I’ve been career coaching in Washington, DC for a few years now.
We’re a notably Type-A bunch, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for our overall sense of balance and well-being. According to Psychology Today, having a Type-A personality is associated with “hostility, impatience, difficulty expressing emotions, competitiveness, drive, perfectionism and an unhealthy dependence on external rewards such as wealth, status, or power.”
Not great, right?
I see this personality trait play out most when I am working with clients who have an objectively terrible boss. A boss who torpedos their team’s work, who sets no clear expectations or is constantly changing priorities, who yells, who creates perverse incentives for colleagues to undermine one another. Or worse.
It’s not that Type-A personalities are the cause of this type of unacceptable behavior, but I have a hunch these behaviors feel more acceptable in environments dominated by unchecked Type-A personalities.
These clients of mine — who are consumed by the toxic work culture engendered by their bosses — are negatively impacted on a physical, emotional, and psychological level. We work hard to find small ways to bring them a sense of day-to-day well-being; to help them focus on solutions within their control, and how to create distance on issues where they have little.
I compiled the following set of strategies based on years of working with employees in this situation, and share it in hopes that many more people can benefit.