My title is very ‘tongue in cheek’, today but does I believe very broadly describes the differences between the MBTI Thinking and Feeling preferences.
This is the final part of my four part introduction to the Myers Briggs preferences, links to the three earlier posts are available at the end of this post.
The Thinking/Feeling preferences that are part of the Myers Briggs questionnaire, refer to how people prefer to make decisions. Both approaches are equally valid and rational, there is no right or wrong preference. Though there will, as with the other preferences be advantages and disadvantages to both, depending on the context and the situation.
It’s just the basis on which people will in general base their judgement or decisions.
Someone with a preference for feeling, is more likely “to judge things and situations on the basis of personal values”
“They prefer to be guided by personal values and tend to strive towards harmony and individual recognition.”
Someone with a preference for Thinking, “probably likes to judge things and situations on the basis of an objective analysis”
“They prefer cause and effect reasoning and tend to strive towards the more impersonal, objective standard or truth.”
Reference – Anita Wood, Type in a Nutshell
So what might this mean on a day to to day basis?
If you have a preference for Thinking’ you will in general tend to have a ‘task first’ focus, may find that you find it a little easier to deal with conflict and debate.
As someone with a preference for ‘Thinking’ I do need to come clean here, I love a bit of debate and discussion. Gives me a bit of a buzz, when there is an argument, in terms of a reasoned debate with opposing views and someone presenting their evidence in a coherent and clear way. A younger ‘me’ may well not have minded a bit of ‘argy bargy’.
However if you have a preference for ‘Feeling’ you may find that your general approach of ‘people first’, might make it difficult in times of strife and stress to take the tough decisions. You may lose sight of what needs to be done as you are perhaps more focused on the people involved, their emotions, wishes and perspectives.
On the other hand – someone with a preference for ‘Thinking’, under stress may be so focused on the task that they completely lose sight of the people, which could be equally disastrous. It may feel more ‘natural’ for ‘Thinkers’ to distance themselves from the people/situation in order to gain some perspective. Whereas individuals with a preference for ‘Feeling’, may try and gain perspective by stepping into the shoes of those involved.
As a more naturally ‘task focused’ or task oriented individual I do sometimes have to remind myself to do the ‘small talk’ first before leaping into the work/ task. This is also I suspect, influenced by my preference for introversion. Did find myself fairly recently having to ‘bite back’ the urge to get everyone back on track at a recent meeting.
People like me with a preference for ‘Thinking’, can lose patience if we perceive the issue or task is not getting resolved as quickly as we would like. Whereas, those with a preference for ‘Feeling’ may lose patience or trust if they haven’t had the opportunity to build the relationship first.
There are times when I am saying to myself, “bollxxks’ to this let’s just get this problem sorted. If warm and cuddly doesn’t work – I will go in with tough and focused.”
Though it has to be said I don’t always have the patience to do warm and cuddly for too long………
Still working on it.
Until next time
Links to the earlier posts:
Do you sometimes feel like an alien in your own team?
So they are not just trying to wind me up?
In the here and now or away with the fairies?