Who Are You Battling Against?

In his book, “Who’s Got Your Back,” Keith Ferrazzi points out that though the latest buzz in discovering and working out your strengths is a healthy venture, we still must recognize that we have self-defeating behaviors that are obstacles towards greater effectiveness.

To help identify some possible defeaters, Ferrazzi lists some of the common categories complied by Greenlight Research.  See if you can find yourself in any of these:

The self-doubter. You know the kind of person I mean – the one whose ego is way too small for the kind of job he’s been enlisted to carry out. To his staff, he may be the boss, but inside he’s constantly asking himself, What if one day everybody realizes what an imposter I am?

The black-and-white thinker. Rigid? This person could write the book on it. If things don’t go his way, he freezes up, unable to compromise or bend. His sheer rationality makes it effectively impossible for him to work on a team – and his insistence on doing things his way makes collaboration impossible.

The pessimist. He sees the glass as perennially half empty and tends to resist change of any kind, given that the alternative might well be even worse! But when the balance is always weighted against change, nothing ever changes!

The perfectionist. The perfectionist sets impossibly high standards Perfection becomes an obstacle instead of a means of achieving a goal. He’s hypercritical and unable to accept mistakes or imperfections either from himself or from others.

The victim. The individual in this category feels powerless to confront challenges or solve problems. When dealing with challenges, she seeks to find blame in others or sees situations as being beyond her control.

The risk avoider. He or she is insecure and tries to steer clear of situations and decisions that could result in defeat or failure.

The struggler. Feeling isolated or cut off from others, she craves attention for her efforts. She seeks out turmoil and impossible situations – and may even go so far as to create them.

The conflict avoider. Feeling responsible for the happiness of others, the conflict avoider downplays disagreements, changes sensitive subjects, or avoids topics altogether.

The overchiever. The overachieving type of afraid of failure and humiliation. He is driven by low self-worth and tends to take on too much, becoming a workaholic.

The underachiever. Rather than trying and failing, the underachiever doesn’t believe in herself and so prefers not to exert herself in the first place. She regularly falls short of her own and others’ expectations.

The shamer. This type deals with his feelings of insecurity by blaming others. He tends to shame, embarrass, or humiliate others to cover up for his own fear of failure.

The fixer. Because the fixer sees herself as better then everyone else, she is resentful of others’ weaknesses and feels that she is constantly cleaning up other peoples’ messes.

The bully. A bully copes with his feelings of anger and insecurity by being mad at the world. He covers up his feelings of being alone in the world by blowing up at and picking on others.

The schmoozer. This is the type of person who’s always on. In his relationships with others, he tends to be very superficial He has a tendency to tell others what they want to hear, because he really doesn’t care about them or about relationships.

The micromanager. Mistrustful of others, a micromanager feels that the only way she can control the world is by controlling everyone around her. She doesn’t expect others to meet her expectations and strictly limits others’ decision-making authority.

The jester. Fearful of the truth about himself, the jester’s way of coping is to be perpetually entertaining. He deflects serious topics about himself and others with humor.

The scientist. The scientist feels most comfortable with facts, information, and statistics. She relies on intellect rather than emotion. She strives to keep feelings at bay in her interactions with others.

The pleaser. Always in need of approval, the pleaser tries to be all things to all people.

The dramatist. Because this type feels undervalued or unimportant, she tends to turn small issues into large productions. She has a hard time keeping a sense of perspective.

The racehorse. Speeding along at a hundred miles per hour, he doesn’t pay enough attention to how his actions affect those around him. He seldom gives enough attention to others’ feelings or needs, and believes the first one to finish line wins – not exactly a team player (190-192).


~ by Dave Smith on January 17, 2010.

3 Responses to “Who Are You Battling Against?”

  1. hmmm…i would say i’m a blend of a fixer, racehorse, and black & white. Ugly.

  2. Good honest reflection Anthony.

    I have asked some of my peers to give me their feedback, and waiting on their replies. So far my top three are jester, overachiever, and conflict avoider. A good, brutal start…if I may be so jesterish!

  3. Interesting. I would have to say Conflict Avoider, Underachiever, Scientist. Of course we probably all have elements of many of these, but those would be my main ones.

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