Personality Typing – Judging vs Perceiving

JumpSo, we’re on to the final dichotomy within the Myers-Briggs type sorter: judging versus perceiving.  This is, essentially, how one chooses to act within their daily activities.

Judgers prefer to have matters settled.  They like order, plans and to-do lists.  They struggle with ambiguity and like to understand all the options before they embark on a project.  Above all, they value predictability.  I happen to be one of these types.

Perceivers, on the other hand, like ambiguity.  Many of the people that you would call “free spirits” are perceivers.  They go with the flow, and like to have many options.  They struggle with lists and would rather not be locked into a particular decision.  This preference can cause issues with J’s, who tend to get a little panicky when confronted with so much ambiguity in a process.

Throughout this series, I’ve been trying to offer ways that one can “style switch”, or attempt to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, so to speak.  This one is no different.  Think of a particular project you’re going to begin, or have recently begun, and try some of the following steps.

If you’re a perceiver, try to work on a specific project from the point of view of a “J”.  Work in a systematic fashion, itemize the tasks that need to occur and work through them in an orderly manner.  Notice how much easier is to complete a project if you can think it all through from beginning to end at one time, and move methodically through a process.

Conversely, if you’re a “J”, try working as a “P” for one project.  You can still have a plan (we J’s get a little bit worried with a total lack of planning), but don’t be a slave to it.  Once you begin working through your project, take a moment to pause and see if any new methods of achieving your goals present themselves due to what has happened thus far.  P’s do this type of observation automatically, but we J’s need to make a conscious effort to do it.

If you’re a P, you need to make sure that you’re not spending more time than is necessary accomplishing tasks, simply due to your not having thought through the process fully.  If you find yourself working and needing to back up in the process due to forgetting to accomplish a contingent task, you may need to take a good look at your work style.

J’s need to watch out for ruts.  It’s helpful to ask a “P” friend to take a look at whatever you’re trying to accomplish and see if you’ve missed anything that could improve your results.  It’s difficult to see the forest for the trees sometimes when you’re a “J”, and you don’t want to miss any opportunities if you can avoid it.

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