This might be a “duh” to you, but I just had a big realization today. I love rules. I thrive on them. I’m not classified as an ISTJ for nothing. And sometimes this makes me come off mean and heartless. I don’t want to be that way, but rules are really important, people!
On Tuesday I talked a little bit about the Proof Corrections Form. Well, what I didn’t mention about that particular PCF was that the author wanted to completely change up her dedication page. I rejected it out of hand. It’s obviously a preferential change. But then on Tuesday the layout designer came by my desk to talk to me. The author was was already worried that her book wasn’t being handled correctly, and the layout designer was certain that rejecting the dedication change would upset her beyond repair. I remained adamant–it is a preferential change. She should have changed the dedication while she was still in the editing process if it was so important to her. And this is all true. But then the layout designer said, “I don’t mind doing it if it makes her happy…” which caused me to stop in my prostestations. Could this possibly be a situation where I was being too rigid and it was okay to make exceptions? Could I really approve a preferential change? Knowing I couldn’t look at the situation objectively, I turned to my trainer. She recommended that I allow the change.
It hurt me to do it. It didn’t matter that allowing the change required no work on my part, and hardly an work on the designer’s part. It was the principle of the thing. Rules are not meant to be broken.
I write this to let you know that while I see rules and my adherence to them as an asset, in this moment of clarity I have realized that it can also be a flaw. So when I’m editing your book, rest assured that I take rules to heart, especially grammatical ones. But here’s another great thing about ISTJs–we’re rational creatures. I’ve discovered that if you can present me if enough and concrete facts, you can convince me to change my mind on something (most of the time). Something of this nature happened when Aaron, Courtney, Josh, and I were discussing the bio for Courtney’s book. I really did bring props to prove my point (because I need evidence). I appreciate that Courtney took me seriously and brought her own examples. I needed that.
I have taken a small moment to admit that my strength may also be my weakness. Now I count on you guys to remind me of it. This doesn’t mean that you can just tell me to break rules willy-nilly, but, you know, if there’s a good reason, I’ll consider it. It’ll help if I like you, too.
Have you discovered that any of your strengths, if left unchecked, can turn into weaknesses? How do you overcome your weaknesses? How do you strengthen your strengths?