myers-briggsHeather Zempel has an interesting post at Wineskins on the communications challenges of thinkers and feelers. She really nailed this one. I’m a big fan of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator , which classifies people into four of eight categories:

  • Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
  • Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
  • Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
  • Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

When these factors are combined, a person is identified by four letters and can fall into one of sixteen categories. Yes, it’s a little stilted and not perfect. But when dealing with a challenging person, I find it very helpful to know a person’s basic type. It helps me to reshape my communication and my expectations. It’s essential to note that there is no right answer. God made every type. But when someone is driving you crazy, understanding what makes them tick can be very helpful.

BTW, I’m an INTJ. What are you?

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1 Comment so far

  1. Kevin on February 21, 2009 7:01 am

    I love the MBTI. It’s become second nature as I lead people.

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