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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've pretty much determined my boss is an ENTJ. I had initially assumed he was an INTJ until I realized how dominant Te is in him (and that he's extraverted - he's probably just used to working with introverts). So the development of my last project went something like this (I'm exaggerating of course):

ENTJ: I need you to do x, y, and z.
me: Why do you want me to do x, y, and z?
ENTJ: Because you need to do x, y, and z.
me: Why would I not want to do a, b, and c?
ENTJ: That won't work. You need to do x, y, and z.
...
(my project is now 2 weeks behind because I tried to do a, b, and c to prove him wrong)
me: Oh, so that's why he wanted me to do x, y, and z.
ENTJ: Why didn't you just do x, y, and z? I explained very clearly why you needed to do x, y, and z.

I get that ENTJs aren't trying to be dictatorial just like I'm not trying to be dense or stubborn. But it's difficult not to get frustrated when things progress like this. It always seems like he's in such a rush to get things going that he tends to forget that humans need a bit more out of their boss than just directions.

Every time I try talking to him about these things, I get a response somewhere along the lines of "Yeah, I remember when I used to feel that way." I'm still not sure if he's genuinely trying to be empathetic or if he regards me as just a less experienced version of himself.

Is this just something that will take an adjustment period or is there some way of interacting with him that I need to be doing?
 

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Don't ask a generalized why. You need to speak his language. Be willing, but put up an argument for ABC and have him prove to you why XYZ is the better choice. ENTJs are a type to appreciate a good point for the opposite case and proceed to explain why their choice is better:

ENTJ: I need you to do x, y, and z.
me: Why do you want me to do x, y, and z?
better: Okay, so X, Y, Z. Wouldn't ABC be better though? Wouldn't it be more efficient than X, Y, Z? I'm just thinking that A, B, C would be better because of QRS.

He would then (hopefully) proceed to refute your points rather than explain why (which would indirectly tell you why). Also, if its a good point, he may even respect your value or change his stance.
 

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I have an ENTJ boss as well. I think Wiarumus' suggestion is excellent. You can also try to access his "mentor" mode. ENTJs enjoy sharing their knowledge if they think you are serious about improving yourself. If he gets the impression you want to do a, b, c just because it's less work, then he's likely to be short with you. If he thinks you really want to learn why x, y, z is better, then he may be more than happy to drop into teaching mode.
 

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I'm still not sure if he's genuinely trying to be empathetic or if he regards me as just a less experienced version of himself.
He regards you as a less experienced version of himself.
Is this just something that will take an adjustment period or is there some way of interacting with him that I need to be doing?
I wouldn't worry about it; he's probably amused. An expert is a man who has made every possible mistake in a given field. Just don't repeat your mistakes.
 

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ENTJ: Because you need to do x, y, and z.
me: Why would I not want to do a, b, and c?
ENTJ: That won't work. You need to do x, y, and z.
I had a boss for two years with a serious case of ENTJ. 'Sergeant Major', the company called him. But me and him got along just fine, because we understood each other.

I would say: "I don't think x, y, z will work". Then...I would immediately back it up with the exact reason as to why, and a past scenario to prove it. If I had no past scenario, I wouldn't say anything, I'd do it the way he wants - and then let THAT become the past scenario (of fail, inefficiency or whatever) for next time. This approach worked every time - ENTJs generally become very reasonable with you when they see that you're concerned about efficiency.

The biggest thing: do exactly as he says, and let THAT be proof against his ways. Its the only way he'll learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had a boss for two years with a serious case of ENTJ. 'Sergeant Major', the company called him. Me and him got along just fine. Because we understood each other. I would say...

I would say: "I don't think x, y, z will work". Then, I would immediately back it up with the exact reason as to why, and a past scenario to prove it. If I had no past scenario, I wouldn't say anything, I'd do it the way he wants - and then let THAT become the past scenario (of fail, inefficiency or whatever) for next time. This approach worked every time - they generally become very reasonable with you when they see that you're concerned about efficiency.

The biggest thing: do exactly as he says, and let THAT be proof against his ways. Its the only way he'll learn.
You sure that wasn't an ESTJ? I had an ESTJ boss that I had to almost do the same thing with. The whole bit about needing to back things up with past experience is a very Si thing. The only difference being that I kind of went a different direction: I'd make sure to point out that I felt his solution was flawed somehow (even if I couldn't place my finger on why) so I can say "I told you so" later on. The reason being I got tired of having him get brilliant ideas that were really just ideas I originally presented and he rejected off the bat. Plus, you just leave open too much ground for him to blame you when things don't go well if you just do what he says without speaking up.

Trying this tactic hasn't worked as well with the ENTJ boss though.
 

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You sure that wasn't an ESTJ?
I'm certain.

I'm not speaking from a guess point - I *am* an ENTJ, and its how I work. However, I suppose it depends on what level you're working for him, a different dynamic might call for a different response. But in general, using an exact past experience, before presenting your alternate idea, definitely does the trick, I can tell you that.
 

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I'd make sure to point out that I felt his solution was flawed somehow (even if I couldn't place my finger on why) .
Oh, and for us its very important that you know exactly why, otherwise we do have a tendency to quickly shut off...before you even get around to explaining your idea.
 

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There's a difference between a past scenario and a past personal experience.

The development team lead, for the project I'm on, I'm pretty sure is an ESTJ and he's far more open minded to other people's opinions then these examples. He just wants your evidence to be backed up with something concrete, such as hard numbers. But he says he doesn't like too much bounding. I'll even quote it, because it was typed out:

In software development, the absolute worst thing a manager can do is tell a worker HOW to implement functionality in addition to assigning the worker to implement the functionality. That's micro-management. The best route to take is to outline the functionality (via Requirements) and then let the Developer implement that functionality how ever they want. This is the road to innovation.
On the other hand, he is very scheduled, and is involved in church and family, while being former military, and also enjoys fantasy and sci-fi. But I brought up MBTI and he said "I can see how it could be interesting, but not for me."

He's definately a J, anyway. I have a difficult time figuring out the other letters, sometimes, but I tend to think he's an SJ.
 

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You sure that wasn't an ESTJ? I had an ESTJ boss that I had to almost do the same thing with. The whole bit about needing to back things up with past experience is a very Si thing.
Both Si and Ni are past-oriented functions. So yes their users introspect on the experiences and evidence of the past, and then this is sort of inverted forward and used to build the future. Si and Ni value different aspects of the past though. I had a co-worker who was ISFJ and he was working on developing a project and whenever he was giving presentations to us he just gave us a whole bunch of numbers. I was rather frustrated by his presentations because he put next to no emphasis on explaining how those figures all work out together. If it was me I'd actually hide all the numbers as 'supporting information' and try the present a picture of how everything is interconnected together. But despite this both of us would rely on evidence and observations that have been made in the past to back up conclusions of how to proceed further.
 

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I've pretty much determined my boss is an ENTJ. I had initially assumed he was an INTJ until I realized how dominant Te is in him (and that he's extraverted - he's probably just used to working with introverts). So the development of my last project went something like this (I'm exaggerating of course):

ENTJ: I need you to do x, y, and z.
me: Why do you want me to do x, y, and z?
ENTJ: Because you need to do x, y, and z.
me: Why would I not want to do a, b, and c?
ENTJ: That won't work. You need to do x, y, and z.
...
(my project is now 2 weeks behind because I tried to do a, b, and c to prove him wrong)
me: Oh, so that's why he wanted me to do x, y, and z.
ENTJ: Why didn't you just do x, y, and z? I explained very clearly why you needed to do x, y, and z.

I get that ENTJs aren't trying to be dictatorial just like I'm not trying to be dense or stubborn. But it's difficult not to get frustrated when things progress like this. It always seems like he's in such a rush to get things going that he tends to forget that humans need a bit more out of their boss than just directions.

Every time I try talking to him about these things, I get a response somewhere along the lines of "Yeah, I remember when I used to feel that way." I'm still not sure if he's genuinely trying to be empathetic or if he regards me as just a less experienced version of himself.

Is this just something that will take an adjustment period or is there some way of interacting with him that I need to be doing?
Are you serious? I'm not an ENTJ, but I would've terminated you not only for insubordinance, but for it causing a HUGE delay and inefficiency. I've actually fired two people for that reason.

That said, I probably would've also explained to you WHY x, y and z needed to be done, but time doesn't always permit that. Critical thinking and initiative are valuable assets to a company, but when it impedes productivity, it defeats the purpose. Sometimes the job just needs to get done. Afterwards, you can ask questions, brainstorm and plan all you want.
 

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Sounds like ego was the driving force of your insubordination.

When things need to get done, especially if the project is time sensitive, what else does one need than clear cut directions? Your boss probably thought you were the best man for x,y,z. If you really wanted to do a,b,c then it would have been your responsibility to explain why a,b,c was far more fitting for you to do.

If anything, I would've personally done x,y,z and then do a,b,c in case x,y,z failed. Either that or delegate x,y,z to someone else while I work on a,b,c. But it seems a,b,c was fail in this case. =T

For me, it's never about proving me wrong. It has always been about people proving themselves right. =P
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When things need to get done, especially if the project is time sensitive, what else does one need than clear cut directions?
Just off the top of my head:

  • Reasons behind those directions.
  • The opportunity for the person following those directions to have input on them.
  • The acknowledgement that the person following the directions might have some insight the boss doesn't have.

Are you serious? I'm not an ENTJ, but I would've terminated you not only for insubordinance, but for it causing a HUGE delay and inefficiency. I've actually fired two people for that reason.

That said, I probably would've also explained to you WHY x, y and z needed to be done, but time doesn't always permit that. Critical thinking and initiative are valuable assets to a company, but when it impedes productivity, it defeats the purpose. Sometimes the job just needs to get done. Afterwards, you can ask questions, brainstorm and plan all you want.
I find this odd coming from an ENTP, because they're the ones who always seem to be best able to work with me. Secondly, if it's an instance where time is so limited... then just tell me that. Generally though, it takes a lot of trust for me to get to the level where you can say "Do this now because I said so. No questions."

Lastly, slow is fast. The problem that I see is never one of people being too slow. It's almost always one of everyone running around too quickly and making dumb mistakes that slow them around. And this is especially a problem for ETJs (in my experience). I can usually get through to ESTJs about this. But I just don't seem to be able to get through to ENTJs no matter what I try.
 

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Why don't you just inform your boss before actually going into a, b, and c?

Gosh. If he's persistent, then just do what he says. If his plan falls through, you can just guilt trip him.

YOU can't fire him, but he can fire you. It's pretty stupid to challenge someone like that, especially if it's behind their back. You destroy trust when you attempt to take initiative without informing the appropriate people, then you'll feel like shit when he starts monitoring every little step that you make.

What you should've done is to explicitly say that you do NOT understand his line of thought. Heck, you should do that for ANY job position towards ANY boss. It's basic common sense in the work force. If he was too busy to explain at that moment, you should've just started on x, y and z, then raise the issue again ASAP with him. It's not that hard, and extra minute or two of dialogue won't hurt.

I find this odd coming from an ENTP, because they're the ones who always seem to be best able to work with me. Secondly, if it's an instance where time is so limited... then just tell me that. Generally though, it takes a lot of trust for me to get to the level where you can say "Do this now because I said so. No questions."

Lastly, slow is fast. The problem that I see is never one of people being too slow. It's almost always one of everyone running around too quickly and making dumb mistakes that slow them around. And this is especially a problem for ETJs (in my experience). I can usually get through to ESTJs about this. But I just don't seem to be able to get through to ENTJs no matter what I try.
Yeah... it's an ego issue on your own part. It sounds to me that you didn't even think about his instructions yet had the nerve to immediately suggest an alternative. It should've prompted you to think it through further if he outright denied your suggestion.

Your boss has to earn your trust before you do what he asks...? Damn! That's one of the most hilarious thing I've EVER heard coming from the workforce. Learn to communicate and don't be afraid to ask for explanations. Make your suggestions after the plan falls through that way HE shoulders setbacks AND you earn his respect and trust.

It is MORE important that HE TRUSTS YOU. If he has no confidence in your abilities and your attittude towards your duties, then he has all the reason (with concrete evidence... which you have given him already) to fire you.

Slow is fast? That's such a black and white way of seeing things. The appropriate pace depends on the situation. You do not tell doctors working in the emergency department to take it slow. Experience makes you work more efficiently and quickly -- who are you to question your boss's authority when he's probably got waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than you do in overseeing projects?

As someone else has said, I would fire you if I were your boss. You've essentially backstabbed someone who has more authority than you by not communicating your actions. It's YOUR duty to report to him what you intend to do instead because the role that he's assigned to you may affect others in the grand plan.
 

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Go into work tomorrow and tell your boss to fuck off and throw some hot coffee in his face. Collect unemployment for a few months.
 

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Just off the top of my head:

  • Reasons behind those directions.
  • The opportunity for the person following those directions to have input on them.
  • The acknowledgement that the person following the directions might have some insight the boss doesn't have.
All of that is implied, all you have to do is offer your solution and explain why it would be best according to your expertise. I work the exact same way your boss does. Business side gives their requirements or grand idea, I make a plan since someone has to do it and we don't have a shit ton of time to sit around thinking. Tell everyone what the plan is, and if its stupid rely on them to tell me its stupid and why and what would be better.

I value the people that work for me and I respect their input and I need to be able to trust them to do their jobs and speak up if the plan is dumb. I need to know that they have the same focus that I do, that its the project they are interested in and efficiency and the work that present as a team. Not that they are just a bunch of selfish douches that want to fight for the sake of ego or personal feelings.

If your boss cant rely on you then what is the point of having you around?


I find this odd coming from an ENTP, because they're the ones who always seem to be best able to work with me. Secondly, if it's an instance where time is so limited... then just tell me that. Generally though, it takes a lot of trust for me to get to the level where you can say "Do this now because I said so. No questions."
Suck it up.

Lastly, slow is fast. The problem that I see is never one of people being too slow. It's almost always one of everyone running around too quickly and making dumb mistakes that slow them around. And this is especially a problem for ETJs (in my experience). I can usually get through to ESTJs about this. But I just don't seem to be able to get through to ENTJs no matter what I try.
Yes, more planning in the begging is less after work. Duh. Never pulling the trigger is how you get shot though. Someone has to keep this shit moving forward, otherwise all anyone would ever do is sit in their cubicles and think of genius things. Keep in mind that the only thing the business side / client cares about is the speed with which they get their doodlebug, last thing they care about is your creative process.


Edit, just saw this:
I'd make sure to point out that I felt his solution was flawed somehow (even if I couldn't place my finger on why) so I can say "I told you so" later on. The reason being I got tired of having him get brilliant ideas that were really just ideas I originally presented and he rejected off the bat. Plus, you just leave open too much ground for him to blame you when things don't go well if you just do what he says without speaking up.

Trying this tactic hasn't worked as well with the ENTJ boss though.
Really? I mean.... REALLY?
 

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Your profile is showing up as isfj - above your avatar. If you are intp i could see how you are a conceptual learner and understanding the theory behind something is how you learn (faster than pure memory or rote). Having meetings about meetings though, is one thing a business owner hates. If something works and he's been through it enough times, it is a waste of his time to listen to you thinking you know a better way. One approach is to let him know, even apologize, that you are just trying to get it all down, and not trying to re-invent the wheel.

If the isfj is the accurate assessment though, you need to meet your need to feel important or appreciated from somewhere else.
If the job has career path potential, you might have to put in some time before getting the respect or opportunities you would like.
But you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip. It might be that they WANT someone to shut up and do the grunt work; they might even expect that your job will be a high turnover type job, meaning you will not be able to transform it into brain surgery.

I'm only saying this because when I was young I stayed working somewhere for four years when the two year point would have been the right time to leave.
 

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Here is where I tend to get annoyed. In this situation you had the following options:

A: Do X, Y and Z as your boss requested.

B: Prioritize doing what you consider most important, namely A, B and C.

C: Argue why you consider yourself more suited to do A, B and C, alternatively why A, B and C are more important.

Now, with option A here are the outcomes:

It fails: In this case your boss as the person responsible will have been given the rope and will have hung himself with it.

It's mediocre: In this case your boss as the person responsible will have been given the rope and is slowly strangulating himself with it.

It's a success: In which case your concerns had little importance.


With Option B here are the outcomes:

You slow down the project doing something contrary to direct orders from your boss, thus having a negative effect on it. Result, you get fired or reprimanded.

Your contribution has little effect on the projects success. Result, you get fired or reprimanded.

Your contribution ends up saving the project: Your boss may hang, but he may hang your first.



With Option C here are the outcomes:

Your boss appreciates you being honest with him and standing your group, thus earning you favor with him.

Your boss hates being contradicted and fires/reprimands you.

Your boss considers your ideas and allow you to act in accordance with them.

Your boss considers your ideas to be wrong.

Now, the reason why A is the best is that if your boss is right, you're proven wrong, if your boss is anything but right he hangs. You do what the boss wants because the boss is ultimately the responsible one. If you disagree with what your boss does, then there are better ways to deal with it that does not expose you to risk.
 

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Scelerat passive agressive or punitive behavior is not a good strategy for life. Maybe you are only thinking about the constructive thing to do but these are two different approaches. If an employee has a genuine value to addthey need to be concise, to the point, and logical. Top down thinking, headline with bullet points for an entj. What I am hearing from the original post is a lot about how he feels. Even if you do things that end up with your boss treating you in a way that makes you feel better you shoot yourself in the foot, if you become someone he needs to babysit. ISFJ friend recently, finally just got fired - I knew this was going to happen.

Make your point, fast and sensible, in fact tell him why something is stupid; but whatever you do do not be punitive or picky with him about things that do not have measurable positive outcome - or he will fire your ass.
 
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