Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Why Personality Type in Relationships?

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

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The greatest overall benefit of knowing about psychological-type theory, is to be able to stand back and realize people do what they do because of their natural process. By knowing this, we can begin to eliminate our expectations on another person’s behavior.

This alone solves a myriad of interaction problems.

Once you understand your type and your partner’s type, it’s time to see how you and your partner mesh. The first step toward creating a satisfying relationship is to understand ourselves. The next is to be more aware of the ways we naturally and automatically interact with our partners. Then, we can learn how to make some minor adjustments in our styles to be more accommodating and appreciative of each other.

DO OPPOSITES REALLY ATTRACT?

Many couples – about 35% have only two type preferences in common. About 25% have one preference in common, 20 % have three and only 10% are either different on all four or alike on all four dimensions. Just because you and your partner may be very different doesn’t mean you can’t have a satisfying relationship. You may simply have to work harder to achieve understanding and satisfaction.

The greatest opportunities for personal growth come from loving someone who is quite different. On some level, we’re drawn to our partners precisely because of those differences. We see things in them we don’t have in ourselves. We are stimulated to try things we might not ordinarily try, encouraged to open up and share on a deeper level than before, or slow down and have more fun than we normally allow ourselves.

As Carl Jung wrote, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” Indeed, Mr. Jung believed that through the marital and family unit, we could transform ourselves to a greater spiritual level.

Bear in mind that no one combination is either perfect or automatically doomed to failure. There are strengths within each type combination. While every couple faces challenges based in a great part on their type preferences, every relationship also is as unique as the two people in it.

AN ESTJ & ENFP PARENTING CHALLENGE

The three type dimensions that are most often the source of parenting disagreements are:

GATHERING INFORMATION  –  Sensing or Intuition

MAKING DECISIONS  –  Thinking or Feeling

TAKING ACTION  –  Judging or Perceiving

Jake is an ESTJ and Maureen is an ENFP. As such they have different temperaments and values. Jake takes his job as father very seriously. He believes it’s his duty to raise responsible, polite, independent children. He’s the disciplinarian, establishing and enforcing the rules of the house with calm consistency. Jake’s kids will tell you that he’s strict and demanding but that he shows his devotion to his kids by being an enthusiastic coach and never misses a swim meet, dance recital, or school play.

Maureen is more concerned about her children’s emotional well-being and self-esteem. She wants them to develop as unique individuals and strive to find personal meaning in their lives. She’s clearly the fun parent, the nurturer, who is less worried about bedtimes and rules and more concerned about helping the children articulate their feelings and grow into compassionate and tolerant adults.

For the most part, Jake and Maureen complement each other well, but they also have their share of disagreements about everything from how hard to push the kids academically to whether to pay them for doing chores. This hurdle is not insurmountable, but it is a strain on their relationship; it gives them one more thing to disagree and argue about. Fortunately, knowing about their types –  and their children’s types –  has helped them figure out strategies to be more cohesive as a team and more sensitive and effective with their children.

Psychological Type And How It Benefits An Organization

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Psychological type is a theory of personality developed by Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Carl G. Jung to explain the normal differences between healthy people.  Jung concluded that differences in behavior result from people’s inborn tendencies to use their minds in different ways.

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Jung’s type theory defines patterns of normal behavior, or types, and gives an explanation of how types develop.

The mother and daughter team of Myers & Briggs further developed Jung’s theory creating the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a self-report questionnaire designed to make Jung’s theory of psychological types understandable and useful in everyday life.

After more than 50 years of research and development, the MBTI is the most widely used instrument with more than two million indicators administered annually in the United States.

The PEOPLE Process takes type theory a step further making it useable, simplifying the understanding and application of what often is a complicated process for people to work with. With all of the breadth and depth of the theory of Dr. Carl Jung and the MBTI, The PEOPLE Process Wheel takes the theory of the four behavioral dimensions of how Energy is focused, how Information is gathered, how Decisions are made and how Action is taken and makes them easy to remember and use.

Within each behavioral dimension, are two opposite poles, preferences,  for which everyone has a natural preference (inborn strength) for one of the two opposites in each of the four behavioral dimensions.

As we use our preferences, we develop what the research defines as our psychological type: an underlying personality pattern resulting from the dynamic interaction of our four preferences, environmental influences and our own choices. People tend to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes associated with their type, and those with types that differ from yours, will likely be opposite you in many ways. Each type represents a valuable and reasonable way to be. Each type has its own potential strengths, as well as its likely blind spots.

Psychological type has been applied as a tool for many years by a variety of users including those in:

  • Small businesses and large multinational corporations
  • Service industries and manufacturing concerns
  • Consulting and training services
  • Government at all levels
  • Established firms and new entrepreneurial ventures
  • Educational and health-care institutions

In general, psychological type functions as a tool that helps people in organizations:

  • Understand themselves and their behaviors
  • Appreciate others so as to make constructive use of individual differences
  • Approach problems in different yet healthy ways and thus be more productive

Specifically, organizations use type to:

  • Make the most of their human resources
  • Leverage individuals natural strengths
  • Improve teamwork
  • Understand and adapt to differences in leadership/management style
  • Enhance effective communications between supervisors, peers, employees, and customers
  • Assist in career development
  • Resolve conflict
  • Coach individuals
  • Design training activities
  • Recognize employees’ unique contributions
  • Develop skills in creativity, time management, and stress management

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.

How Does Type Influence Our Listening?

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

In the last blog update, 16 people were asked the question, “Who is the best listener in your life?”, and 14 of them mentioned an Introvert.  Do Introverts really have a natural advantage over Extraverts when it comes to listening?

According to type theory, Introverts have two good reasons to listen more than talk.

First of all, they have a lower need to talk because they process their thoughts internally.  They may want to share their completed thoughts with others, but that usually requires less time than thinking through something out loud.

Second, when Introverts talk, they’re using their Auxiliary function, which is not what they’re best at, so they don’t get the positive response that Extraverts do. After awhile, they become less confident and more critical of themselves when they speak.  The role of listener becomes a better way for them to garner self-esteem.

Extraverts, on the other hand, have two good reasons to talk more than listen.  First, they need to process their thoughts out loud.  They often do their best thinking when they are talking, so they need to have several good listeners in their lives to allow them to reach clarity and understanding.

Second, Extraverts derive greater self-esteem from talking than Introverts. Because they are Extraverts, they are showing their dominant function to the world, which is what they’re best at, whether it’s practical knowledge, possibilities, logic or caring.  When they finish speaking, they usually get a better response from others, and more of a sense of accomplishment in their speech.  It’s hard to give that up and switch over into listening.

However, just because Introverts tend to do more listening, they don’t necessarily listen well.  Although they may be silent when someone else is speaking, they may actually have a strong internal dialogue going, and may be listening more to themselves than the speaker.

Let’s face it.  It’s an effort for all of us to be good listeners.  Extraverts have to manage their external voice, and Introverts have to manage their internal voice.

In trying to become a good human being though, nothing makes a bigger difference than developing the ability to listen well.  No matter what else we do for other people, if we listen attentively and sympathetically to what they are saying, and let them know that they have been heard and understood, that will mean the most to them.

 

What Do The Best Listeners Do? What Do The Worst Listeners Do?

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

The best listeners send the message that you can take as long as you want to get your thoughts out.  They are listening, and will continue to listen until you are finished.

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“My girlfriend, Paula, an INFP, is the best listener I know,” says Pam, INTJ.

“She lets me go through the whole shebang without interrupting.”

“The best listener I know is an INFJ who became my mentor,” says, Dee, ENTP.  “When she listens, she doesn’t intervene a lot while you are telling your story.  She lets you get your narrative well said.”

“My INFP daughter is the best listener I know,” says Catherine, ENTJ. “She waits to hear the whole story, even though it’s often a complicated story with lots of layers.”

“My INFJ mother is one of the best listeners in my life,” says Dan, ESTP. “She takes the time to actually hear what I’m saying.  I solve problems best by talking about them, and I usually have to talk a lot before I get to a final thought.  It helps me when people take the time to really listen to everything that I have to say.”

“My father was an INFP and he was an excellent listener,” says Anna, ISFP.  “It’s important that someone give me a chance to speak, and he would sit patiently and let me get through the whole idea.  With some people, when I stop to take a breath, they take off on their own story.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their time.

The worst listeners send the message that if you can’t get your thoughts out quickly, you’re not going to get them out!  They interrupt or cut you off. You can sense their impatience and lack of interest.

“One member of an executive team, an ENTP, is one of the poorest listeners I know,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He’ll just voice right over you, and doesn’t even wait for you to breathe.  I’m trying to make a point and he’s already not paying any attention to it.”

“The worst listener in my life is my ESTJ friend,” says Chip, ESFP.  “She wants closure so quickly that she’ll finish my sentence for me.  I’ll go “Wait a minute, that isn’t what I was saying!”

“The worst listener in my life is my ENFJ colleague,” says John, ENTP.  “She gets impatient with how long it takes me to finish my thoughts, and she just cuts me off and takes the conversation over.”

The best listeners give you their attention.

The best listeners send the message that nothing else in the room, or in their life, is as interesting to them as what you are saying!  They look you in the eyes when you’re talking; they appear alert, attentive and focused.

“One of the best listeners in my life is my friend, an ENFJ,” says Carolyn, INFP.  “When she listens, she pays attention to you.  She’s not distracted or marking time.”

“The best listener in my life is my INTJ husband, and he can be remarkably focused,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “When I’m telling him something that is very important to me, he’s right there; he’s not trying to do something else.”

“A friend of mine growing up was an ISTP,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He had a laser-like ability to listen.  When I was talking, he was there.  His mind wasn’t anywhere else.  He didn’t say affirming words, but his attention would affirm me.”

Two people who worked with Mary McCaulley, the co-founder of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, said that she was the best listener they had ever known.  McCaulley, an INFP, passed away in 2003.

“When you talked to her, you felt like you were the only person on earth,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “She wasn’t thinking about the next thing she had to do; her mind wasn’t elsewhere.”

“No matter who she was listening to, it could be a scientist who studied mangroves in the Florida Everglades, she looked like that was the most important topic in the world at the time,” says Anna, ISFP.  “When she listened, she was captivated.  She couldn’t wait to hear the next sentence from you and was truly interested in what you were saying.  With as much wisdom and knowledge as she had, she always looked like she might be learning something from you.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their attention.

While you are talking, the worst listeners send the message that they’re not really interested, and it’s a struggle for them to pay attention. You can hear that they’d much rather talk than listen.

“One of the worst listeners I know is an old girlfriend, an INFJ,” says Paul, ESFJ.  “Whenever I would tell her something about what I was doing, I’d feel like it was really boring to her, and I’d end up not liking what I was talking about.  Once she was really excited about her music, so I said, “Have you heard of this band?” She said, “No,” and went on talking about the music she liked.  I was completely shot down.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my friend, Justy, and I think he’s an INTP,” says Dan, ESTP.  “When I get done talking, he doesn’t say anything, or he’ll say,  “Yeah, OK, that’s interesting.”  It’s a flat response as opposed to a two-way conversation.  I get the impression that he would rather talk about something else.”

“Some of the people in our organization seem to have a hard time hearing me in meetings,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “Their new ideas are flying so fast that the points I’m trying to make come out sounding irrelevant or they’re just not computed.  I don’t have a lot of grand ideas, but I do have input that might definitely matter if it could be heard.”

“I might tell my friend that I just got back from Las Vegas, and right away, she’ll tell me that when she went, she lost all her money and had a really horrible time,” says Patty, ESTJ.  “She doesn’t seem interested at all in hearing about my trip.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my ENFP friend,” says Janet, INFJ.   “She just talks non-stop, and then, when she realizes that she’s talked too much, she asks me some questions about myself.  But I can hear that it’s an effort for her, and she’s not really interested in what I say.”

“The worst listener in my life is my Extraverted friend,” says Susan, ISFJ. “She calls up and starts out by asking me how things are going in my life, but she quickly gets diverted to all her issues, and never asks me anything else about me.  She might talk for a half hour, but then, when I start to talk, she’ll suddenly have to get off the phone.”

 

The Gift Of Listening

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Once, I made two lists.  On the first list, I put the names of the people in my life that I had largely positive feelings about.  On the second, I put the names of the people that I had reservations about, the relationships that I might label problematic.  We called each other friends, but after I’d been with them, I didn’t feel enriched.

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When I looked at the difference between the two lists, one thing stood out.  The people on the first list were good

listeners, and the people on the second were not. The people on the first list always made me feel like a connection had been made between us, but the people on the second made me feel like a connection had been faked.  The people on the first list made me feel like I was accompanied on this journey of life, the people on the second made me feel like I was alone.

That’s when I realized how important it is to be a good listener to other people.  It’s not just a nice thing to do, or good manners.  Good listening has an existential importance.  It’s the only thing that helps us relieve the loneliness of the human condition.

For something that is so important, it’s amazing how little it’s talked about. It’s rarely taught in our families, schools, workplaces or churches.  There isn’t even a cultural cliche about good listening, like:   A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Most people who have become good listeners learned it in some kind of self-help or psychological setting, and they were usually surprised to learn its importance.  It hasn’t spread to the overall culture.

It’s not even a skill of certain personality types.  Some people may appear to be good listeners because their type makes them less talkative or less opinionated or more sensitive to others, but they will admit that if you listen in on their thoughts, they are often not fully tuned into the other person.  To be genuinely paying attention to another person is a learned skill, and one that takes constant practice.  It’s not something we’re born with.

This is the first in a series.  In the following blog updates, we asked people of all the types,  Who are the best and worst listeners in your life, and why? From that we gleaned some good, practical dos and don’ts on listening.  In the next blog update, we’re going to look at how our type influences our listening.

You’ll probably find a lot of the people you know in these pages, including the person you thought you knew the best, yourself. However, if you decide to begin asking yourself the question:  Am I really listening?  you’ll find that you didn’t really know yourself, or anyone else, before that.

(By Susan Scanlon, The TYPE Reporter, Issue Number 97)

 

How Do You Take Action? – Judging or Perceiving?

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

 

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The fourth and final dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to take action.  Judging types      represent approximately 60% and Perceiving types about 40% of the U.S. population.

Judging and Perceiving represent the two very different ways that people like to organize their world and live their lives.  In this context, the term Judging does not mean a person that is judgmental and the term Perceiving does not mean a person that is perceptive.  These are the terms assigned to this dimension of behavior.

Perceiving refers to one’s innate drive to keep things open, to keep gathering information and Judging refers to a desire to come to conclusion and make a decision. People with a Judging preference feel tension until an issue is decided and people with a Perceiving preference feel tension if pushed to make a decision too quickly.  The more important the decision is, the stronger     the need to resolve the issue quickly for a person with Judging preference.

Judging and Perceiving have a lot to do with the way we like to run our everyday lives and the greatest potential for conflict exists between couples with this dimension. This is the only dimension that is different between me and my husband. Roy, INTP, and Me, INTJ.  We experienced a lot of confusion, tension and conflict around this fourth dimension of taking action. We had been married just a few years when we were re-introduced to psychological type and were immediately riveted by the explanation in type theory of why we were experiencing this tension. We could be discussing something and I’d head for the phone to take action. This completely unnerved him because of his need to investigate further, look for more information and check things out.

Another part of the differences in this dimension is Judging people want their living area organized and feel distracted living amid clutter, while Perceiving people tend to have a more casual attitude and often leave projects unfinished. My INTP partner liked to file papers in stacks on the office floor and I preferred to file paperwork feeling everything should be put in its place. Once we found out about our preference for Judging and Perceiving in this Action dimension, we understood what was causing the tension and were able to “stretch ourselves” so that we could include each other’s “comfort zone” in our expectations.

Judgers are planners and like to be prepared. They expect a set plan to be followed and often have difficulty shifting gears when the plan unexpectedly changes. By contrast, Perceivers are hesitant to commit themselves for fear that if they do, they may miss some great opportunity that will come along later. Perceivers act spontaneously and are flexible in adjusting to changes.

In the area of handling responsibilities, Judging people like to complete projects ahead of a deadline and it’s very hard for Judgers to relax and enjoy themselves when they haven’t finished something. Perceivers are just the opposite, preferring to relax and take advantage of some unexpected opportunity because there’s always more time.

Because Judgers have such a need for closure, they tend to make a lot of declarative statements and state their strong opinions freely. Perceivers ask a lot of questions and are more inquisitive. This can be a source of irritation between couples and business associates. Perceivers often feel that Judgers shut down discussions too quickly, and oversimplify. Judgers sometimes find the endless questions from Perceivers to be redundant and annoying.

Judgers are more comfortable with the notion of rules and place high importance on following them, while Perceivers view rules as unwanted restrictions on their freedom and their ability to be spontaneous. Judgers are more comfortable with authority while Perceivers are more naturally inclined to rebel against or question authority.

When you factor in knowledge of personality type into how you take action, 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 ActionAction is the fourth dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences in each of the four dimensions and of our associates and loved ones can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

 

 

What’s It Like To Be A Feeling Man?

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

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You feel most “different” in times of conflict.      

Men got into their roles because of their bodies. In primitive times, if you had superior size and strength and weren’t tending the children, it was natural that you went out and hunted animals for food and fought off the enemy. In other words, you did the fighting and the killing.

Today, men are still expected to hunt, although now it’s more for money and power.  And they’re still expected to fight and kill, even if it’s just the competition!

But when it comes to hurting people or taking money and power from them, F men don’t feel cut out for the job. All of the F men interviewed for this issue said it’s their unwillingness to hurt people that separate them most from other males. They first noticed it when they were boys, when they were called upon to be physically aggressive.

“I found playground fights to be very distasteful” says David, INFJ, “and it was traumatic when I got into a fight.” “I avoided fights,” says David, ESFP, “I just wouldn’t rise to the bait and I’d walk away. It didn’t bother me to be called ‘chicken’.”

Did the Feeling boys try to stop the fights they saw? Not usually. Fs in situations of conflict tend to freeze up. They are often so shocked by what is happening that they can’t react. Also, they don’t want to do anything to get the conflict directed toward them. When F boys were able to stop their friends from hurting people, it was because they were able to give them a good reason not to do so. But Feeling boys do get into fights. Usually it’s because their feelings have been badly hurt, or they’ve seen someone else being hurt. In other words, their fighting is more defensive than offensive.

F boys become F men but they never lose their distaste for conflict.  At the same time, they never lose their desire to defend the underdog, so they find themselves in conflict much more than they’d like. It’s their lifelong quest to find ways to successfully ‘fight’ for what they believe in, when they don’t believe in fighting.

You learn to hide your feelings around boys.
F men said they got into trouble for expressing their feelings around boys, and being Fs, they wanted to be accepted, so they chose, at very young ages, to hide those feelings. “In friendships with boys, I often did not express my feelings,” says Dan, ENFP. “I got along because I knew how to get along.”

Acceptance is important to Fs, and sometimes that means doing what others are doing when your heart is not really in it. “I kept it a secret that I was sensitive,” says Christopher, ISFJ.

Although F boys may not be admired by other boys for their Feeling talk, they can be admired by boys for their Feeling ways. “I was a leader among the boys because my F extended to them,” says Roger, ISFJ. “I was accommodating, agreeable, and easy to get along with.”

But you learn you can take your feelings to girls and women.
Feeling boys learn they can’t talk like an F in the company of most other boys, but they also learn that they can open up with most females. It begins with their mothers. “I was always close to my mother. We related well and could talk about things,” says Tom, ENFJ.

F boys soon realize that when they’re in the company of girls or women, the conversation often sounds interesting and pleasant to them. However, being around girls and women is accepted only in small doses when you’re a young boy. “I had no problem with girls, I understood them,” says Bob, ESFJ. “But I knew that boys weren’t supposed to have girls as friends, so I didn’t hang around them too much.”

Later on, in adolescence, Feeling boys become more conscious of their Feeling side, and really want to share it with someone. And once they’re teenagers, it’s OK to be around girls. And, it seems that from adolescence on, Feeling men have more female friends than male friends.

One of the pleasant surprises in life for Feeling men is that, because it’s unusual for a man to care about feelings, to be romantic, tender-hearted and thoughtful, it carries more weight than it does for Feeling women.

Your F can make you a great family man.
Fs derive the bulk of their self-esteem from their relationships, and their most important relationships are usually with their families. So as much as they may love their careers, they’ll still need more time with their families than most Ts do.

“I wouldn’t consider taking a job that didn’t allow me to be with my family,” says Tom, ENFJ. “They need my presence more than wealth.” “My home and my family are central to me, much more than my work,” says David, ESFP. I’m motivated to work only to provide for my family.”

And even when they’re on the job, F men can make their work atmosphere feel like a family. “I lead by getting to know my soldiers inside and out,” says John, ESFJ.

But your F can get in the way of being a good provider.
F men lack the “killer instinct” and they find out that it’s hard to make a lot of money without it. If they work in professions dominated by Fs, they’re usually underpaid because Fs, unless they are well disciplined, are not motivated to put high financial value on their work, to strategize ways to best the competition, to put the needs of the business over the needs of the people, or to make decisions based on objective data, like the bottom line.

“Usually, when people go to negotiate agreements, they think, “What’s the least I can concede?” says Tom, INFP. “I’m thinking, “What’s the most generous I can be?” If they go into a T environment, they may be able to get by, but it’s unlikely they’ll earn high-income positions. Like all Fs, they struggle to find careers that are in line with their values, and that usually means less and less money.

Tom probably speaks for most F men when he sums up his attitude about money and power, and his ability as a provider: “It’s not easy to make money when the kinds of things you want to spend time on are not rewarded financially. I think I’ll always be able to provide the basics for my family. I know what I need to do to be comfortable, but I don’t think I’ll ever be in a position of power because people in power have to make choices which I wouldn’t make.”

So no matter what career you choose, you learn that you need some T skills.
“I work in the federal government – a very T environment,” says Dexter, INFJ, “so I’ve had to build up my T muscle. I’ve learned that Ts take your words more seriously. They analyze what you say, word by word, and dissect it to an accurate state, so I’ve had to be careful about my imprecise and insufficiently analytical speech. I’ve learned that I can’t work on something till it feels right to me, and then take it into my boss. He’s just not interested in what I feel; he can’t even get started on it. I have to have collected the facts to support it. I check around a lot, and call different offices. I analyze things through, ask myself what I’m missing, anticipate other people’s criticisms, and get all the possible objections.”

“I’ve noticed that on matters of judging and disciplining people, which we have to do in the military, the Ts try to make rules where everyone is treated the same,” says John, ESFJ. “The Fs, on the other hand, don’t think that any two cases are exactly alike, and look at all the extenuating circumstances in the person’s life. I’ve learned that you have to find a happy medium between the two. I’ve developed a sixth sense about what decision I can make, and still function in both worlds.”

Besides developing T skills to survive in a T-dominated world, some men are finding that it’s also useful to make Ts aware that Feeling input is essential to successful decision-making.

“I used to go into my managers and explain a solution to a problem and they’d say, “Where are your facts?” says Bill, INFP. “I’d say, “I don’t need facts, trust me, I know I’m right.” Well, they never did, of course. Last year we were all given training in the MBTI and since then they’ve begun coming to me and asking me for advice. I’ve become the link between management and employees. I’ve gone from being a “bad fit” to a real asset to the company.”

The TYPE Reporter, Vol. 4, No. 6 & 7 written by Susan Scanlon
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.

                                                                    

What’s It Like To Be A Thinking Woman?

Monday, March 20th, 2017

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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 4th, 2017

                  T————X————F                                                             

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The third dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to make decisions – thinking 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.”

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

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!