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My boss told me that I should be more Type A. Was she trying to mentor me or criticize me?

Q: My boss told me that I should be more Type A. Was she trying to mentor me or criticize me?

A: Type A behavior typically connotes that someone is competitive and controlling. That’s bad if it correlates with impatience, overreaction, hostility, or high blood pressure. It’s good if it translates to greater productivity and higher performance.

Type A lawyers need to monitor their approach so that high work involvement doesn’t cross the line to workaholism, so that an affinity for adrenaline doesn’t result in undue stress, so that hard driving work habits don’t take a person or their workplace into a sustained state of overdrive.

It may be that your boss wants you to dedicate yourself to her work. If you can adopt her goals as yours, it could be a learning opportunity. If not, think about finding work where you don’t have to guess whether you’re being groomed or denigrated.