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Friday, December 16, 2016

The Face You Show to Others: Are You a Judger or Perceiver?

The Face We Show to Others

How Do I Look to You?

Years ago as I was chatting with a small group of friends about who we were and how we were perceived by one another when the conversation turned in my direction. 

'You don't show your feelings,' one friend announced. Immediately the rest looked at me and chimed in, 'That's true--you don't.'

'For example, what are you feeling right now?' another asked.

'Interested', I replied.

'Interested isn't a feeling.' Everyone shook their head in agreement. 'So what are you really feeling right now?'

'Interested,' I replied with a smile.

It's All Interesting.....

I'm a Lonely Little 'Perceiver' in a 'Judger' Patch

What was so interesting to me that day was although all of us conversing were 'feelersI was the sole 'perceiver' in a group of 'judgers'. And while I would qualify for what I call one of the 'squishy of all squishy' feeler types I didn't look like a softie to this group of feeler-judgers

How can this be? The answer can be found in the definition of Judger and Perceiver--two descriptive terms originating out of the Myers-Briggs Typing System that point toward our orientation to life in the outer world and therefore how we appear to others.

Can Judgers and Perceivers be Friends?

Judgers and Perceivers are quite different in how we prefer life to unfold. So the question is can Judgers and Perceivers get along--and learn to appreciate one another? 

The answer is YES if we choose to understand ourselves and learn to deal compassionately with one another. Below is a primer on understanding the Judgers and Perceivers in your life, along with a few tips for crossing the lifestyle divide.

Perception determines what we see in a situation;
Judgment determines what we decide to do.

We all use our perception to collect information and judgment 
to come to conclusions. The question is where will we do each?

The Face We Show to Others

J-P Preference Defines How We Prefer to be in the Outer World

Although we all collect information (perceive) as we scan our environment and we all make decisions (judgments) about what we we encounter in our world--where and when we usually do both is determined by our preferences for dealing with the world around us. 
The J-P preference--or judger-perceiver preference defines our preferred way of being in the outer world when we're 'extraverting'. This applies to introverts and extraverts alike. It is 'the face we show to others' and it describes how we prefer to be in the world.
Whether you're a Perceiver or Judger will determine how you appear to others--as 'open' or 'closed'.

When extraverting Judgers move toward closure (i.e. coming to conclusions and making decisions) and Perceivers move toward collecting more information (i.e. staying open and being inquisitive).

Judgers show their preferred way of judging in the outer world--either thinking or feeling. They look like exclamation points as they move toward closure and being decisive in public.

Perceivers show their preferred way of perceiving in the outer world--either sensing or intuiting. They look like question marks as they move toward openness and inquisitiveness in public.

We Use the Opposite Inside
What Happens Inside?

Whatever we show on the outside--judging or perceiving--we use the opposite inside. On the inside (behind the eyes) Judgers use their preferred way of perceiving and Perceivers use their preferred way of judging. 

For example, I as an Extraverted Intuitior Feeler Perceiver (ENFP) use my intuition in the outer world, looking inquisitive and 'interested' and save my feelings for my inner world. So although I am 'quite a heart-felt squishy' person you don't necessarily see that when relating to me. 

When introverting (introverts and extraverts alike): Judgers 'open up' to consider more information and Perceivers 'close down' to come to conclusions. Perceivers--who use judging in their private world--have less need to control the outer environment than Judgers as they are more orderly inside.

How do you Appear--
Decisive and Orderly or Inquisitive and Adaptable?

How Judgers and Perceivers Approach Life

When relating to others in the outer world, Judgers present as people who plan life in a more controlled, decisive and orderly manner, while Perceivers present as curious and adaptable people who take a more open, free-flowing and flexible approach to life.

Perceivers are the ones asking all the questions and re-opening issues. 

Judgers are the ones quickly deciding and sticking to their guns.

Meet the Judgers 

Judgers Prefer a Planned Life

Whether Feelers or Thinkers, Judgers prefer to live life in a planned and structured manner. They take their responsibilities seriously. When dealing in the outer world they're decisive, self-regimented and purposeful--and prefer to move quickly to a decision. They prefer to plan their work and downtime, and once set, they want to stick to the plan. 

Judgers prefer to work in a scheduled and structured workplace--and will begin laying a plan for weekend time-off by mid-week. They put responsibilities before pleasure, thus choose careers that allow them to be responsible at work and provide for their families.

Just the facts, Ma'm 

When starting new activities Judgers prefer to learn just the essentials of what's needed. They are more product-oriented than process-oriented. Once they have a plan of action they focus on completing the activity. They find great satisfaction making decisions and finishing projects. 

In a job search Judgers lay out a plan and want the plan to work NOW. They can become frustrated and discouraged when it doesn't work out as planned immediately.

Comfort in Schedules and Timeliness

Judgers believe in deadlines and schedules--both at work and at home. They prefer a more compartmentalized life--with a clear separation of work and home. A to-do-list to check off completed items is a must. Their idea of 'on-time' is arriving 15 minutes early. 

Judger Managers: Set real deadlines and expect you to meet them on-time. 

Show Respect: If you want to show respect to a Judger, show up on time and meet deadlines.

Meet the Perceivers

Perceivers Prefer to Live More Spontaneously 

Those of us who are Perceivers, whether sensors or intuitors, prefer to live life in a more spontaneous and enjoyable manner. When engaging in the outer world we are curious, flexible and adaptable. We are the 'enjoyers of life' who prefer to go with the flow while constantly exploring our environment.

Tell Me Everything.....

Perceivers are Life Explorers who Don't Want to Miss Anything!

When starting new projects or meeting new people Perceivers like to learn everything about the project or person--asking lots of questions and staying open to new pieces of information, and often delaying decisions until all the pieces of information have naturally fallen into place in their head.

Perceivers prefer a workplace that is flexible and evolving. We love startup companies where we can brainstorm and explore multiple options before settling down to a fixed way of doing business. We often get out of the job or business if it gets to be too fixed in it's ways. We want room to explore.

Comfort in Flexibility and Timelessness

Time: A Perceiver's view of time is more flexible. We are more process-oriented than product-oriented. We can get caught up in what we're exploring and lose track of time. We are more comfortable with a schedule that is 'ish' rather than sharp, as in, 5ish...or some time after 5 is okay.

Perceiver Manager: May set a deadline that is earlier than required. That way there is built in flexibility for employees who need more time to complete the job while still allowing the Manager and team to responsibly complete the job.

Show Respect: If you want to be respectful to a Perceiver, give them room to be flexible and appreciate their adaptability. 

Perceivers Enjoy what they Do

Work is Enjoyable

As we must enjoy what we do, Perceivers choose careers based on what they enjoy. Sometimes this is confusing to 'responsible' Judgers who perceive fun-loving Perceivers as being irresponsible. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A Perceiver doesn't have difficulty being responsible because we always find a way to enjoy what we must do. 

How to Make Peace with Each Other

Tips for Getting Judgers to Stay Open and Perceivers to Decide

The exact same approach used to help a Judger open up will work to get a Perceiver to close down--give them time to think about an issue alone and their brain will work off-line to open up or come to the proper conclusion. 

Want to get a Judger to stay open to a different decision? Take decision making off the table in a meeting or conversation (where a Judger is quick to decide). Instead of asking for a decision in the moment, provide a written request and state you don't want a decision now. Set a time to come back to discuss. 

Removing the decision making in public increases the probability the Judger will open up when considering it (inside her head) and also allows an orderly, scheduled, deadline for deciding.

Want to get a Perceiver to made a decision more quickly? Perceivers close down collecting information and let their brains work off-line when they're inside their heads. 

Begin with 'exploratory meetings' to examine the issues rather than meetings where decisions are made. Instruct the Perceiver to consider the options and come back to the next scheduled meeting with a plan or decision. 

A Judger's Path to a More Balanced Life and Maturity

Reach into a Perceiver's mindset: Consciously and deliberately practice being flexible, adaptable, and open.

'If the mind is flexible, the world is flexible.' 

Sakyong Mipham

'It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive 
but those who can best manage change.' 
Leon C. Megginson
'Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. 
Truth is outside of all patterns.'
Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune Do

A Perceiver's Path to a More Balanced Life and Maturity

Reach into a Judger's mindsetConsciously and deliberately practice finishing and moving to closure; choosing a path and following through to the finish.

'Actions are the seed of fate (your) deeds grow into destiny.' 

Harry S Truman

'Whenever you have taken up work in hand, you must see it to the finish. That is the ultimate secret of success. Never, never, never give up! '
Dada Vaswani

'With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, 
as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on 
to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.' 

Abraham Lincoln

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes letting go and moving forward with life easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue, love this! My husband and I, both J's, sometimes dine out with another couple, husband a major P, and we always have to go through "exploratory meetings" via phone or email to decide where we're going! Just when I think it's finally decided, he will often try to start it up again with, "We don't *have* to go Place B. What about Place C? Have you guys tried Place D yet?" Drives us nuts, but we love him!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

HaHahaHa, Jean! Isn't that the way between J's and P's! Me? I try to just keep my mouth shut and go along with the J's plan unless I really don't want to. The next difficulty for me is choosing something off the menu--especially if there are too many options! I usually fix that problem by letting my 'Feeler side' kick in and just ask everyone what they're getting until something sounds good. I really am quite adaptable.

I love looking at negotiations between P's and J's.....this is one of the more 'interesting' areas for potential conflict!