Loving Driven Task Oriented People

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We have begun a several week series that will be examining four different personality types. The goal is to offer some ideas to consider in regards to how this study can help us love others and serve God better.

Last week I described people who are Driven/Task-Oriented types.  For those of you who fall into this category, I offered a few thoughts regarding utilizing your strengths and how to work on some weaker areas.

For a brief review, Driven/Task-Oriented people tend to be doers, decisive, dogmatic and problem solvers.  They are task and goal oriented and are driven by results.  They see a “hill” and know how to conquer it and will not let anything or anyone get in their way of conquering it.

This week I would like to offer thoughts on how we can best love this type of personality?  To help we can observe how Jesus interacted with this type of person.

The Apostle Paul appears to be a Driven/Task-Oriented person.  He had achieved the top of the top among the Jews and the leadership.  He described himself as the Hebrew of Hebrews, a top Pharisee and one of the best at persecuting Christians.

When an upstart “sect” called Christianity threatened his authority, power and control, he made it his goal and mission to wipe out the Church, killing any and all Christians.  You can see his driven/task-oriented personality demonstrated so clearly.

In Acts 9 Paul is on his way to Damascus to see if he can find some Christians to capture and bring back to Jerusalem.  Jesus knew the self-sufficient attitude that Paul had and struck him with blindness.  All of the sudden, Paul realized he was not as in control as he had thought. Sometimes it takes something drastic or even tragic to get a Driven/Task-Oriented person’s attention so that he will listen.

Then Jesus spoke to Paul.  And in just 28 words addressed Paul’s problem and gave him clear and concise directions on what he was to do next.

After Paul’s conversion to being a follower of the risen Jesus Christ, He made it his goal/task to expand God’s Kingdom.  And in typical Driven/Task-Oriented fashion, he didn’t let anything—beatings, stonings, ship wrecks, and even prison dissuade him from his goal.  He now had the right goal to focus on.

Jesus confronted in a loving way by addressing where Paul’s goal-orientedness had been misplaced; speaking to him in a brief, direct manner; and by giving him clear directions on what he was to do to fix both his physical and spiritual blindness.

So how might we go about loving Driven/Task-Oriented people in similar fashion?  There are several things that we can do to provide an environment where he/she can thrive.

  1.  First of all, we need to work on our own perspective.  We need to recognize the strengths of a Driven/Task-Oriented person (see last week’s column for a few of them) and be truly thankful to God that He created them in this way.
  2.  When considering approaching (confronting) a Driven/Task-Oriented person, ask God first if the confrontation is something you need to undertake or not.  Not all confrontation is good and necessary and not all confrontation is bad and unnecessary.  But being sure that the confrontation is needed is a must when approaching a Driven/Task-Oriented person.
  3.  Ask God to give you the wisdom in not only if, but how, to approach the Driven/Task-Oriented person and to give you God’s perspective of the situation.
  4.  Develop specific plans of attack to present to the Driven/Task-Oriented person that will accomplish a goal you know is important to the him.  This is very key.
  5.  Don’t be too easily offended.  Driven/Task-Oriented people respect strong backbone and will buck a bit if you confront them.  Small confrontation is their style.  Expect big pushback even if you are possibly interfering with a small goal.  Expect BIGGER pushback if interfering with big goals.
  6.   Recognize that the “idea” needs to be theirs.  Show them how this will accomplish their goals and then let them decide if and how to proceed.
  7.  Driven/Task-Oriented people can “dish it out” but don’t always “take it” well.  Unless you are ready for strong confrontation, be careful how far you go with the “give and take.”
  8.  Either join in with the pursuit of the goal or get out of the way.  If the Driven/Task-Oriented person is Spirit led, you will be able to witness amazing accomplishments for God’s Kingdom.

Next week we will examine another personality type, those who are Charismatic/Optimistic people.

Scot Wall is pastor of Magnolia Bible Church located at 31611 Nichols Sawmill Rd., Magnolia, TX, 77355. Send comments to ConsiderThis@magnoliabible.org.

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