This is the final post in a series describing the various indicators of the Myers Briggs. The first posts in the Series include:
Unfamiliar with the Myers Briggs Evaluation? Basically it is an indicator of a person’s preferred behavior. Although a person can behave outside of these preferences, they will often revert to these behavior patterns in times of high stress because it is what comes most naturally to them.
Judging v. Perceiving
This indicator set is the one I am least comfortable understanding. To me the descriptors don’t do a good job of summing up the essence of this preference pair, but I’ll give it my best shot. For reference I am an INTJ and am pretty solidly set on the Judging side of the spectrum. Not quite as firmly planted in this spectrum as I am in the Thinking preference – but solid nonetheless.
Overall, whether you prefer Judging or Perceiving affects how your prefer to process information.
Do you know that person in your office that processes all of their information out loud? The one that will spend two hours with you coming up with a plan of action and the next time you talk to them, they’ve changed their mind? These types of people typically drive me crazy because I can’t pin them down to a decision and as a J – I like decisions. However, the flip side of that is that they are often pretty collaborative and seek input from others. Coworkers will feel liked and included by P’s. P’s are also typically spontaneous and willing to go with the flow, see how things emerge, be happy with an open agenda and no time limits or talking points. They are generally very amiable and don’t tend to step on others’ toes.
Judging does not mean the same as judgmental – please don’t confuse the two. A Judging preference indicates you are decisive and like to have a plan of action. You are comfortable making decisions and would prefer to make a decision and have it be wrong than make no decisions at all. This person tends to take control of groups without clear leadership and will push for a decision before others in the group (especially Perceiving types) are ready. Although a J likes a plan, that does not mean they are necessarily organized, but rather that they would prefer to move down the wrong path than to never get started. This type will get things done, but is more likely to step on toes along the way or make people feel excluded.
1) Your office building needs to be evacuated immediately do to an Anthrax attack. Who do you want in charge?
A Judging behavior preference will make decisions, get things done and address the immediate need. A perceiver may want input from others and may not be comfortable making the decisions that need to be made to meet the emergency.
2) PTA is choosing to fund playground equipment at your school. Who do you want leading the selection committee?
A Perceiving behavior preference will poll all the parents, the teachers and the community. It will likely take longer to make the decision than if a J were in charge, but the community will feel consulted and heard. A J would pick a playground and inform the community of what was chosen – likely in less time, but potentially with pushback from the community because they weren’t included in the decision.
None of the preferred behaviors are right or wrong, or better than the other. However, there are circumstances (job positions) that are better suited for one behavior preference over the other.
What about you? Are you a J or a P?