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Friday, March 30, 2012

So why bother guessing type?

Written by Catherine Rains

Even though I don’t always guess accurately (although I’m pretty darn good!), my guesses help me to quickly form a hypothesis as to how I can be most effective with the person in front of me, or with the group I’m working with. For instance, if I observe behavioral cues that indicate a new client might prefer Thinking, I will flex my Feeling preference to Thinking so that my communication with them will be more effective. So I will get right to business at the beginning of a meeting with someone who prefers Thinking, rather than establishing a personal connection first, which is what I prefer with Feeling. If my guess is wrong, and they really have a Feeling preference after all, they will usually divert our business discussion at some point to establish that personal connection early on in the discussion. People who prefer Thinking also want a personal connection, but they usually want this after the purpose of the meeting is fully addressed.

Guessing type helps us to be more effective in working with all types, rather than just our own*. Knowing what a person prefers shows us when and how to flex when the situation indicates that the opposite of our preferences would be more appropriate. 

So when do you flex to your opposite preferences? I would love to hear your stories about when you flex to be more effective in both your professional and personal lives.

*It is important to understand that you cannot assess a person's type based merely on type cues; having the person take an assessment and giving them a proper interpretation is always recommended. The point of the blog is to try to understand how to pick up on certain type cues when in the absence of giving someone an assessment and self-verification, such as in a job interview.

1 comment:

  1. I prefer Feeling, but I don't seek out a personal connection with people I do business with. I'm a highly expressed introvert, and I'm not interested in superficial connections. This is another reason that you can get yourself into trouble when you try to guess a person's type. If you treat a Feeling type like a Thinking type based on this one cue, you can do considerable damage to the business relationship.