Re: Was: Interviewing potential coworkers -- longish

Subject: Re: Was: Interviewing potential coworkers -- longish
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 13:52:29 -0800

"SHIELDS,SUSAN (HP-FtCollins,ex1)" wrote:

> This particular individual is neither frightened nor threatened by the
> intensity of others. I have learned, through my own interviewing and hiring
> experiences, to be wary of the hyperintense, however. Some of them have been
> people of experience, high standards, and/or energy. Others have just been a
> pain in the a** -- energetic, rigid, controlling, with difficulty working
> cooperatively, difficulty accepting input, and/or difficulty accepting
> direction.

No real argument here, except to quibble that maybe we have
different meanings of "intense." I'd call the sort of person you
mention "authoritarian" or possible "unimaginative" or "rigid" - not

>In one recent example, the "too intense" person had experience, high
>standards, and lots of energy but also all of the less-appealing traits I
>mentioned above. This person did good work but was a management nightmare: a
>time-sink with big control issues.

If this type of person does good work, then the best way to handle
them, I've found, is as a black box: give them assignments, confine
your concern to getting the end results in time, and leave them
alone to their work.

Conversely, as I wrote privately to someone earlier today,intense
people frequently alarm those in authority (please note that I am
not talking about Susan or anyone else, but making a general point

Many managers and directors can't believe that someone might be
working hard out of self-respect, a wish for excellence or sheer
enjoyment. Instead, they may come to believe that intense people
must be gunning for their jobs. When this situation happens, there's
no way out - if the intense person claims a disinterest in office
politics, the claim is likely to be seen as simply a cunning piece
of misdirection. It's a case of outwardly-motivated people not
understanding inwardly-motivated ones.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"It takes dry wood to kindle,
Time for the smoke to start,
Any fool can break a branch
That's greenwood at the heart."
-Oysterband, "On the Edge"


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