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In the last case study, I looked at a semi-fictional interaction between an Introvert (in MBTI terms) and an Extravert.

This time I’d like to very briefly look at how people who have an iNtuitive preference (MBTI uses the letter N for intuitive because the I has already been used for Introvert) and someone they work with, who has a strong Sensing preference.

In MBTI terms these preferences can be summarised like this:

  • iNtuitive people instinctively look first at potential, linkage, pattern, change and what could be
  • people with an Sensing (S) preference tend to look first instinctively at detail, realism, precision, what is actually there.

It’s a short and sweet little MBTI case study.  Our hero’s MBTI Type is fairly strongly iNtutive, and he had what he thought was a brilliant but admittedly radical idea. Unfortunately it was going to take him a couple of days to write it up and he didn’t want to spend two days sorting out and writing up something that might (when other people looked at it) be a dumb idea.

His solution was to cobble together, very quickly, a single side of A4 which had the barest outlines of the plan so that he could get a second opinion: let’s call this second person the ‘Checker’. If the Checker thought the plan was a good one, our hero would write it up, properly.

The person our hero asked to give his idea the once-over happened to have a Sensing preference – an MBTI preference for detail and practical stuff over ideas and concepts.

So…..

As our hero passed over his one-side of material (as a typical MBTI N-preference person with diagrammes included as well as text) what our N-preference hero actually said was

“What do you think of this?”

However, being an MBTI N-preference what he heard in his head was:

“What do you think of this idea?”

And being a typical MBTI S-preference person, what the checker heard was:

“What do you think of this document?”

Documents are real, actual, concrete and tactile. No wonder Checker (who had an MBTI S preference, remember) concentrated on what they’d actually got in their hands. The unfortunate (but entirely predictable) consequence was that instead of giving feedback the our original hero had wanted and expected, the reader/checker of the document/idea gave him a proof-reading.

No useful result and a lot of wasted effort, where (with a little more MBTI orientated thought) the outcome could have been very different.

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