INTJ we are very aware of time and use it to plan our day, week, year, etc. I also think we are very good at accomplishing a lot of things quickly. My INTP partner seems to not worry much about time. He seems to be more concerned with doing something really well than getting a lot done on his to-do list.

Yes, we do get annoyed with each other when we share a project (i.e hosting a dinner party). He feels like I am always rushing him. I want to know when something is going to be completed so I can get closure and adjust accordingly. We have candid discussions and try to make each other feel more comfortable.

I don't know enough about your boss/professional relationship but if you could somehow compromise somewhere in the middle? A sneaky trick you could also try is making your INTJ feel like he or she has more control than they actually do. For example asking them if Thursday afternoon or Friday morning is better for an INTJ. There isn't much difference but the illusion of control is very comforting to an INTJ.
 

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I'm an ENTP and have worked for a bunch of J's over the years. First, thank your stars that you're dealing w/ P vs. J difference rather than N/S or T/F. I don't think I vs. E matters much (unless you're the I and in a proactive outbound sales role). T vs F can be emotionally frustrating and S vs N will drive you crazy if you're not careful and the hardest to overcome IMO.

As a P, you're an asset because you recognize possibilities and are likely to come up with better than expected outcomes. But your J boss wants to know things are being taken care of. Here are some things I've personally found helpful.

1) Chances are your boss wants to know things are going to get done, and get done on time. Commit yourself now to meeting deliverable deadlines (and you're better equipped than most to hit them because you can come up with creative solutions to overcome delays that J's might just accept and can stop S's in their tracks).

2) Talk to your boss and explain you are committed to meeting deadlines, but you also want to keep options open as much as possible in case a better solution presents itself. Come up with a plan that delivers what he/she wants, determine action items and when you have to pull the trigger on each in order to hit your deliverable date. If you come up with a better solution before the trigger date review it with your boss and see if they agree. Try to figure out a timetable that will make the better solution happen no later than the original one would have and present that at the same time you present the idea. If it can't be delivered by the same date, say when it can be delivered and try to quantify the benefits of the wait.

3) After a while your boss will see that you can be depended on to make things happen when they need to happen. But until you have their full confidence schedule one on ones to discuss your progress and show you're hitting the timetable. If you're boss is a strong N you can also use this time to bounce ideas arounds, but this will make them nervous unless they know this is just part of your process and not a sign you're losing site of the deliverable and timing is in jeopardy.

If you are a J who has a P working for them you, I suggest trying these steps and see what happens. Chances are you will exceed the results you would have gotten sticking to the original plan.

If you are a P working for an xSxJ it's going to be hard to even get your boss to entertain the notion that this alternate approach may work. It can be done though, If someone in that boat reads this and needs xNxP vs xSxJ tips let me know and I'll go there, but it's exhausting to think about and I'm not inclined to revisit it in my mind unless it will help someone.
 

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In fact, I enjoy it when somebody makes me stop and think about what I'm doing ahead of time. Plus, we usually agree on the best course of action to take when planning. The disconnect is that I'm likely to figure out something that I feel is better while I'm actually implementing those plans and go with it. I think his point of view is that I'm too easily distracted, and there's some truth to that up to a point. Plus, he probably doesn't like the surprise of me doing things differently. The thing is that sometimes really good things come out of that distraction.

This is all to be expected when working with a J type, and I want to learn to work well with that. However, I simply can't make myself into an INTJ even if I wanted to. These kinds of surprises are something that are just going to happen, and I want to make that process as painless as possible. Do any of you guys have any advice for me on this subject?
Want to know the easiest path? Invite an INTJ to eat at the restaurant or cafe to talk about things that might be your concern truthfully, and don't . I actually wonder if it works the same for everyone but it seems to me that INTJ wants your clear intention rather than anything, and it's obviously well-known why they really want it, which is the clarity in your thought process.
 

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INTJ’s are finely tuned to see what works and what doesn’t in a system. If your boss is an INTJ, your main focus should be to do quality work (the work you know how to do), and prove that you are valuable to helping the system run. INTJ’s get a bad reputation for being completely unreasonable but I think that you can gain their respect by simply doing your job and not bringing pettiness into the workplace (which for an INTP won’t be a problem). You may find it hard to meet deadlines and follow a meticulous schedule but try to keep in mind that it’s not to torture you, it’s to make the machine run smoothly. If you do think that the meticulous schedule is hindering your efficiency, talk to your boss (without being insubordinate). INTJ’s want things to run in the most efficient way possible, and in a healthy work environment feedback on what’s working and what’s not may be beneficial to the entire staff. Hope this helped kill the INTJ stereotype. Hang in there and try to do the best work you can.
 

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I'm an ENTP and have worked for a bunch of J's over the years. First, thank your stars that you're dealing w/ P vs. J difference rather than N/S or T/F. I don't think I vs. E matters much (unless you're the I and in a proactive outbound sales role). T vs F can be emotionally frustrating and S vs N will drive you crazy if you're not careful and the hardest to overcome IMO.
I am an INTP and think I can learn from you. I like to be open to all the possibilities because only one possibility may not be good enough. I like INTJs because they usually make the best choice yet they can be challenged. The problem comes when they are not as open as I want to be. You are right about N versus S when that happens.
 

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I'm an ENTP and have worked for a bunch of J's over the years. First, thank your stars that you're dealing w/ P vs. J difference rather than N/S or T/F. I don't think I vs. E matters much (unless you're the I and in a proactive outbound sales role). T vs F can be emotionally frustrating and S vs N will drive you crazy if you're not careful and the hardest to overcome IMO.

As a P, you're an asset because you recognize possibilities and are likely to come up with better than expected outcomes. But your J boss wants to know things are being taken care of. Here are some things I've personally found helpful.

1) Chances are your boss wants to know things are going to get done, and get done on time. Commit yourself now to meeting deliverable deadlines (and you're better equipped than most to hit them because you can come up with creative solutions to overcome delays that J's might just accept and can stop S's in their tracks).

2) Talk to your boss and explain you are committed to meeting deadlines, but you also want to keep options open as much as possible in case a better solution presents itself. Come up with a plan that delivers what he/she wants, determine action items and when you have to pull the trigger on each in order to hit your deliverable date. If you come up with a better solution before the trigger date review it with your boss and see if they agree. Try to figure out a timetable that will make the better solution happen no later than the original one would have and present that at the same time you present the idea. If it can't be delivered by the same date, say when it can be delivered and try to quantify the benefits of the wait.

3) After a while your boss will see that you can be depended on to make things happen when they need to happen. But until you have their full confidence schedule one on ones to discuss your progress and show you're hitting the timetable. If you're boss is a strong N you can also use this time to bounce ideas arounds, but this will make them nervous unless they know this is just part of your process and not a sign you're losing site of the deliverable and timing is in jeopardy.

If you are a J who has a P working for them you, I suggest trying these steps and see what happens. Chances are you will exceed the results you would have gotten sticking to the original plan.

If you are a P working for an xSxJ it's going to be hard to even get your boss to entertain the notion that this alternate approach may work. It can be done though, If someone in that boat reads this and needs xNxP vs xSxJ tips let me know and I'll go there, but it's exhausting to think about and I'm not inclined to revisit it in my mind unless it will help someone.
SPOILER
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