There is a children’s chant from days gone by that goes “One Two Skip a Few Ninety Nine One Hundred”.

Types differ in terms of the speed that they operate at and this difference can lead to frustration and misunderstanding. Those who have a preference for Sensing and Judging (SJ) are more comfortable with details and may want to spend time exploring each phase of a project and getting the sequencing and logistical components of a plan nailed down. This approach may seem plodding to those with the opposite way of processing.

Individuals who have a preference for Intuition and Perceiving (NP) focus on the big picture. They may say things like “I got it”. They can see the direction and have a general sense of how things will go. They also like to react in the moment to what is emerging in the room at during any presentation or workshop they will want to keep their approach open and flexible. This may be interpreted as carefree even slipshod by their counterparts who may want to know “What’s your hurry?”

Neither way guarantees a better result. What I have noticed in a planning meeting is that the speedy NP’s can “tune out” if things become slow and tedious.” On the other hand the SJ’s can “shut down” or become a bit “testy” if they believe that their concerns are being ignored or pushed aside.

The biggest thing to remember is not to take other people’s behaviour personally. How they do things is not designed as a specific way to make your life miserable. In fact they may just have an antidote to a blind spot of yours. The last thing that you want is to have people habitually tune out or shut down in meetings. When you notice this in yourself or others it is a signal to step outside your habitual way of doing things and begin to listen with the intention of hearing not only what the person is saying but why they might be saying that. Having only one kind of voice on any project does not lend itself to the resilience that comes from diverse voices all making a contribution.


Category: Communication
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