is apathy a personality type?

August 5, 2008 at 7:53 am | Posted in Professional Development | 3 Comments
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Lately me and some coworkers have had several conversations around those personality profiling tests (like DISC). I found it interesting that one of the attributes that it listed for my personality type was something to the effect of “gets frustrated when others circumvent or disregard authority.”

That would explain my utter disgust at things like being on an airplane and watching folks totally ignore requests to turn off electronic equipment. Or, just the other day I hit one of my favorites. We landed in Dallas, Tx, and it was 105-degrees. They asked that everyone put down the window shades to keep the plane cool for the next flight. About 60% did. Then they asked AGAIN when they saw how many were still up. Maybe another 10% acted. I reached over people and started closing them myself in the rows I could reach.

OK, so if that’s my personality type, I guess that explains it. But the question I’m asking myself is, “who WOULD be OK with that?” Is there a personality type that says, “This person is OK with everyone doing their own thing and not being civil to each other or obedient to authority.” At first I answered, “well, obviously those people!” However, I’ll bet dollars to donuts (which with today’s weak dollar might not be a bad exchange rate!) that there are things that utterly fry those people who choose not to turn off their equipment or shut the windows.

I do know this, it’s these kinds of differences in people that keep life interesting in the business world as well. Despite the many similarities, this is one area where coaching is different than work. I don’t think many HR departments in most countries would condone responding to a rebellious attitude by running the person until they threw up.

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