Handling a Challenge to Her Authority

Dear Vicki: I’m a married mother of one who works in Manhattan. For three years I’ve also served as the president of our condo association. We have a congenial board and I keep our meetings pleasant, but efficient; we all have plenty of other things we need to be doing. That all changed four months ago when “Laura” joined the board. She is cheery, but opinionated. Productive, but assertive. Upbeat, but bossy. We clashed almost immediately, but I couldn’t tell you exactly why. The best I can say is that for every suggestion I make, she has an alternative version. If I say we should have something signed by Friday, she’ll say she thinks Monday is soon enough. If I bring paint samples in for the laundry area, she’ll suggest the colors should be “more gray.” She is difficult to work with (honestly, I’m angry with her most of the time), but apparently, she isn’t going anywhere, so what can I do? Signed, Bossed Around Boss

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Dear Bossed: Actually, this is a fairly straightforward issue and will make complete sense if we look at your primary elemental personalities. The fact that you are running a board, like efficiency, and assume everyone wants to be doing things makes me suspect you are a primary Wood personality. Always “doing,” liking to make things happen, running the show, and not appreciating it when your authority is challenged are all pretty basic hallmarks of the Wood personality, as is the resulting anger when forward movement is impeded.

And here’s the rub: the words you use to describe Laura – opinionated, productive, upbeat, assertive, bossy – are also very characteristic of the Wood personality. So, this means that you and Laure are probably both primary Wood personalities.

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