When we think about interruptions, there’s also a different way that people may look at that. Interruptions for extroverts actually may be compliments: “Gee, someone’s listened to what I’ve said! They want to jump right in, you know, build on my idea.” It’s a compliment.
But, for an introvert, that same interruption may be rude: “I’ve thought about it inside, I’m bringing up my ideas, you’re interrupting me. I need to stop and think, ‘Is that new information or is it a pure dribble?’ and then I’m going to continue with my talk.”
Introverts, by the way, once they know people and topics well, will act like extroverts because they’ve done their inside work. We say that, if you want to know what an extrovert is thinking, you haven’t been listening.
If you want to know what an introvert is thinking, you haven’t asked. So, now I want to go on to the next one, which is how we gather data and the kind of information we like and trust.
The preference pairs here are sensing and intuition. Now, I happen to prefer sensing. I like things to be practical, actual, real. I just really want to get down to the here and now of what’s going on.
Now, by contrast, intuitive types like possibilities, meanings, the big picture, and I want to show you a picture that gets at some of these differences.
So, if we look at this particular picture with a sensing lens, we may see pillars, trees, yellow flowers, there’s an umbrella in there, and so forth. If we look at this picture from an intuitive point of view, we might see an ancient lost civilization, where the wild things are, or a ballet of dancing trees.
Now, we both looked at the same picture. So, I use this in a community leadership program and we get people into sensing groups and intuitive groups and have them look at this picture and talk about it.
We had a civil engineer once who pointed over to — he was in the sensing group — he pointed to the intuitive group and he said, “Hum, I always thought they were liars. I would go to a community meeting and present my facts. I would see them a couple of days later and they said I said things I know I didn’t say. Our memories are just fine. So, now I know I need to sit down with them and find out how they got from my facts to what they’re interpreting.”
So, it’s very important, you can miss one another. You’re seeing the same picture, but you’re seeing different things. If we look at well-known figures, we can also start to think about what lens do they see the world with.
So, let’s take Thomas Edison. He’s the guy who invented the light bulb, remember, by putting all those little filaments in and keeping checking hundreds of them, probably. He’s been known to have said:
“Genius is 99% perspiration.”
He probably saw the world through a sensing lens.
Now, if we look at Albert Einstein, with his theory of relativity, he said,
“Not all that counts can be counted.”
He probably sees the world through an intuitive lens.
Now, once you have information in, you need to figure out what to do with it, and that leads us to the third preference pair: thinking and feeling.
Now, I know that I’m a thinking type. I look at the world in a logical way. People come to me with a problem, I want to get to the bottom line and help them solve it now.
But I realized there are some people, when they come to me they just want me to stop and listen and support them. Well, I learned that I need to sort of step back and ask people, at least I remember that some of the time, “Do you want me just to listen, or do you want me to help solve the problem?,” because then I don’t get so annoyed if they don’t take my advice.
So, in this decision-making system, thinking types step back from the decision. They look at the data that they have, the information that they have, in an objective way. They look at the pros, they look at the cons, they make their decision.
But feeling types step into the decision. They become aware of, “How is this going to impact people? How does this fit with my value system?,” and they’re looking for harmony with their value system.
Now you probably already figured out here that feeling does not mean making decisions based on emotions.
There is a structured way of using the values and the harmony. So, if we think about the definition of being fair, we may see some different things.
For thinking types, being fair means treating everyone according to the same standards, or treating people equally.
For feeling types, being fair means treating everyone according to what they need; individuals are different, they need different things.
Now, I want to do another little experiment with you that I sometimes do with my training groups and let’s say you’re working on a project. This hand represents completing the project. This hand represents I’m starting, I’m part-way through and I’m done.
So, I typically ask thinking types, “Tell me when you want someone to give you some appreciation or recognition for your work on that project.”