The American Psychological Association defines ‘personality’ as “individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.” By all accounts, our personalities tend to define how we initiate, react and respond to situations in life. While nothing is set in stone, we all tend to find ways of managing how our individualities exhibit themselves in professional and social situations. This includes during work, meetings, events and time spent with friends and family.
Understanding Type ‘A’ Personality
A popular model for assessing personalities categorizes them into broadly four types — ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’. Type ‘A’ behavior was first studied by cardiologists Ray Rosenman and Meyer Friedman in the 1950s. Their research sought to establish a correlation between type ‘A’ and cardiac disease and blood pressure. Their work has since been assimilated into a broader understanding of behavioral responses.
The stereotypes around type ‘A’ people involve being goal-oriented, competitive and importantly, very mindful of their time. Meeting times, whether with friends or colleagues need to be precisely scheduled, timelines need to be adhered to and success is vital. In general, there is a perceived need for control over outcomes and a corresponding level of stress attached to them.
Type ‘A’ people will often see their drive and commitment to bottom lines lauded, but may find themselves receiving feedback over how they translate this energy into communication and collaboration with others. This friction can make itself felt particularly strongly when attempting to organize meeting times with stakeholders. Trying to schedule engagements with a large number of participants, even if it’s just friends you’re meeting with, can be tricky for anyone, regardless of their personality type. According to Doodle’s State of Meetings report, 37 percent of professionals rate unnecessary meetings as the biggest cost to their organization. This means there’s baggage attributed to meeting in the first place. It requires a great deal of coordination and flexibility on everyone’s part to come to a common agreement on the when, where and how.
If you identify as a type ‘A’ individual, here are a few things you can keep in mind to effortlessly schedule meetings, including the date, time, agenda and other details:
1. Empathize with Other Personality Types
Up to 49% of workplace conflict can be attributed to personality clashes. Before trying to delve into collaboration strategies, it’s important to understand where the other person is coming from and what their personality type is. Here’s a rundown of some popularly attached attributions to other personality types.
Type ‘B’ Creative, enthusiastic, relaxed and outgoing
Type ‘C’ Logical, detail-oriented and prepared
Type ‘D’ Cautious, averse to change and task-oriented
While there’s of course more nuance to individual personalities, these broad categories should give you a rough idea of what to expect when dealing with different people. Type ‘B’ people, for example, may not be as particular about precise meeting times as you are, but that doesn’t mean they are any less committed to doing a good job. The same may apply when trying to induce a greater degree of flexibility in your dealings with type ‘D’ people and experiencing pushback. A bit of extrospection into how others’ minds work will often neutralize any perceived animosity attached to responses.
2. Use a Meeting Scheduler
Pay attention to how you go about organizing the meeting time and details. The initial approach can often set the tone for the meeting itself and the last thing you want is people bringing emotional baggage from before the meeting into it. Leverage the right technology platform to schedule the session. Doodle’s meeting scheduler, for example, makes scheduling almost obscenely efficient, with meetups scheduled in minutes, regardless of the number of people involved.
3. Allow for Democracy
It’s important that your attendees feel that their opinions are recognized. Everyone has professional and personal constraints and, therefore, preferences as to the meeting time, place and agenda. Use a transparent scheduling method that takes into account diverse opinions and keeps everyone on the same page. For instance, Doodle’s survey feature lets you send out a customized poll with your meeting invite, allowing people to vote for their preferred time slots, and the final results available for everyone to view. This way you and everyone can see what the consensus is, making it easier to go along with it.
4. Employ Friendly Follow-ups
As a type ’A’ person, you may often find yourself feeling impatient for progress and resolution. This can come through in your communication with your potential attendees and put them off committing. Yes, meeting reminders are key to successful meets, but it’s important to be mindful of tone and language when sending them out. Alternatively, you can use the automated reminders feature available with Doodle and forgo the hassle of micro-managing every meeting. Impersonal, automatic reminders are a good way to not come off as controlling when arranging meetings with friends, family and close acquaintances.
5. Make Sure Everyone’s Synced
Once you have an agreement on the meeting time and it’s been scheduled, it’s a good idea to sync it to your calendar so you can manage your availability around it. Doodle’s Booking Page feature lets you integrate any online calendar of your choice to your account, allowing you and the rest of the attendees to pursue your other commitments stress-free.
Surveys indicate that middle managers spend up to 35 percent and upper management up to 50 percent of their time in cloistered meetings. Juggling so many commitments can test the patience of absolutely anyone. Throw personality differences into the mix and you see exactly why meetings get a bad rap. Awareness and approach are critical to getting it right.