July 4, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 6: Being a Thinking Type

Think about a boss, professor or supervisor you enjoyed working with. In your opinion, what was it about them that made them an effective supervisor for you?

If you said, "She was really good at communicating information clearly, set specific goals and objectives. There were some things I didn’t like, but overall, she was very effective and treated me fairly," you are likely a Thinking type ("Thinker").

This next type is all about what we base our decisions on.

As a Thinker, you base your decisions on:
  • Non-personal logic 
  • Objective information 
  • An outcome that “makes sense” 
  • Logical implications
This means that you lean towards basing decisions on measurable criteria. Decisions usually get made after evaluating the pros and cons of a given situation. For the most part, you strive to make decisions objectively using non-personal logic. This isn’t to say that emotion or feelings never enter into the equation for Thinkers; it just means that logic and objective information are more heavily relied upon.

At work and play, the Thinker:
  • Behaves in a brief & businesslike manner 
  • Acts impersonally 
  • Treats others fairly & needs to be treated fairly 
  • May hurt other people’s feelings without knowing it 
  • Tends to be firm
The Thinker tends to enjoy technical or scientific fields and thrives in environments where the culture is direct and structured. “Fairness” is an extremely important concept for Thinkers.

One trap here is that Thinkers may struggle to make a decision when “fairness” becomes too central to the final thought. They can become bogged down by trying to come up with a solution that feels balanced in a way that doesn’t leave anyone out in the cold. Therefore, it’s important for Thinkers to develop strategies for decision making that moves them along whenever the “fairness” question starts to interfere or shut down the process.

Finally, when it comes to focus & orientation, Thinkers prioritize:
  • Things 
  • Truth 
  • Principles 
  • Solving problems
Thinkers can come across as task-oriented, uncaring or indifferent. So, it is important to develop interpersonal skills that focus on connecting with others, keeping the “people” part of a situation in view, and communicating your thoughts and decisions in a way that is firm but friendly.

Next week, we’ll be talking about Feeling (F) personality type, the counterpart to the Thinking type and exploring how T’s and F’s can get along.

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