Understand Driven Task Oriented People

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Last week I wrote a column describing Driven/Task-Oriented people by giving their strengths, weaknesses and some suggestions that would help in addressing those weaknesses.

I received several emails pointing out the abrupt nature in which the column ended.  I had written that “if a Driven/Task-Oriented person makes it their goal to do the following…” and then only one thing was suggested—be a better active listener.  Folks pointed out in different ways how this seemed kind of strange.

In fact, one person wrote with tongue firmly in cheek, “That’s it?!?!?  I just need to be a better listener?  I thought I was a complete mess.  If that’s all I need to do count me in…as long as you don’t ramble on and on and on and on and on……I feel by blood pressure going up already….”

Well, I’m sorry to say, that is not it.  <grin> Although it would certainly go a long way toward helping to love others more effectively.  But I did offer a couple of other thoughts.  For some reason, they got left off the end of the column.  These aren’t exhaustive either.  But they are some important things to consider.

So let me reiterate some of what I wrote last week and then end with the entire section on ideas to help Driven/Task-Oriented people with loving others better.

For a reminder, Driven/Task-Oriented people tend to be doers, decisive, problem solvers and dogmatic.

Being task-oriented, they need results.  They are persuaded when people are direct with them and they hear information that has to do with results and the bottom line.

So if you have a Driven/Task-Oriented boss, you will not likely be received well if you go into his office in a relaxed manner, put your feet up and ask about the family.  The Driven boss wants to hear why you are there, if there is a problem, and what your plans are to solve the problem.  Then you need to leave.

Being brief and to the point is a must.

Driven/Task-Oriented people are good leaders as they can easily see the steps that are needed to “take the hill.”  They won’t let anything or anyone get in the way of their goal.  They are willing to challenge the status quo in order to achieve their goal as well.

They are also good in a crisis by providing direction and leadership, handling several projects at the same time.  They also see the big picture and are able to lay out the plan as to how the parts fit the whole.

Driven/Task-Oriented people welcome challenges without fear and do not cower in the face of conflict.  In fact, some conflict is healthy in their eyes.  However, they are very competitive and will do what they can to win any conflict that confronts them.

If you are a Driven/Task-Oriented person, these qualities are invaluable to a team, a business, a family and the Body of Christ (as seen in the Apostle Paul of the Bible).  However, as I have stated before, these same qualities, to the extreme, are also your weaknesses.

Sometimes a Driven/Task-Oriented person will overstep authority, become argumentative and possibly take on too much at once.

Because a Driven/Task-Oriented person is so set on a certain accomplishment, he may not care about people’s feelings on the way to conquering “the hill.”  Relationships can go by the wayside at the expense of achievement.

They can come across as harsh, uncaring, bull-headed, insensitive, and pushy.

A good study topic in the Bible for Driven/Task-Oriented people is the subject of grace.  Reading, comprehending and living out a biblical understanding of grace would go a long way to tempering these out-of-control strengths.

There are a few other actions that a Driven/Task-Oriented person can work on if they want to be able to love others well.  In fact, if a Driven/Task-Oriented person makes it their goal to do the following, they will usually achieve it—they are that goal-oriented.

So if you are a Driven/Task-Oriented person, you could probably profit from being a better “active” listener.  You could also benefit (and others would benefit too) from you being less controlling and domineering.

Here are the rest of the suggestions that were left off last week:  Be attentive to other team members’ ideas until everyone reaches a consensus. Develop a greater appreciation for the opinions, feelings, and desires of others. Put more energy into personal relationships. Show your support for other team members. And finally be friendlier and more approachable.

Next week we will discuss how to love the Driven/Task-Oriented person well by looking at some biblical examples of how God loves the Driven/Task-Oriented person perfectly.
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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