For those who have been following our Jungian Type Best Fit series, we are now half-way through the four personality preference sets! Ever wonder why you and your spouse or colleague can never agree on a decision? Join us for a deep dive into our next Personality Type mini-series!
Making Decisions: “T vs. F.”
Today we’ll begin the third set, looking at what the “Thinker” (T) vs. “Feeler” (F) preferences actually mean, as well as how we can begin to gain an understanding about which one we might naturally gravitate towards. To keep the letters in perspective, recall that “(I)ntrovert” vs. “(E)xtrovert” deals with how we most effectively recharge and gain energy, while “(S)ensor” vs. “I(N)tuitive” identifies the method by which we most naturally process information. Once we’ve gathered the relevant information via our Sensor or Intuitive preference, the “T vs. F” dichotomy attempts to get to the heart of how we make decisions with that information.
It’s important to keep in mind that, just like with the rest of the preferences, everyone has an ability to engage both “Thinker” and “Feeler” abilities. Deciding which one you most naturally resonate with does not mean you only do one or the other. It simply means there’s one you lean into as your default mode of decision-making, despite your ability to consider decisions from both perspectives.
Whenever we start a new preference set, it’s always helpful to remember the handwriting analogy: Everyone can write their name with either their right or left hand, but the one we do most naturally, easily, and effectively vs. the one that takes more concentrated effort and difficulty, is the test we use to determine which one we prefer by nature. There are no right or wrong tendencies!
Once those with a natural tendency toward the “Thinking” preference acquire their information, they generally prioritize making a logical, rational, analytical, objective, truth-based decision. Every Thinker’s decision-making process focuses on, “How do I gain logical clarity, and how do I make a decision that is objectively just, fair, and effective?”
Thinkers, when they give their decision, will often say, “Having analyzed all the information, this is my decision, and this is why,” then they go on to present the bullet points of their logic: bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Their decisions can be tough, and to Feelers, will oftentimes come off as callous or hard due to their seemingly myopic focus on cold, hard facts or the “heartless” conclusion of a cost-benefit analysis.
Despite others disliking the Thinker’s decision, if the Thinker feels they’ve done a good job of analyzing the scenario and making a fair decision with carefully considered, thoroughly-supported reasoning, then they can deal with the resulting reality and move on to the next task or decision with little hang-up.
Feelers, on the other hand, could not be more different. Feelers will look at the information, and they’ll say, “How does this decision sit with my core personal values of what’s important to me, and how’s it going to affect the relational harmony of all the people who are going to be impacted by this decision?”
If the Thinker is looking for logical clarity first, the Feeler looks for emotional clarity first. If the Thinker wants to make a just and fair decision as their first criteria, the Feeler always prioritizes wanting to make the most compassionate decision possible, one that takes into account all the relational dynamics of the situation at hand. A Feeler’s decisions rarely come down to the “bottom-line” or “hard facts,” but rather hinge on whether the impact on those around them is optimal, or at least acceptable in relational terms.
Stay Tuned! Next Time On “T vs. F…”
That’s it for our intro to the Thinker and Feeler preferences! Hopefully we gave you a quick snapshot and a few helpful foundational insights into the mindset of Thinkers and Feelers as we begin the journey to help you determine your natural preference. In our next post, we’ll tackle the various ways Thinkers and Feelers differ in how they experience and prefer to receive critique.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality type affects your leadership, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!