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Type A Personality at Work – All You Need to Know 

Type A Personality at Work – All You Need to Know 

Updated on Sep 14, 2022 | Published on Sep 13, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

Type A Personality at Work – All You Need to Know 

Did you meet a type A personality at work? Do you feel it’s impossible to work with them on the same platform? 

Well, don’t be nervous or jump to conclusions so fast. Yes, A-types are tough to deal with. However, once you know how they work and have an idea about their likes and dislikes in professional life, it’s not that hard to mingle with them.

Even if you can’t be best buds at the office, you can at least protect yourself from being on their radar!

So, let’s get a heads up about them here…

Type A Personality At Work

Type As work a bit differently from the rest of the bunch. They’re stricter than others and are always in a hurry.  But A-types can be truly amazing workers and you can learn a lot from them. If you’re a supervisor of an A-type, you can even ask them to teach the rest.

So, let’s keep a positive outlook and get familiar with them here…

1. They thrive on competition

An individual with a type A personality is extremely competitive. They criticize themselves for the smallest mistakes and compete with themselves. This is their drive to do better in their work with every passing day.

They observe their past achievements and failures and compete to thrive more than ever. They create their own goals based on their past achievements. They’re extremely goal-oriented, so reaching their goals is the best feeling for them. 

So, if an employee with this kind of personality is set to represent the business and compete with other business representatives, you’ll win on a streak. They give their best and beat themselves up until they can get their hands on the trophy.

2. They have a great sense of urgency

People with type A personalities refer to time as one of the most essential keys to success. They have this unrealistic urge to be punctual all the time.

Not being disrespectful, but they actually want to beat time… or even be faster than Flash.

They hate it when they can’t use their time productively. Especially if something unexpected happens and spoils their work schedule or flow, they just can’t handle it.

Suppose they’ll get a Starbucks coffee on their way to the office and there’s a long queue… you can tell how pissed and anxious they become about reaching the office on time. They’re afraid of losing their precious time to work.

If they, however, get delayed, they try to wrap up their work within that short time.

3. They can multitask

Continuing from the last pointer, if someone with Type A personality trait loses work time for any reason, they go even harder on themselves. For instance, they won’t choose to continue the excess task for the next day. Instead, they’ll try to multitask until they meet their quota for the day.

It’s all because they want to stay updated with their work on time so long as it doesn’t hurt the quality. They’ll even pull all-nighters if the situation demands but they’ll never let down their supervisors with a missed deadline.

However, this is the reason behind a type A’s maximum work pressure and stress.  They overestimate themselves and take on an excess load at once.

4. They act controlling in teams

Due to the innate drive of A-types to meet deadlines and compete even if it needs people to overwork themselves to the bone, they think it’s normal.  When they’re in a team setting, they become extremely controlling. They force their work ethics on others.

That doesn’t mean that they act like bullies, but they make others feel bad for delays in their tasks. They normally rush others to work at their own pace.

They try to control others even without the authority which might ruin others’ motivation to work. It might even spoil others’ skill awakening.

When someone else tries to come up with new ideas, a type A team member always interrupts them and orders others to work as they say. It becomes tough to let a type A work in a team.

5. They’re married to their job

Type A workers have very poor work-life balance. They are so engrossed in their work that they forget that they have a life outside. Probably, if they’re given the luxury and resources, they might work for weeks without seeing their family and friends.

It’s due to their intense desire to succeed in their workplace, gain recognition, get rewarded, and make progress. They act like they aren’t working to just get paid… there’s a deep passion behind it.

However, this extreme passion impacts their personal life and they don’t even notice that. They feel it’s normal to devote so much time to their work… while their family longs to see them.

Though their attitude definitely profits the workplace, this mustn’t be encouraged.

6. They want everything picture perfect

Type A people are hardcore perfectionists. They’re intensely involved in their job, are goal-oriented, and are dedicated to their job. They’ll work on their project until they make it so perfect that it can win awards… you can say that’s the reason behind their good performance and consecutive wins.

Until they’re satisfied with their own task, they won’t stop working. They set unrealistic goals for them. Often, when they can’t reach the expectations, they feel depressed and criticize themselves.

On the other hand, they also expect the same level of dedication from other employees. They hope that everyone must work similarly and never commit mistakes. If someone can’t reach their unrealistic expectations, they become extremely disappointed.

7. They easily get angered

Due to the urge to meet deadlines, be more productive than usual, and be perfect, an employee or boss with a type A personality also easily loses their cool.

If others don’t spend as much time working, don’t stay as strict about timelines as them, or don’t create flawless tasks without any mistakes, they can’t stand it.

On the other hand, if someone takes too long … whether it’s to understand a task (from a Type A supervisor) or assign a task (to a Type A subordinate), they become extremely frustrated with time loss.

If someone creates a detailed presentation or takes too long to reach the gist, this gets them extremely bored and activates their judgemental side.

If your boss is type A, your team or department might lack an empathetic work environment. It can become pretty intense for all the team members to cope with their expectations.

8. They’re walking planners

Individuals with type A personality plan their entire life ahead of time. If they’re in a group setting, they even plan for others. They’ll always ask you to note down your duties and responsibilities even before you know about all the tasks.

They’re fast-paced, so one glance is enough to know about the responsibilities in detail. Moreover, they know the best about everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, so they allot their tasks accordingly.

You’ll see that type A’s workplace is full of sticky notes, lists, and a calendar marked with multiple details. They maintain a daily to-do list and don’t get off work until they check all of them off.

They remember almost everything about the projects they’re involved in like the back of their hand. This impressive trait helps them catch their superior’s eyes faster and become the most promising ones of the lot.

9. They’re always true to their duty

Employees with type A personalities never slack off on their work. They don’t bluff around when they undertake a project or responsibility. They make sure that things get done as perfectly as anyone might expect them to be. They’re extremely thorough with their tasks because of their commitment.

They want to stay true to their words… to help the company grow, to teach everyone around them, and to grow themselves in every possible way.

Nobody can stay true to their words like Type As because they’re deeply passionate about their work and responsibilities.

Even though the excess work and tight deadlines stress them out, they can’t come to feel “I don’t like my job”. Their feelings for their professional field stay consistent till the end.

10. They work till they drop dead

This might sound funny but it’s absolutely true… because type A workers can’t understand their physical or mental health limits.

They overestimate their limits and burden themselves with lots of tasks. They continue to work overtime or late at night because they’re healthy and due to their drive to work. To stay up till late, they probably also consume lots of caffeine. This might wreck their sleep cycle.

The stress of meeting deadlines, the time urgency, and lack of patience… everything leads to heart diseases, blood pressure issues, anxieties, and so on.

However, since nothing wrong happened yet, they don’t believe it. They’ll work till the end of time unless they fall sick.

11. They’re good at working independently

A type A worker will pick up a task all by themselves and work it out anyhow. They feel luckier when they receive solo projects instead of group ones.

This is because they hate dealing with others’ low productivity. They feel repetitive explanations of any move meddle with their drive to achieve the best.

They also feel that teaching their skills to others takes extra time and will probably disappoint them once they don’t produce the desired results.

And, they know that the way they take charge, it frustrates others and they talk behind their back. They can work more peacefully and efficiently in solo tasks.

12. They’re addicted to orderly things

People with Type A behavior patterns (TABP) also work in an organized fashion. Their obsession with organized and clean fashion helps them speed up their tasks.

They dislike working on a messy desk because they know they won’t find things in their place and lose precious time working.

They also know that once they can’t find things, they’ll need to look around and tidy up the place for that. That’ll also make them lose time.

Moreover, they’re also organized in their work. They make to-the-point and precise pointers in their presentations and don’t unnecessarily lengthen the sentences.

They also like it when others follow the same as they judge their productivity based on their methodical presentation skills.

13. They can’t mingle well with non-timekeepers

Type As dislike people that don’t mind their deadlines or make type As lose their time. For instance, if you fail to submit your work to a type A boss on time, you’ll lose their trust. They won’t allot you with important tasks anymore.

If you’re a boss and fail to allot tasks within the expected time to your Type A subordinate or tell them that you’ll send them feedback by the afternoon but forget to do it, they’ll grow anxious around you.

And, if the subordinate is arrogant, they might even throw negative remarks at you for not valuing time.

If you’re on the same team with a type A person and you’re not as fast as them, they’ll boss you around to pick your pace. This might even make you feel inferior.

14. They need balanced working environments

If you’re a supervisor and have a type A employee on your team, make sure you don’t burden a type A. Though type As can work under major pressure and produce fabulous results, it’s better to not put an excess load on them.

They might fall sick from excess pressure. They don’t ask for it but they need a relaxed workplace to reduce their stress levels.

However, they don’t want their workplace to be too lenient with them. Otherwise, they might get bored from the lack of challenge. If things get too monotonous, they might seek you frequently for more tasks or begin job hunting.

15. They don’t like talking a lot

Whether it’s small talk or about the plans regarding their next project, type As aren’t as open about these matters. To them, small talk is another form of waste of time.

Whenever coworkers bring up random irrelevant topics… even while they’re on break… They only imagine how much time others waste on mindless words.

A type A boss dislikes it when there’s unnecessary chit-chat among the team members.

They themselves also dislike talking much in meetings or group discussions. This is usually because they’re busy planning their next move. They’re extremely cautious and don’t share any details about their plans lest it gets copied.

A word from ThePleasantPersonality

A-types don’t always like repetitive and monotonous tasks. So, if you’re a mentor of an A-type subordinate, shuffle their work with something different every time.

On the other hand, if you have a boss with a Type A personality, try to avoid wasting their time and keep improving your tasks. Make sure you try to communicate with them as concisely as you can to avoid getting them angry.

However, if you think you don’t understand something about the assigned task, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember, A-types hate missed deadlines and imperfect work.

Learn the triggers of the A-type of your workplace and aptly find out how to deal with them.

Article Sources


1. https://www.wework.com/ideas/professional-development/management-leadership/what-type-a-employees-need-from-you
2. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/type-a-vs-type-b-personality
3. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/crucial-tips-deal-type-personality-work-mir-uzair