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Thinking Positively About Type Differences: Sensing/Intuition

Thinking Positively About Type Differences: Sensing/Intuition

By Donna Dunning

Donna DunningIt’s often tempting to see differences as a problem rather than appreciate their value. The important first step in developing understanding and appreciation is to see the positive aspects of all preferences.

Reframing Sensing

If you prefer Intuition, you may find yourself labeling people who prefer Sensing as unimaginative or overly concerned with details and logistics. Instead, reframe the characteristics of Sensing using positive descriptors such as:

• Practical

• Realistic

• Observant

Reframing Intuition

If you prefer Sensing, you may find yourself labeling people who prefer Intuition as impractical or unfocused. Instead, reframe the characteristics of Intuition using positive descriptors such as:

• Insightful

• Future-focused

• Interested in integrating ideas

Replacing negative descriptors with their positive counterparts emphasizes the benefits of having and/or using a preference.

What negative descriptors do you find yourself using for Sensing or Intuition? Can you reframe these more positively?

Information in this post has been modified and excerpted from TLC at Work: Training, Leading, Coaching all Types for Star Performance.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 at 10:35 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Thinking Positively About Type Differences: Sensing/Intuition”

  1. Katy says:

    Hello Donna,

    Do you have any advice for INTJs on how to work/act in a workplace dominated by SJs? I consider myself to be practical and focused but I still *feel* as though my ESTJ and ISTJ colleagues look down on me like I do not have the ability to do the work they do. It seems as though they treat me like a child at times. It also does not help that I look young and am the only female in my group of engineers.

    I want to be respected and valued for my insights. There have been many times where I have been left out of key decision making meetings for our future products. Half the time I think my colleagues are puzzled at my way of thinking and are worried that I will quickly get promoted and move on while they will continue working in the same position they have already been working in for the past 10 years.

    How can I gain respect from SJ personality types? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. Donna Dunning says:

    Good question Katy, We all want to be respected and acknowledged. The struggle is that people go about activities and interactions so differently that sometimes it becomes hard to see the value of opposite approaches. I agree that gender and age will also play a role in establishing credibility.

    Here are some ideas to help you build the trust and respect of SJs around you. When you want to change something, rather than looking to overhaul a system completely, focus on the aspects that are working well as is. This “preserving what works” is a key place to align with SJs, as they often see it as wasteful to change what is already working. Also, ask for their experience… what was tried before and what happened as a result. Many of the SJs I have worked with are organizational historians who have been through frequent changes and re-toolings. Not all of these changes worked and they sometimes are cynical of change agents.

    Listen to how they prefer to do things, as likely they have developed tried-and-true standard operating procedures. By doing this you recognize their expertise and experience, aspects of work that are important to them. Recognize that working in one place for 10 years isn’t a bad thing, as this provides a depth of practical knowledge and experience… don’t assume that they are worried about your progress out of the job, rather it may be that they simply see you as a disruption to the status quo that they know works so well.

    STJs tend to become suspicious of “big ideas” that are not firmly based in the current realities. They want to see a step-by-step, expedient path forward that won’t cause a lot of immediate disruptions and problems. When sharing ideas, provide concrete examples of how they will work as well. Provide evidence of success in other companies or data showing the change will increase efficiency.

    Perhaps you can find common ground using the TJ. Ask for and listen to their corrective feedback. Ask them how you can become more involved in the decision-making process. Be open and frank about how you want to contribute. When they see you respect their approach, they may be more open to accepting you and including you.

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