Patience and Personality

Patience and Personality by Debra H. Goldstein

I am not a patient person.

It isn’t that I want it yesterday. I am willing to work for things, to wait until a flower blooms to cut it, or however long it takes to make sure something is done right. But, I am not a patient person.

I must force myself not to finish people’s sentences for them – especially my husband, who is a true Southerner – but I always blame that on being a transplanted Yankee. It drives me crazy when someone gives me every detail of the leaves left on one tree without cutting to the chaste: it is the only tree not diseased because it isn’t a Dutch Elm or a pine tree or whatever else is being attacked by some vicious disease.

Years ago, I was in a leadership group that ran a test on the thirty members in the class. Based upon our answers, we were determined to belong to one of four groups. One group was best described as party animals. They liked to have fun achieving their goal – if they managed to get it done. The second group were the followers. The few people in this group executed any directive they received but needed to come back to one of the other groups if something went awry. The third group were collaborative leaders who made decisions only every detail was explained, and every opinion heard. The fourth group, which was almost as small as the followers, were the bottom liners. They digested material put in front of them, asked specific questions that they expected clear answers to, and made a decision.

Yup, I fell into the fourth group. Except for deciding where I go with people to eat (I am collaborative or even a follower on that topic), I analytically approach almost everything else. That doesn’t seem to bother people in the first two groups, but it certainly frustrates and confuses those in the third group. Of course, their style frustrates and confuses me, too. What about you? What group are you in and what do you think about the other two groups?

10 comments

  1. SueAnn Beer says:

    I am with you in the 4th group!! I do like to research a little , ask questions, study a situation…but when all that is done..decision time…and not yesterday!!!LOL!! As for food and drink…I go wherever they go….I never think much about that type of thing, and if I do not like the choice, I go home…which I might have done anyway..!!

    I have been involved in groups…like 1,2,3,4,….and 1- would drive me nuts, 2-I ended up being a leader…., followers are SO slow…and indecisive, 3- I have been in a group like that, and I was always the one moving things along! Drove me nuts!!

    I am a patient person tho…but, when the time comes to get things done, make serious decisions….I get to it and get it over with!!! LOL!!

    • SueAnn Beer, you are my type of person. We get things done and then have fun. I didn’t write it but your description of your role with groups 1-3 matches my experience. Take care… been thinking about you and all you are getting done!

  2. When I worked in corporate America, we would periodically go through classes or team-building exercises where we took tests that pegged us into one of four categories, similar to what you’ve described. One year, it was colors that defined our communication styles, and they actually made us wear decals on our badges showing our assigned color. For example, red meant direct (ie, get to the point), yellow meant structured, blue was a peacemaker, etc. I always fell right in the middle with these tests. The questions were vague and hypothetical, and with many, I was on the fence about how to answer. I think I ended up pegged as a yellow, but if I’d answered one or two questions differently (which I might have done on another day), I might have been labeled a different color.

    • Sharon, like you, I’ve taken many of those tests and have flipped ever so slightly by how I answered on a particular day. I’m sure, you often were a leader, but the style changed as we grew in our jobs or the environment in which the testing was administered — a leadership class, a workshop, etc.

  3. Ann Goldstein says:

    I make decisions quickly which could mean I am in the 4th group. I also struggle to not finish my husband’s sentences for him and I am not patient enough I know. I am sure I am not in the 3rd group. But I tell long stories and go off on tangents when telling them, which doesn’t appear to be consistent with the 4th group. I may not fit in any group completely, but am closest to the 4th.

    • The key is you make the decision. You may wander in your thoughts or stories, but you come back to the main point. As Sharon above and I discussed, we often slide between groups depending upon the situation involved.

  4. Lee says:

    There is another group, although quite rare, fortunately. This is the group that “takes out’ the other 3 groups if they do not answer soon enough or correctly. I opine you belong in this group.
    Based on this analysis, I shall not be seeing you soon, or ever.
    Signed,
    Spineless Follower

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