To better understand ourselves and others and increase our ability to be heard, I have chosen to post a sequence of four blogs to help us look more closely at what makes people tick. To recap briefly, the first blog was describing the difference between being an extrovert (getting ENERGY from the interaction with people) or an introvert (getting ENERGY by internally processing thoughts and ideas). The second blog was on the difference between the Sensing type (looking for cause and effect, past trends, data and the ‘what is’) OR the Intuitive type who seeks knowledge and complexity, models, theories not yet proven and who orient themselves to ‘what could be’). To read a more in depth explanation of these differences so far just go to the February archives on my website).
As we go deeper into the differences that help us understand ourselves better the third area is in how we see and process information. It is labeled the Thinking OR Feeling preference. If people favor the Thinking preference they see the world as an object and their thinking is quite clear …if A then B. Using sequential reasoning is essential to the way they process information and ideas. They have a tendency to be more critical in situations and less accepting of the needs or circumstances of others. They determine if they are successful by the number of clients they have, the raises they receive, in other words through more external, concrete evidence. The Thinking approach could best be summarized with the saying, ‘the proof is in the pudding.’ If discord with others is necessary to get from step A to B that’s just the way it is – a part of living or doing business.
On the other hand folks who favor the Feeling preference see the world as a subject rather than object. Their method of thinking about an issue would be …if A, then B, or maybe even E, M, or Q! In other words, they see many possibilities and options rather than a strictly linear approach. They are more laid back, accepting, and trusting and use their emotions to make decisions. They prefer to seek consensus with others – a sort of give and take when decisions are being made. Seeking consistency within their personal values when making a decision rather than using simple logic is very important to them. In addition to raises or advancements or additional number of clients, more importantly, they want to be told that they are a valued member of the team or family. Frequent verbal or written recognition for a job well done is very, very important to them. You will see people with this type prefer to ‘go with the flow’ rather than make waves. Discord is uncomfortable and they try, at all costs, to avoid it.
In my Sunday blog I will complete this short explanation of learning/living preferences with the last choice of two variables. In the meantime try to apply these six differences to yourself and others. Especially those who you feel are on a different wave length and you can’t seem to understand why they do the things they do. I’ll bet you will be surprised by what you discover. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers .. they are simply differences …in the way we process information and view the world. For the world to function we need to recognize that all types – all preferences are important and valuable. The trick is learning to recognize these differences and to learn how to present ideas or information in a way that will be welcomed and valued.
It boils down to energy. It takes more energy to push a wagon rather than pull it. Once you learn to recognize and value the differences in yourself and others, the smoother, more enjoyable the ride.
Have a great few days!