February 5, 2013 - FILED UNDER Collaboration
Workology Personality Types: The Medic
Making the most of your work day can be a challenge. Mindjet’s Workology series will help you work smarter and more effectively with your workmates by introducing you to — and providing keys to working with — some common personality types found in any office.
Need a problem solved in a pinch? Call a Medic — like Amelia McDonnell-Parry, lead editor of women’s lifestyle site The Frisky. McDonnell-Parry manages a team of five editors, and says that balancing authority and compassion is key to being an effective Medic leader.
“I’m not that inclined to be an authoritative person. Instead, I try to be compassionate and understanding of how I would want an authority figure to treat me,” she says. For McDonnell-Parry, that means acting as a soothing barrier between upper management and the employees beneath her. “The Medic tends to shoulder burdens that other bosses might push upon staff,” she says.
For Medics, the thrill is in the crisis. “I really enjoy problem-solving — and not having to rely on other people,” says McDonnell-Parry. Troubleshooting allows The Medic to “learn a bunch of stuff about things I wasn’t ever trained in. It’s the way my brain works.”
That’s because Medics are Complete Finishers, according to the Belbin Self-Perception Inventory personality test, which organizes individuals into team roles based on their strengths. Medics are willing to go the distance to get the job done. But they can frustrate those around them by being too perfectionistic. For Dreamers, Cheerleaders, and Artists, for example, the details don’t matter as much as they do to the Medic.
As ESFJs (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment), Medics are naturally good at getting things done, says Myers-Briggs Type Indicator expert Christine Damrose-Mahlmann. “They prefer a lot of structure and have a high regard for tradition. They know how to make people feel comfortable,” she explains. “ESFJs are the people you want to have on your team because they are hard-working and value relationships.”
The perfect combination, right? Well, not quite. “I’m not good at delegating,” admits McDonnell-Parry. “My instinct is to try and fix a problem immediately — especially if it’s something that I’m good at.” Plus, Medics can be prone to overworking themselves. “I think there is a tendency to take too much on, because even if I think it’s efficient in the short term, it’s may not necessarily be efficient in the long term.”
Their independent natures also make Medics prone to bucking the authority of micromanaging Generals. “I don’t like to be micromanaged, and I don’t like to micromanage other people,” explains McDonnell-Parry. Medics sometimes clash with impractical Dreamers and esoteric Artists, but, says McDonnell-Parry, “I love independent people who are self-starters, and come up with ideas on their own.”
But when those ideas falter and a project is in need of rescue, trust a Medic to step in and make things right. Says McDonnell-Parry, “We’re able to streamline the process and give people what they need to do their jobs. The Medic will figure out what really needs to get done.”