As I continue to work with new people and personalities, I realize how insightful Carl Jung’s theory is and how useful the MBTI tool can be. MBTI is based on the premise that everyone has 4 basic personality preferences. The first preference shows where you get your energy from (my E vs I post). The second and third deal with how you take in information and how you rationalize your decisions. The 4th preference deals with how you approach the task at hand. I find that how you decide to approach a task causes the most issues between people and is directly related to the last preference, Judging vs Perceiving.
People who prefer judging are planners by nature. They likely have a schedule of tasks and meetings set in advance and probably think through each meeting agenda ahead of time. J’s rarely like to change plans unless they have allotted time and room for change. This may sound rigid, but is more about closure. J’s like to come to closure in a timely way, and usually that involves setting a plan and finishing on time or even in advance.
On the other hand, people who prefer perceiving are the exact opposite. They don’t like plans and are constrained by rigid schedules. Their tendency is to go with the flow and enjoy changing things. When working on a project, P’s are likely to want to leave the research phase open ended. P’s accomplish tasks when under pressure and will likely do the bulk of work towards the end of the project timeline.
Imagine, if you are a J with a preference to plan and working for a P, it might feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything because of the ongoing research phase. As the deadline approaches , you might feel resentment for the last minute requests. In the opposite situation, if you are a P with a preference for flexibility and working for a J, you might feel constrained. You might feel resentment for having to work on tasks that aren’t needed for weeks or months.
People who are aware of their preferences try to facilitate situations that make them comfortable. I have a preference for Judging and set schedules and plans. Every time I have worked for someone with a preference for Perceiving, I either enforce a schedule for the whole project or make my own mini schedules and plans. This helps me focus and accomplish at my best. Every time I have had P’s working for me, I have noticed their ability to avoid plans and facilitate change. For myself, I plan a longer research phase to help satisfy their need. I also try to keep changing things for them, or allow them to change things, but I always set clear and hard deadlines. Once the deadlines are set, I leave them be and trust they will deliver on time. P’s can have a perception that a J’s need for status updates comes from micro managing, when often it is just a way to make sure the plan is being followed.
Since I am a J, my tips are slightly biased towards J’s working with P’s. How do you react in similar situations? Are you a P and worked with J’s like me? What helped you?