Why are you writing this user manual? What do you hope will be the result of writing and sharing this?
I hope this guide helps you understand what makes me tick, explains all the unconsciously annoying things I do, and how to make the most of our time and interactions together.
This is my attempt at objective inner reflection, but there will absolutely be blind spots. If you spot one, please let me know! This is a living document that is meant to evolve and grow over time.
I most identify as an INTJ, Enneagram 3w4, and skew towards the "Strategic Thinking" strengths in StrengthFinders. I purposefully included descriptions from each that resonate with me, so you can take them as an accurate reflection of me instead of a generic portrayal.
How I view success
What does being good at your job mean to you? What are your values that underpin your understanding of success?
- I view success as giving everything you've got through consistent progress to achieve goals we agree upon.
- I strongly value transparency and honesty. My dislike for people-pleasing, social politics, and passive-aggressiveness compels me to be as honest as I can and want others to know where I'm at mentally.
- An Enneagram 3w4's most basic desire is to succeed and feel valued. They may show this by seeking validation of their hard work and successes.
- My overarching goal is to work on meaningful projects that allow for a high level of autonomy for myself and everyone involved. This usually involves creating content, seeing a vision come to fruition, and launching new things.
- I strive for and encourage others to strive for mastery. Kaizen. Continuous improvement. Trial and error. The welcoming of being wrong, and urgency to find the optimal path.
- A framework I use for success is MAP: Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose.
How I communicate
How have other people described your communication style? What have you gotten feedback about in the past? How should others interpret what you do or say? What do you struggle to express? How do you like to stay in sync with others (email, chat, in-person)? What’s your availability outside of work hours?
- I like to ask for and give feedback in a very structured way.
- I like to thoroughly think through everything which often requires time alone to process as well as being able to work out all the different options and angles in conversation.
- I'm a much clearer communicator via writing, or at least after writing it out once.
- If I'm talking with someone, they have my singular attention.
- Understanding the thought process for how someone thinks as they state something or ask something makes me much more able to give a thoughtful response. Sort of a verbal "show your work" idea.
- I prefer asynchronous communication and prefer to keep in-person or video meetings as the last resort (unless it's a recurring meeting I can come prepared for).
- Because I have a tendency to think long-term, I might give you impractical or complex suggestions when what you’re looking for is pragmatic, short-term options.
- Radical candor: Give and receive feedback that is both caring personally and directly challenging. Candidly I'm not very confrontational so this is more of an aspiration than reality.
Things I do that may annoy you
What’s the cause of misunderstandings that you’ve had in the past? What are some things about your style that other people have given you critical feedback on? What quirks or mannerisms might unintentionally annoy a different personality type?
- Sometimes I'll have wild, random ideas that I'll want to get off my chest and bounce off of someone else's brain.
- I might not be able to give you feedback or an answer right away. I tend to overthink things and it's difficult to get a gut reaction out of me. I need time to mentally process things, which can come off as being slow or even inattentive.
- My communication can come and go in spurts. I may go MIA for a week and then constantly be chattering for days on end and then go back to acting like a hermit.
- I'll probably forget to mention something huge and important and then casually mention it later, not realizing that it's new information to you.
- I may be a bit obsessive about documenting, organizing, and tweaking things. I have anxiety about forgetting, not being prepared, and being behind schedule.
- If I'm confronted with something, disagree, or in an argument, I tend to communicate in a style that comes off like a debate. I'm not trying to debate to win, I'm just trying to dissect and address each point individually to make sure that I cover all the bases and we're both on the same page. Sometimes this can come off as rude or defensive unintentionally, but if you stick with me for long enough, my goal is always to mutually resolve it.
What gains and loses my trust
What actions can a person take to gain your trust? Conversely, what triggers you?
- The easiest way to gain my trust is to remove your filter. I have a hard time connecting with people who are guarded.
- I build trust easily with those who dream big, who skew toward optimism, and who manage to translate that optimism into actionable plans.
- Anything that indicates a lack of care, laziness, or not listening loses my trust. It makes me feel unimportant, unheard, and disrespected.
- I don't respond well to attacks on my character, since that's one of the things I work hardest to preserve.
What do you love to do and are good at? What can you help others with?
- I love creating through writing, podcasting, presenting, and teaching.
- I love curating lists of resources, recommendations, and helpful information.
- I love connecting people, ideas, and identifying patterns.
- I naturally see the best in people and want to see them live up to their best self.
- Strengths that are typically associated with the Enneagram 3w4 personality include... (1) Being attentive to specific tasks, (2) Ability to recognize personal growth areas, (3) Connecting with those around them, (4) Thinking practically and working efficiently, (5) Striving to continually improve.
- ITNJs have been described as imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet like their privacy, curious about everything but remain focused.
- INTJs are self-confident in the skills and ideas they focus on. Using their insights and logic, they push innovation through by sheer willpower. It may seem that INTJs constantly deconstruct and rebuild every idea and system they encounter.
- INTJs, ever independent, remain free from the expectations of others. This allows them to pursue their own interesting and fresh ideas.
- INTJs move through life as though it were a giant chessboard, advancing and retreating with considered intelligence. This personality type always looks for new tactics, strategies, and contingency plans.
- StengthFinder strengths:
- Responsibility — Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable.
- Achiever — Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. You have an internal fire burning inside you. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent.
- Strategic — The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity.
- Futuristic — You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions. When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you.
- Ideation — An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle.
What are your blind spots? What are you working on? What can others help you with?
- I despise monotony and can easily get bored with repetitive tasks.
- I tend to overcommit and stretch myself thin. This is the combination of the "dark sides" of a few of my strengths: responsibility, achiever, futuristic.
- I get ahead of myself with ideas and plans but then lose motivation to follow through with action.
- I like order and structure but can also get overwhelmed with too much.
- I hate "monkey work" and often overlook details because I just want to get something done.
- Because I tend to see the best in people, sometimes I ignore the unsavory parts or areas they need to grow.
- I tend to be agreeable, which makes me susceptible to manipulation.
- I can sometimes withhold the truth or how I feel about something if I feel it may come off as mean or insensitive.
- If I'm stressed or insecure, I'll probably withdraw. I might be short, reserved, or distant.
- Since I take my work so seriously, I can take things very personally. I tend to side with the mantra "everything is personal." That said, nothing affects me that deeply anyways and it's something I try to be conscious of.
- INTJs typically dislike rules, restrictions, and traditions. For them, everything should be subject to questions and reviews.
- Enneagram 3w4 are most afraid of failure. They tend to throw themselves into their careers and do anything it takes to succeed.
- Weaknesses that are typically associated with the Enneagram 3w4 personality include... (1) Focusing too heavily on professional success, (2) Tendency to face self-doubt in stressful circumstances, (3) Difficulty accepting loss or disappointment.
If you have any questions or feel like something is missing that could improve the user manual, please do let me know.