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See if this personality type struggle sounds familiar: You see a problem at work. You figure out a way to step in and start to make progress. Then someone comes along and says, “You know, this is really the responsibility of [insert name of project lead here].” Or, “We should start with [insert a complicated or authority-dependent process here].” Or, “We need to wait for [authority figure] to approve it.”
Have you ever started doing something, only to be told it couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be done that way?
Often, this highlights the difference in approach between a Judging (J) versus Perceiving (P) personality type. If you are the one who wants to jump right in and move a situation along, you are probably strong in the Perceiving preference – that is, your personality type code ends in the letter P. If you throw up a cautious hand and say, “Let’s make sure we’re doing this right,” you are probably strong in the Judging preference – your personality type ends in the letter J.
I love this ancient Chinese proverb:
The man who says it can’t be done should not interrupt the person doing it.
We all have natural strengths. Some business strengths of Perceiving personality types are:
- their easygoing nature
- their ability to fly by the seat of their pants
- their competence in chaos, sometimes a calming influence in the storm
- their tolerance for risk
- the apparent ease with which they step right into the fray and start figuring it out
Conversely, some natural business strengths of Judging personality types are:
- their thoroughness in planning
- their patience in analyzing several options to make an informed choice
- their ability to stick it out through the rough times and finish on target
- their focus on the end game, through numerous distractions or curve balls
- their innate ability to make order out of chaos
Neither is right. Neither is wrong. In any given situation, both approaches have merit.
So when you are faced with a project to complete or a challenge to overcome, ask yourself these questions:
- What are the benefits of jumping right in like a Perceiving personality type would?
- What are the benefits of doing analysis and research, planning it through, then sticking to plan like a Judging personality type would?
- How do the two of you appreciate the best of the opposite approach and work together to partner on this effort?
Have you experienced a J/P challenge at work lately? What did you do to figure it out?