Archive for March, 2016

What’s It Like To Be A Thinking Woman?

Friday, March 25th, 2016

What’s it like when the world expects you to be one way, and you’re just the opposite?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

What’s it like to often surprise people, or shock them? What’s it like to be a Thinking woman?

Growing up, you identify with boys and men.
Do you know a little girl who pals around with a gang of boys? She’s probably a T. Many T women said that when they were young, they played with the boys. “I was considered one of the guys,” says Julie, ESTJ. And the guys were the ones I did heavy-duty sharing with, not as feelings, but more as “What do you think about such and such?”

Even if they didn’t play with boys, Thinking girls usually enjoyed imagining themselves in the positions of men. “Even when I played with the girls, I gave myself the role of the father or the doctor,” says Madeline, INTP. And because they identified so strongly with the masculine role, their fathers were especially important figures in their lives. “It was pretty clear that the people who were out there using their T were men,” says Jean, INTP. “I valued my father’s role much more than my mothers.”

You don’t identify with girls and women.
“I never got along with my sister, who was sweet, lovable, and innocent – mama’s pet,” says Julie, ESTJ. “I teased the hell out of her and we fought all the time.”

Thinking girls, like Thinking boys, prefer competitive play and learning about how things work. But Thinking girls, unlike Thinking boys, often find themselves in the company of Feeling girls, where the talk and the play is non-competitive and concerned with how people work. And they don’t like it.

“I didn’t like “girl talk” about movie stars and periods,” says Jan, ISTP. “And even “women’s talk” struck me as strange. I’d listen to my mother and aunts talk about how they dealt with problems with their husbands and families and I’d think, “That’s so dumb, why would you do it that way?”

“I thought the girls were kind of flitty,” says Julie, ESTJ. “When people tell me things, I take it as a truth, but things were always changing with them, and I’d realize that they were talking about one of their feelings rather than a fact.”

You get criticized for being tactless and hard-hearted.
“Thinking is wonderful for work and study, for power and achievement,” says Madeline, INTP. “But for any kind of affiliation, it’s not always helpful. I frequently got into trouble for putting truth over tact.”

“I gave riding lessons when I was young,” says Jan, ISTP. “Once, one of the girls in my class asked me for help getting her stirrup fixed, and I told her to do it herself because I really wanted her to learn. “Don’t you think you were kind of hard on her?” a friend said to me later. Now my son is taking violin lessons from an ISTP woman. I’m real satisfied with her, but I had to laugh when one of the other mothers said she dropped her because “she was just mean!”

When a boy is tactless, parents can comfort themselves with “Well, what do you expect from a boy?” When a girl is tactless, there is no such comfort. Thinking girls are likely to feel the full brunt of their parents’ embarrassment at their remarks, or their parents’ hurt if the criticism is directed at them. Fortunately, most T girls have pretty strong defenses against people’s opinions of them.

Thinking girls tend to concern themselves about people’s feelings in their adulthood, when they can see a good reason to do so.

You don’t date much in adolescence.
Thinking girls may not be popular with the opposite sex in the early dating years. The boys are unsure of themselves at that time and look for girls who will make them feel manly. Thinking girls, even when they are very good-looking and interested in dating, give boys the impression that they are going to be judged on their abilities and intelligence. Thinking girls usually have to wait until boys have more confidence in themselves to get asked out.

“I tended to intimidate the boys in high school,” says Janice, ESTP. “Some of them told me later that they had been afraid to ask me out because I seemed aloof, like I thought I was too good for them.”

If they wanted to date in high school, Thinking girls usually hid their Thinking side. “I never talked about anything intellectual when I was dating,” says Kim, ENTJ. “I let the boys talk about themselves. I just needed to be loved and I liked the feeling of someone holding me.”

You can feel right at home with a T husband.
Marrying a Thinking man can be very liberating for a Thinking woman. In her own home, at least, she doesn’t have to feel like an oddball. But it can be good for her spouse, as well. Ruth Sherman did a study of 167 couples in 1981 and found that Thinking men living with Thinking women reported fewer problems in their marriages, and Feeling women living with Feeling men reported fewer problems.

“In my senior year, I met someone I really liked and I’ve been with him ever since,” says Julie, ESTJ. “He was an ISTJ, and he allowed me to be me. He liked my thought patterns and I heard him when he talked.”

“There are only certain men that can get along with me,” says Kim, ENTJ. “My husband (also a T) is one of them. He’s never intimidated by me and we have some terrific sparring on an intellectual level. Sometimes the two of us come home and think “Are we the only people in the world who are sane?”

But even with a Thinking man, there is still the possibility that the T woman may become so engaged in a career that her husband feels that he is secondary, and although women are prepared to feel that way in a marriage, men are not.

But you can learn a lot from an F husband.
Thinking women and Feeling men have the same conflicts as Ts and Fs everywhere. “I’m married to an INFJ,” says Karen, ENTP, “and we have problems helping each other when we’re down. When I’m down, he tries to tell me nice things to make me feel better about myself, like “You’re sweet.” I don’t want to hear that. I want him to ask me questions and listen to me until I can figure out how to solve the problem. Then, when he’s down, I try to address his problems when all he really wants is warm assurance that he’s a valuable person.”

Besides the usual problems between Ts and Fs, Thinking women married to Feeling men may have a few more because of the confusion of their roles in the family. No matter how informed we may be about people and their differences, we all still have ideas of what our spouses “should” do for us.

“I get very resentful when he won’t be assertive,” says Karen, ENTP. “There are times when we reverse roles,” says Sue, ISTJ. “For example, when we moved, my husband panicked and wanted to call an electrician in to hang the light fixtures. But I got out the ladder and the tools and put them all on with dimmers. I know our role reversals would bother me more if I didn’t know type.”

There are many times when Thinking women married to Feeling men think they are both better off because of the way they balance each other. “I’m very career oriented,” says Dawn, INTJ, “and I think that if I were married to a T we’d be like two ships passing in the night. But my ESFP husband keeps calling me back to our relationship. For my psychological health, I know I need relatedness, so I welcome his demands.”

You tend to compare yourself to Fs in motherhood.
Thinking women have an edge in motherhood about half the time, because about half the time children need an adult who can detach themselves from the emotions of the moment and look at things objectively.

“I really like the kind of mother I am,” says Jan, ISTP. “I talk to the children in a respectful way. I’m fair, honest, and consistent about enforcing the rules. I can help them analyze their problems and see the consequences of what they do. If I went down a list of what makes a good parent, I could check most of them.”

“Listening has always been my strong point as a mother,” says Lucille, ENTP. “I made a point to drop what I was doing and listen when my children needed to talk. I was good at helping them analyze their problems, and view them in a more positive light. And when they would get angry at me, I wouldn’t get angry back. I could stay calm and give them an opportunity to explain why they were upset.”

Even though Thinking and Feeling women have the same amount of natural talents for motherhood, nowhere is the temptation to compare yourself to Feeling women stronger than in the role of mother. Probably the biggest problem for Thinking mothers who work outside the home is the temptation to give so much to their careers that there isn’t enough left for their personal life. Finding a balance between work and family is especially tricky for them.

You find the greatest satisfaction in the work world.
In her work, the Thinking woman can point to actual products that she has created, to objective evidence of her skills. She can attach a dollar amount to her value. In fact, in an article published in volume 13 of The Journal of Psychological Type, on type and gender, Jean Stokes points out that without such healthy outlets for Thinking, it can become “nagging, nit-picking, critical in extreme.”

“It wasn’t until my children were grown and I entered the business world that I really discovered my strength,” says Lucille, ENTP. “I could finally let go and be analytical and objective and not always have to be thinking “Will this offend someone?”

“There’s no question in my mind that it’s more difficult to be a woman, even a Thinking woman, in the work world,: says Madeline, INTP. “There’s an assumption that a woman is emotional, unreliable, fuzzy-thinking.”

And in maturity, you realize you didn’t get such a bad deal.
In maturity, we hope that people will come to accept themselves for what they are. “I’ve become more comfortable about being a T woman since I’ve been able to put a name on it and recognize that I’m a minority,” says Virginia, INTJ.

In maturity, we hope that people will have increased understanding and tolerance of the people who are different from them. “I’ve come full circle with Feeling women and feel a sisterhood with them now,” says Jan, ISTP. “I can understand and value the way they make decisions when I used to think they were dumb.”

In maturity, we hope that people will begin to develop the sides of their personalities that they didn’t develop in youth. In maturity, we hope that people will pass on what they have learned to the young, and by their example make it easier for the next generation.

In maturity, we hope that people will bring peace to some of the wars within themselves. In the case of Thinking women, that they will be able to see that perhaps they have had richer lives because they were “different.”

 

 

How We Make Decisions – Thinking or Feeling

Saturday, March 19th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

T—————-X—————-F

The third dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to make decisionsThinking or Feeling.         Each behavior is on a continuum with a preference for one or the other, the degree of which falling somewhere along the continuum.

A person could be a strong Thinker or Feeler, meaning they would fall completely to the far left or right of the continuum. The research says that we are, however, one or the other, not both. Even though we use both preferences throughout our day in the Decision dimension, we don’t use each preference with equal ease. Our inborn preference is our natural strength and according to research we are born with a preference for one behavior over the other  and this is part of our DNA.

In the American population, 50% are Thinkers and 50% are Feelers. Of the Thinkers, 65% are men, and of the Feelers, 65% are women.

Thinking and Feeling describe the two ways people make decisions, or come to conclusions. Thinking and Feeling both describe rational decision-making processes. It’s not that Thinkers have no feelings, or that Feelers are incapable of logic, it’s just that they use very different criteria to make their decisions.

Thinkers make decisions more objectively, weighing the pros and cons. For Thinkers, logic rules. When making a decision, Thinkers take a step back and analyze the situation, logically and impersonally, asking, “Does this make sense? What are the pros and cons? What are the ramifications of the decision?” Thinkers objectify the decision.

Feelers make decisions based on how they feel about the issue and how others will be affected by it. Feelers inject themselves into the situation asking, “How do I feel about this? How will it affect me and others? Is this the right thing to do? What are my personal values telling me to do?” Feelers personalize the situation.

Personal feelings and values are important to Feeling types and often they will go to great lengths to remain true to their beliefs. Thinkers are logical and analytical while Feelers are sensitive and empathetic.

It’s no surprise that preferences for Thinking or Feeling influence career choices. The helping professions attract large numbers of Feelers because this gives them an opportunity to fulfill one of their greatest needs, helping people. Feelers have a drive to understand others and receive satisfaction from assisting others in whatever way they can. Business and management attracts a lot of Thinkers because when it comes to being able to make a decision that is based on the bottom line and consider what’s best for the overall company, they can more easily make the decision and take action. Thinkers can step back from the decision, analyze it logically and come to conclusion based on what is best for the company.  A Feeler usually steps forward, putting himself in the shoes of the individuals being affected within that company, and are strongly influenced by their own personal beliefs and values in making the decision.

Thinkers are often attracted to careers dealing with manufacturing, research and development. Thinkers are most satisfied with jobs where there is a minimum of employee caretaking and like working with other people that are as competent as they are. Thinkers place more emphasis on being truthful, even when it hurts feelings, than being tactful.

Feelers are naturally more attentive and concerned with other people because they have a strong need to be liked. This can be seen as being helpful and friendly and in practically every organization across the country, you can find the nurturer, the person whom coworkers go for emotional support and comfort. Whether appreciated by the company or not, these people provide a valuable service.

On teams, Thinkers are great at being able to size up a situation and put the necessary steps in place to accomplish the goal but it’s the Feelers that create the connection with others that allows the team members to function together, and get the job done – because of feeling that their contribution to the team matters.

It’s very valuable for Thinkers and Feelers to work together. My preference for making Decisions is Thinking and I am often considered abrupt by others because of my ability to impersonalize an issue and consider the logical and possible consequences. My Feeling abilities are not well developed. I care greatly for people and desire to be of service and assistance to them, but I don’t come across that way. So, I rely on the Feeling people in my life to provide input for me when I’m weighing a decision that affects other people – and practically every decision we make does affect others.

On the other hand, a dear friend of mine has a preference for making Decisions as a Feeler and calls on the phone to discuss situations in her life because of my ability to impersonalize and assist her in thinking of things she hadn’t considered because of her strong desire to connect with people and assist them at a personal level.

Probably one of the greatest contributions of type in my life has been with the friendship of my dear friend “Paula”. Paula has a preference for Feeling and as I’ve already discussed, my preference in making Decisions is for Thinking. Paula tells me that once I introduced her to personality type and explained my type preferences, she was able to quit projecting her expectations of my behavior based on her own process. This knowledge has done wonders for our relationship.

When you factor in knowledge of personality type into your Decision making, it becomes clear that all of us need each other for the wealth of valuable contributions we offer in our business endeavors, family relationships and friendships. In fact, our differences just make us that much more valuable for the point of view and experience we are able to provide one another.

There are four behavior dimensions in personality type: how our Energy is focused, how we gather Information, how we make Decisions, and how we take Action. Decision is the third dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences in each of the four dimensions of our associates and loved ones can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

“Give me the facts, Maam……….just the facts.”

Friday, March 11th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

When describing the decor of my home to a Sensor, I said things such as, “the furniture is traditional with oriental accent pieces mixed in, the front yard has blue pots and a blue wrought iron fence.”

“From the front door entryway, what do you see?” asked the Sensor.  “How wide is the front door”, and “how deep is the entry?”  “Once inside the house, where is the living room?”  “How many steps until you reach the kitchen?”  How many windows in the kitchen?”

As an Intuitive, my description of the house was an overview of the general plan and scheme of the decor with such words as, contemporary mixed with Oriental theme, rooms opening up into each other to give a feeling of freedom, white carpet with bold accent colors.

As an author of personalty-type training products and conductor of trainings, it is amazing to me when I have an experience such as this because it brings home to me how important it is to understand each other’s preference for giving and receiving Information as a Sensor or as an Intuitive.

I can honestly tell you that the Intuitive becomes impatient with the lengthy, factual and detailed descriptions.   And, I’m sure the Sensor becomes frustrated with the Intuitive’s broad stroke, overview and generalized description.

During this conversation, I had to keep reminding myself,  this is a Sensor and he cannot see the picture unless you give the facts and details.

Thank goodness I understand this.   As I think back over my life prior to becoming involved so deeply in personality type theory, I am amazed that I was able to communicate with people at all and get my point across. No wonder I had so many ”dead end”  conversations with people.

Do yourself a favor – learn everything you can about type theory and use it!  Your communications with your family, friends and co-workers will improve tremendously!

 

 

Sensor or Intuitive – S/N – S——x——N

Saturday, March 5th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The second dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to take in Information – as a Sensor or an iNtuitive.  Since the letter I is used for Introvert, the letter N is used to represent iNtuition.

Each behavior is on a continuum with a preference for one or the other, the degree of which falling somewhere along the continuum. A person could be a “strong” Sensor or Intuitive, meaning they would fall completely to the far left or right of the continuum, or a person could be more towards the middle, closer towards the fulcrum on the continuum. The research says that we are, however, one or the other, not both. Even though we use both preferences throughout our day in the Information dimension, we don’t use each preference with equal ease.

Our inborn preference is our natural strength.  Sensors take in information through their five senses – what they see, hear, touch, taste, or smell. Intuitives take in information through a “sixth sense” – not on what is, but what could be. Sensors prefer facts to support their decisions and live in the “here and now.”  Intuitives take in information by seeing the big picture, focusing on the relationships and connections between facts. They are especially attuned to seeing new possibilities. Sensors tend to think in a linear fashion, one thought following the next, and Intuitives frequently engage in leaps of thinking. Sensors are more down-to-earth and Intuitives are imaginative and creative. Sensors often demonstrate their creativity by finding a new application for something that has already been invented. This is because a Sensor tends to rely on his own or someone he trusts experience.

Sensors are terrific at being able to focus on the details. An example would be an airline pilot. There are a myriad of dials and information to keep track of in the cockpit of an Boeing 737, not to mention the actual landing and taking off ability. And, when it comes to an emergency, Sensors respond with the training they have experienced and solve the immediate problem. Sensors, with their natural abilities to focus on facts and the “here and now” make excellent pilots.

Intuitives are terrific at creating marketing direction because of their ability to look at patterns of information and determine a trend. In 1992, a book titled, “The Popcorn Report”, authored by Faith Popcorn predicted the rise of “Cocooning” (the stay-at-home syndrome), and the phenomenon of “Cashing Out,” where men and women leave the corporate rate race. Faith also foresaw the demand for fresh foods, home delivery, and four-wheel drives, among many other predictions. Faith is an example of an Intuitive at work on a grand scale. With her unusual name and outspoken style, Faith Popcorn has become one of America’s most controversial and quoted market researchers. Her BrainReserve company has served a long list of major clients, including IBM, McDonald’s, American Express, Eastman Kodak, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Campbell Soup and so forth.

The gathering of Information dimension represents the greatest potential for differences between people, since it applies to our worldview. For instance, I am an Intuitive and a couple of years ago did some marketing for a civil engineering company. Most civil engineers prefer Sensing to take in information and when giving information relate it in terms of specific facts, numerical order and systemization. When the engineers I worked with gave me information for a project, my brain literally froze and I couldn’t think until I translated the information through my Intuitive frame of reference. I needed to know what we were trying to achieve and the purpose of the project. Once that was clear, I was able to understand what to do with the facts and what information the engineers needed from me. And, I’m sure that when I presented Information to the group of engineers I was working with, my tendency to describe the big picture without the facts leading up was just as confusing to them. Sensors see the individual trees and Intuitives see the forest. Sensors spend a lot of time describing detail and Intuitives can become impatient with this detail preferring the ‘bottom line’ approach to giving and receiving Information.

When Sensors and Intuitives recognize what each other needs in the Information cycle, they can be powerful allies. As members of a team, they can work together on projects creating both the long-term plan and handling the details with ease. When we work in a field that allows us to use our ‘natural strengths’ we can be stress-free. Intuitives are the creators of a new approach, and Sensors are the people who make the idea work.

Team composition of personality types is important and in general, diversity and balance in team member personality types is needed to produce successful team performance. A Sensing team leader may be more effective in keeping the team on task. Intra-team communication will be more natural for the Sensor than the Intuitive. Sensing types perceive the facts and can easily organize their thoughts for communication to the other team members. Intuitives are terrific at creating solutions to problems. The Intuitive’s natural ability at coming up with creative possibilities, future planning and marketing direction is a great strength for a team.

Entrepreneurs would benefit from understanding personality type and in particular the Information cycle. Entrepreneurs tend to be Intuitives and it’s very easy for them to see the positive end results of the company they are creating without establishing the necessary steps of getting there successfully. (Where are the sales, orders and the money?)

When you factor in a knowledge of personality type into your thinking and planning, it becomes clear that all of us need each other for the wealth of valuable contributions we offer in our business endeavors, family relationships and friendships. In fact, our differences just make us that much more valuable for the information, point of view, and experience we are able to provide one another.

There are four behavior dimensions in personality type: how our Energy is focused, how we gather Information, how we make Decisions, and how we take Action. Information is the second dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences in each of the four dimensions of our associates and loved ones can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

Sensors represent approximately 65% and Intuitives about 35% of the American population.