June 20, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 4: Being a Sensing Type

How would you define "time"?

If you said, "It's a system of measurement or a limited period or interval," you are likely a Sensing type ("Sensor").

Whereas the first dichotomy - E's & I's - was all about how we are energized, this next type is all about what we pay attention to.

As a Sensor, you pay attention to:
  • Practical facts 
  • Details 
  • Realities 
  • Past & present 
  • Specifics 
  • What is actual 
This means that in any given situation, you tend to first evaluate the facts, want to gather the details or specifics of the situation, and want to make decisions based on these facts and on reality. Sensors prefer to pay attention to what is right in front of them, relying more heavily on the present facts/reality and past experiences (learning) to make decisions.

At work and play, the Sensor:
  • Prefers using learned skills & an established ways of doing things 
  • Pays attention to details 
  • Makes few factual errors 
  • Focuses on what works now 
  • Distrusts inspiration 
Sensors are the people we go to when we need clear and concise information. They take pleasure in the details, can see things that others miss, and can develop solid systems and processes to get the job done.

One trap here, though, is that Sensors can become rigid and stuck in his/her ways once s/he has found (or has been trained in) a way of doing things. This can lead to stagnation and, worse, discomfort with or resistance to change. So, it will be important to cultivate some skills around flexibility and openness to change so that both your work and play life won’t become stagnant.

Finally, when it comes to perception & orientation, Sensors:
  • Rely on their 5 senses (on experience & actual data) 
  • Focus on present enjoyment 
  • Are oriented toward living life as it is 
Sensors are connected to what is currently happening and are oriented towards the past and present, which can be a real strength. They pay close attention to physical reality – what they can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. As a result, they learn best by first connecting to the practical use (how the knowledge will be applied) and then by experience (doing) rather than being shown or told.

Sensors can sometimes come across as overly practical or realistic to the point of unimaginative. So, it will be important to develop the skill of embracing and encouraging the creativity and idealism of others around you, even if it may not seem to be of the highest importance to you.

Next week, we’ll be talking about the Intuition (N) personality type, the counterpart to the Sensing type and exploring how S’s and N’s can get along!

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