Communications & Personality Type – Thinking and Feeling
The third behavior dimension—how we make Decisions—Thinking or Feeling can often be a source of conflict in communication. Thinking and Feeling both describe rational decision-making processes. It’s not that Thinkers don’t have feelings or that Feelers are incapable of logic, it’s just that they use very different criteria to make their Decisions.
Thinking types make Decisions in a logical and analytical way. Before they commit to and support a Decision, everything about the subject has to be “perfectly clear.” They prefer to be objective and are somewhat detached, which tends to earn them the label of being impersonal.
Feeling types are primarily concerned about the impact their Decisions will have on others. They are concerned with the human and interpersonal aspects and want to be sure the feelings and personal values of others are not in jeopardy. They use “friendly persuasion” as a tool to get their points across and they make concerted efforts to identify with other people.
Thinking types are often impatient with Feeling types’ need to validate and support each other. Since Thinkers prefer to focus on tasks, the small talk and sharing of personal information in the work setting seems unnecessary or inappropriate to Thinking types. Feeling types enjoy these connections and are more comfortable working with others when trust has been established. They want to know co-workers on a personal level and are more interested in understanding one another. Feeling types offer supportive feedback that can be seen by the Thinking type as insincere and overdone. Feeling types can interpret the frank feedback given by Thinking types as abrupt and critical. Thinking types want to be acknowledged for their accomplishments and need less feedback while Feeling types want to be appreciated for their efforts and like feedback on a regular basis.
|Thinking Types in Communication||Feeling Types in Communication|
Strengths – “Does this make sense?”
Strengths – “Will this upset anyone?”
Author, The PEOPLE Process
January 27, 2007
Resource Material: Introduction to Type & Communication, CPP Inc. & The PEOPLE Process