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NTs and Change

NTs and Change

By Donna Dunning

Change is all around us and to thrive in times of constant change can be a challenge. Not everyone experiences change in the same way, but all people can bring valuable contributions to the change process.

This post describes the change perspective of those who have NT personality type preferences. Although N and T are letters associated with personality type theory, these two preferences also align to an older theory, which describes four basic human Temperaments.

You may be familiar with Temperament theory from one of the following authors or models. David Keirsey calls this NT Temperament Rational. Don Lowry uses the color Green in the True Colors® model. Denise Hughes in Personality Dimensions ® uses the term Inquiring Green, and Linda Berens names this temperament Theorist.

The NT Change Perspective is Predicting: Strategic Change Agents

No matter what model and label you use, people who share this temperament tend to take a logical, strategic approach to change. They will often ask questions and may be resistant to any change that is not logical or strategic. Although people who prefer NT often initiate change themselves, there are a number of questions they are likely to ask before they buy into an imposed change.

Questions Predictors (NTs) want answered:

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What could we do differently?
  • How will this change improve things in the long term?
  • How will this change affect the bottom line?
  • Do we have the competence and expertise to accomplish this?

Individuals of all temperaments have something to offer during times of change. People who prefer N and T often bring in the following strengths to facilitate the change process.

Strengths the Predicting perspective brings to change:

  • Ensuring the change is reasonable and forward thinking.
  • Looking for ways to improve and refine the change
  • Planning for strategic and systematic results
  • Providing broad, results-oriented, integrative, long-term focus
  • Aligning the change to the broader vision and goals
  • Seeking clarity and precision
  • Defining and refining the objectives and goals of the change
  • Critiquing, questioning and examining the change for flaws
  • Investigating and logically assessing potential outcomes and consequences
  • Carrying out change in an efficient manner to accomplish intended results

Share your experiences and insights

Do you have any other ideas, tips, or stories to share about interacting during change with people who have NT preferences?

More information about change and Temperament can be found in the Quick Guide to the Four Temperaments and Change.


Want to learn more about personality type and how to use it to understand yourself and others?

Introduction to Type and Communication describes in detail how personality preferences influence communications.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Communication is now available on Kindle.

Introduction to Type and Learning can help you find your motivation for learning and help you learn more effectively.

If you live in the USA, Introduction to Type and Learning is also available on Kindle.

Looking for a practical resource to help you plan your ideal career? Check out my book, What’s Your Type of Career?: Find Your Perfect Career By Using Your Personality Type

Want to use your personality type to excel at your career? Check out 10 Career Essentials: Excel at Your Career by Using Your Personality Type

This entry was posted on Monday, February 7th, 2011 at 8:06 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.

14 Responses to “NTs and Change”

  1. steve says:

    This is absolutely 100% true for me! eNTp

  2. Peg says:

    Rings true for me. My prefs are INTP

  3. Laure says:

    I love to read about myself!! And, be reminded about our strengths!! Thank you

  4. An NT manager I know is suspicious of any feedback regarding change unless there’s data to support it. He doesn’t want to hear about the potential negative impact on people (how people ‘feel’ about the change) unless you include facts to demonstrate that impact. This can be difficult to grasp for NFs, who often consider the negative impact on people to be intuitively obvious (as any intelligent person should be able to see!). I think it’s important for NFs in this situation to stick to their guns, but also to defend their position in a logical, quantitative way. This may mean backtracking — when you made that intuitive leap from point A to point C, what was the point B that flashed through your mind so fast that you didn’t even notice it? If you can articulate that, you may be able to provide the supporting information that the NT is looking for.

  5. As an INTJ, handling change has always been easy for me. My process is to meditate on it first, then think through the change logically, write down all of the necessary parts and structure, and finally set out a program for action. In fact, I have to say that is my approach for everything new that I approach.

  6. Donna Dunning says:

    Thanks Andrea. Excellent advice for NFs. More about NFs and change in next Monday’s blog.

  7. Donna Dunning says:

    Laure, Peg, and Steve,

    Thanks for validating the description. I appreciate your comments.

  8. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi Pam,

    Thanks for sharing your well organized approach to change. In my experience, NTs often seek and enjoy change.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    i thrive on change, those lessons keep me growing and moving in the right direction with my constant revisions. but too much change for too long can really distract me. if its unrewarding, change can actually frustrate me quite a bit and be counterproductive. change has always been meaningful to me but i think without a proper adjustment period its one of the few times ill sacrifice what im doing and walk away, ESPECIALLY if people dont use the distinct skills i bring to the table.

  10. Luc says:

    According to Myers-Briggs test that I did today, I am a strong INT with 11% preference judging over perceiving. I am a bit confused. I researched the topic of personality for about 3 weeks and would like to get some insight. After looking at many INTJ and INTP, many characteristics apply to me from INTJ (strategic planning and always ruthlessly asking “does it work”) while having characteristics from INTP (lots of imaginary conversations about everything on a regular basics) and I try to keep my outer life as simple as possible to focus most of my energy to my complex thoughts. I like detailed explanations to compare the information received to the theory that I have created in my mind to see if any adjustments needs to be made. I need to make sure I am taking the correct path. When I first started my journey, I thought I was an ISTJ, then an ISTP. Both were wrong due to spending most of my time in my mind and not caring at all about the present moment. What advice and suggestions could you offer me so that I can choose a lifestyle more “natural” to me? How do I know if my test results were accurate?

  11. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi Luc. You couldn’t have taken the MBTI® tool, since the results wouldn’t be given in percents. The tool is designed to sort out your four letter type code and there are no percentages attached… accounting to personality type you simply prefer either J or P. We all use all of the preferences some of the time. Obviously you can be structured or go with the flow at certain times in certain situations. The INTJ and INTP descriptions will be similar, since they include basic descriptors for I, N and T.THe challenge is to identify the correct (for you) code that summarized your most preferred modes of operating. Briefly, INTJs prefer to spend most of their time in their inner world building and integrating conceptual information into a comprehensive world view (Ni). They move into the outer world to accomplish a goal (Te), usually a well-thought-out one, aligned to their vision. On the other hand, INTPS prefer to spend most of their time in their inner world critiquing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas (Ti). In the outer world people usually see them as curious, impartial information seekers, asking questions and ferreting out new ways to looking at things (NP). Both types will prefer to focus on their inner world of thoughts… for INTP on examination and evaluation and for INTJ on integration and synthesis. Interestingly, INTPS are actually decisive types internally although they appear open-ended to the world and INTJs are actually open-ended types internally although they appear decisive and focused on completing tasks. For people who prefer introversion, what others see is not the dominant function. For more, see:

  12. Luc says:

    You are right, upon review, it was some random test. I tried again and it was INTP. If I give characteristics, could you assist me in finding out if I would lean more towards INTJ and INTP? I took the real Myers-Briggs test and it indicates INTJ. However, I struggled in answering a few questions (especially about closure vs flexibility). I think your experience and insight will be more useful for my own personal growth. I want to know not only whether I truly lean towards INTJ or INTP but also your knowledgeable understanding behind this. Thanks in advance for your help. Here goes:
    1) curious
    2) dislike wasting time
    3) decisive
    4) like to read books/observe people from a distance
    5) lots of internal talk (sometimes I go very deep in conversation)
    6) zone out a lot (especially when people start repeating themselves)
    7) enjoy playing chess
    8) listen to the idea (do not even need to look at the person to be interested)
    9) hate touchy/feely stuff/talk of relationships
    10) when I talk to people, they tell me they feel like they are in a therapy session
    11) often accused of being cold when people want emotional support

  13. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi Luc,

    You are already building self-awareness by describing your preferences in more detail. Unfortunately, most of the descriptors you use could relate to either INTP or INTJ. Another tact might be to assess your response to stress. Since INTPs and INTJs have different dominant functions they also have different inferior (least preferred) functions. Check out these two posts: Analyzers and stress and Visionaries and stress. Maybe one of them will be more accurate than the other and help you decide your pattern.

  14. Luc says:

    According to the information above that I reviewed, I am leaning more towards INTP than INTJ. Thanks for your help 🙂

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