MBTI: Judging and Perceiving – To Plan or Go With The Flow

SkyeTeam MBTI

The fourth element of MBTI concerns how we interact with the world around us:  Judging vs. Perceiving.  Judgers are focused on planning, executing the plan, moving step by step toward closure.  Perceivers are focused on keeping options open and going with the flow.  “Let’s not make a decision too soon – we may think of a better option.”

If a Judger and a Perceiver were to take a trip together, the Judger would make the travel arrangements and then go online to research things to do in the area.  The Judger would start laying out things to take on the trip several days in advance of the departure date.  The Judger would be in the car, ready to leave, when the Perceiver would start looking for his or her suitcase.  This is an exaggeration, but only to illustrate the point that Judgers and Perceivers are wired differently in ways that can be exceedingly annoying.

At work it can look like the cartoon above.  The Judger has a beautiful plan and takes great pride in executing it.  The Perceiver doesn’t see the point, as he or she is perfectly capable of getting the job done with the same quality in the same time without such a plan.  The Judger gets frustrated and feels unappreciated.  If the Judger is managing the Perceiver, the Perceiver’s lack of planning may cause the Judger to provide closer supervision (read: micro-managing) to ensure the job gets done.  Either way, it isn’t pretty.

What to do?  Both can expand their effectiveness by asking questions and appreciating that each brings value in his or her own way.  Judgers need to have the confidence that Perceivers are capable of doing the job.  Perceivers need to be prepared to provide a little more detail about what they’re doing and confirmation that they are on schedule.

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